Stargazers are a family of saltwater fish that developed eyes on the tops of their heads in order to gaze at the stars—or to spy on prey swimming above, blissfully unaware of the predator camouflaged in the sand below.

The action in this video compilation starts 20 seconds in, accompanied by the upbeat songs “Yodelling Blues” and “Jumping with Dean,” which really heighten the viewer experience. Aquatic ambush has never been so lively. 

Watch as the stargazer—of which there are about 50 species—shimmies down under the sand and patiently waits for its next meal. Suddenly, it lurches upward, clamps down, and promptly swallows the fish or squid whole. Woof.

Because you were undoubtedly desirous of a more complete picture of this fantastical creature, here’s just one of those 50 species:

A Northern stargazer. Why the long face? (Photo: Canvasman21/CC-BY-SA-3.0)

As if their ambush tactics weren’t enough, stargazers also have the power of electric shock, as well as venom. Some species even have a worm-shaped lure growing out of their mouths that they can use to attract dinner. However, stargazers also serve as a dinner delicacy themselves in some places and can found sold at certain fish markets.

Ichthyologist William Leo Smith calls the creatures the “meanest things in creation.” 

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