Ode On A Blobfish

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle in specialist publicationpeer-review


This poem is a eulogy to the blobfish (Psychrolutes spp.), voted the world’s ugliest animal in a poll by the Ugly Animal Preservation Society. The blobfish is well-known because of a widely distributed photograph of a trawled specimen that has decompressed, melted, and been dragged across the seafloor. In situ, they look more like regular bony fish with rounded heads. The poem mourns the anthropogenic desecration of the blobfish and laments how anthropocentric configurations of beauty determine the value we ascribe to the deep-sea and its inhabitants. The title and structure take inspiration from John Keats’ ekphrasis ‘Ode on a Grecian Urn’, which Romantic scholars consider to be a seminal text in aesthetic theory due to its reveries of truth and beauty.
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationConsilience
Publication statusPublished - 27 Mar 2023


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