Below San Antonio Swims the Elusive ‘Satan Fish’

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“Satan fish are really cool critters. Most San Antonio residents have no clue that these things live below them. I want to raise awareness and get a study going to see if there’s something going on down there,” Dean Hendrickson, curator of ichthyology at UT-Austin, told Researchers have wanted to study Satan fish, otherwise known as widemouth blindcat, for years, but the fish haven’t been seen since 1984. Hendrickson believes that the elusive fish is still swimming in the Edwards Aquifer below San Antonio’s surface. If he’s able to secure funding, Hendrickson, along with Andy Gluesenkamp and Dante Fenolio of the San Antonio Zoo, will study the natural oddity living alongside two other kinds of fish under the city.

According to the Texas State University’s Fishes of Texas website, the Satan fish appears white or pink in color and measures about five inches long. They’re thought to be an “opportunist predator” and when scientists studied their guts, they found that they consumed “…mudlike substances as well as exoskeletons of crustaceans. Some individuals appeared starved: empty guts and considerably reduced fat deposits. Species primarily preys on lower vertebrates and may be the top carnivore of the Edwards Aquifer system.” Read more findings from old research here.