Scientists discover a fish they name “dracula.” What’s the origin of the word, and does the fish sleep in a coffin?

Scientists recently released a list of new species that were discovered in the Greater Mekong Region, which comprises parts of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, and China.

One of the more peculiar species on the list is a translucent fish that scientists call “dracula.” The fish actually was first found in 2009, in a fish tank in Britain, but was only discovered in the wild this year.

The literary Dracula was known as “king of the vampires” in Bram Stoker’s novel, published in 1897.

The origin of the name is disputed. But the predominant belief is that “Dracula” was the nickname of Prince Vlad III Dracul of Wallachia (now part of Romania.) The brutal prince was also known as “the Impaler.” It’s said that he oversaw the murder of tens of thousands of rivals, criminals, and other enemies. Take a stab at his preferred method of execution.

(If this sounds scary, consider this: The word “hello” actually originates from danger. Why? Learn the genesis of this everyday word, here.)

Prince Vlad’s father belonged to a secret fraternal order of knights called the Order of the Dragon. This order is supposedly the source of  the name “Dracula,” as it translates as “son of Dracul.”

Let’s get back to the fish.

It is only 1.7 centimeters long. And the “dracula minnow,” like its namesake, does indeed have fangs at the front of each jaw. Danionella dracula has been observed using its bone “fangs” to stab other fishes.

While we’re on the topic of shocking discoveries: Do you know that a new language was recently identified in India? Learn its name here.


  1. wolf tamer and tree puncher -  November 19, 2013 - 6:17 am

    I like see-thru fish. My friend Alex once had 1. It was really cool. And it wouldn’t be fish with human bodies, it’d be fish with human eyes that would be scary.

    I was wondering whether this little fish would be sucking other fish’s blood. Turns out I’m right.

  2. applecream -  April 6, 2013 - 9:02 pm

    just remember there’s no fish with a body like human….xd

  3. applecream -  April 6, 2013 - 9:01 pm

    it such ugly fish but scary to all… even me i’m scared

  4. bill -  January 21, 2012 - 5:20 pm

    vlad the impaler

  5. sanjeev kumar -  July 13, 2011 - 5:56 am

    ok………………………………… you are absoutly write. but i have different type of fish shade in as mirror stone .

  6. nate liberrimus -  November 28, 2010 - 1:28 pm

    My forebears were from the Transylvnaia area in the Carpathians.

    I’ve never been there, but my father grew up in the hills of Romania.

  7. Cheryl -  November 28, 2010 - 10:29 am

    I would LOVE to be able to like that comment of yours…:D

  8. Cheryl -  November 28, 2010 - 10:28 am

    Fishes IS a plural form – if you’re talking about different species of fish. It’s only incorrect it to use it to represent more than 1 of the same species of fish.

  9. pallas_athena2 -  November 28, 2010 - 10:00 am

    Why would someone post something that isn’t true? A little skepticism is good, but insisting that anything unusual can’t be real is just wrong. You shouldn’t go around saying something is untrue unless you do further research.

    If there’s a word you don’t understand in an article like this, less information than what you would like, or something you have doubts about, “look it up” that’s what the internet is for. With a quick Google search I quickly found this:


    Here you can find a picture of the fish only slightly enlarged (the actual fish is less than 3/4 of an inch long). This article suggests that the big close-up might be of a preserved fish; that may explain it’s odd, dead looking appearance.

  10. fioker -  November 28, 2010 - 9:21 am

    How could the dolphin afford to buy a house ?
    He prawned everything !
    Which fish can perform operations ?
    A Sturgeon !
    What happened to the shark who swallowed a bunch of keys ?
    He got lockjaw !
    Where do fish wash ?
    In a river basin !
    Why did the whale cross the road ?
    To get to the other tide !
    Where do little fishes go every morning ?
    To plaice school !
    What fish goes up the river at 100mph ?
    A motor pike !
    What do you get from a bad-tempered shark ?
    As far away as possible !

  11. fioker -  November 28, 2010 - 9:19 am

    What do you call a big fish who makes you an offer you can’t refuse ?
    The Codfather !

  12. CalvinT -  November 28, 2010 - 12:49 am

    Woah what’s with those eyes? They look creepy, a bit like they’re gouged out. And just wondering, this fish is 1.7 centimetres, so what choices of prey would it have, being such a tiny predator? One more thing, this fish is already at such an amazingly ‘huge’ size, and I don’t think its fangs are even a hundredth of its ‘humongous’ body, so how does this little killer even stab any fish with its fearsome fangs? For its size, this critter is more likely to be either a parasite, or a fish feeding on plankton.

  13. Aussie -  November 27, 2010 - 8:24 pm

    Yes Bee, murdering a large percentage of your population by the most gruesome methods possible makes one the best leader a nation has ever seen. I guess that would make Hitler, Stalin, Pot & Mugabe the top 4 leaders of the 20th century.

    All fish that eat other fish would grab it’s prey in one way or another, so it’s not entirely different.

  14. e -  October 29, 2010 - 6:33 pm

    looks like its made from stone :-)

  15. smoothius -  October 28, 2010 - 8:17 am

    it’s also allergic to garlic, can’t see its reflection in the mirror, and can only be killed by shoving a wooden stake throught its heart:)

  16. Amy-Lou -  October 21, 2010 - 7:05 am

    Where the french is my posts???????????@!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You need to stop making them magily disappear k!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Jocantha Telsey -  October 16, 2010 - 8:59 pm

    oh i love this story. “stabbing other fishes” is awesome. and the zombie thing would be so COOL :) :) :D

  18. COP10 now held in Nagoya -  October 15, 2010 - 3:52 am

    Fish that come upon dracula fish strike back with their oxymora.

  19. ms.karma -  October 15, 2010 - 2:29 am

    guys, imagine a picture of the fish with its actual size 1.7centimeters posted here, or a close up to its face without enlargements. what do you think? that would be crazy, right? stop arguing about that image posted in here. it may look like clay or whatever you may call it, but they just enlarged it to give us a clearer view of its details especially its fangs.

    love and peace. :D

  20. Amie -  October 14, 2010 - 11:17 pm

    Okay, I do not usually post comments at these sites, but I feel a need to jump in here since there are obviously so many young people reading and commenting on this blog post.
    First, the fish you see is not likely made of clay, but is probably enlarged several times to show the detail. Have you ever seen a dust mite or a water bear (Tardigrade) enlarged? They are microscopic and have the same clay-like appearance when viewed at a larger size. This fish is, at 1.7 centimeters, just under a half inch long so it does not need to be enlarged several hundred times like a dust mite, but because it is transparent they may have used some special light or photographic treatment to allow us to see it better and which gives it the appearance of being made of clay.
    Second, to jonnyBgangsta, the word “fishes” does have certain uses–especially when referring to several fish of different varieties. Also, you should be ashamed of yourself! That name you are using is totally inappropriate. If you are over the age of twelve you should know better–and be very embarrassed by your grammar as well; if you are under eighteen, your parents should be ashamed of themselves for letting you refer to yourself as a “gangsta”. Do you think that is something glamorous? Well, I can tell you personally that it is not.
    Finally, and with exception to those from non-English speaking countries, you kids (and especially you adults) should learn some internet etiquette. More importantly, you should learn how to write correctly. Using slang, not using correct mechanics and spelling, etc., WILL come back at you someday. You have no control of who gets a hold of something you put on the internet or how long it stays out there once you post it. Cleaning up a bad web reputation can be difficult or impossible, and a bad reputation can negatively impact your future careers, educational opportunities, and other parts of your life. You will someday realize that what you thought was no big deal when you posted it, can have devastating consequences later on. Start thinking about your future now. Do not be foolish!

  21. Krystal Mendoza -  October 14, 2010 - 8:40 pm

    its clearly fake!! jazmine’s right you can tell its clay.

  22. giggidy giggidy -  October 14, 2010 - 8:37 pm

    its my birthday giggidy goo the fish is ugly and tosh.0 is very funny AWD

  23. giggidy giggidy -  October 14, 2010 - 8:36 pm

    its my birthday

  24. jotham seith haenz -  October 14, 2010 - 8:24 pm

    everyday there are hundreds of species being discovered, congratulations for discovering another one. keep doing the job, more power!

  25. jotham seith haenz -  October 14, 2010 - 8:22 pm

    i find it untrue but nevertheless its quite fascinating!

  26. John -  October 14, 2010 - 8:09 pm

    Wow,this is awsome!I hope tehre is a video how it is like and how it moves and how it attacks other creaturs!KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!

  27. WALNUT -  October 14, 2010 - 8:04 pm

    If you go down with the submersables into the depths we never explored before you would see this isn’t such a much. They find animals living there that just can’t be…….. but they are.

  28. Zeke G. -  October 14, 2010 - 7:55 pm

    Ok, for starters this is not fake in the least. The fish is real, the origin behind Dracula is real, Vlaud (the prince who compromises with his adolecent hormone charges by sticking lubricated, wooden stakes up his enemy’s rear) is unfortunately real, too.
    Second, whoever writes these things should go viral… and possibly write a couple articles for my newspaper… it sucks. I mean the style of writing makes me enjoy what I read (and learn), when I read it. Instead of the infamous, monotomous drone of a professor that probably is too old to be wearing that neon/pastel polo with matching bell-bottom pants, I feel like I’m talking to a friend… but he has a slight case of the Bing disease that makes you know random facts about cool stuff.

  29. Eilanna -  October 14, 2010 - 7:48 pm

    This is really grotesque!!! I so would not want to be that fish right now!!! I really like the scientists discovery!! Good job, keep up the good work!!!

  30. Weirdy -  October 14, 2010 - 7:39 pm

    The reason why they made have made it out of clay is because since the fish is translucent the light would go through it and you couldn’t see it properly.

  31. sucks -  October 14, 2010 - 7:28 pm

    WOW!!!!!!! that is soooooo cool!!!!! But Istill would not go swimming with that fish!! Ahhhh!:}

  32. sucks -  October 14, 2010 - 7:28 pm

    WOW!!!!!!! that is soooooo cool!!!!! But Istill would not go swimming with that fish!! Ahhhh!:}

  33. emptyStall -  October 14, 2010 - 7:17 pm

    @ Jazmine

    It’s called an electron microscope. The zoom is just in the hundreds.

  34. Jordan -  October 14, 2010 - 6:56 pm

    Huh. cool…?

  35. Ann -  October 14, 2010 - 6:52 pm

    Um . . . just how do you “discover” a new fish in your fish tank?????

  36. Sunshine -  October 14, 2010 - 6:39 pm

    I wish they would have talked more about the fish…hahaha. But still very cool!

  37. Ying Emmy -  October 14, 2010 - 6:22 pm

    Wow. I’m reading Dracula right now. And I had a dream, my friend had spliced together a movie for me, and put it on my blogspot, and it was about something happening, and something else happening. It’s pretty enjoyable. Whut a funny world.

  38. Angela Mercado -  October 14, 2010 - 6:16 pm

    It is very interesting to me the animal that exist in our waters…this animal could be named “Dracula”… because of its fangs of course.

  39. Nazat -  October 14, 2010 - 6:08 pm


  40. Estwban Lopez -  October 14, 2010 - 5:56 pm

    soooooooooo……..soooooooooooooo………absolutely cool that somathing like this exists in the oceans

  41. Chris Wolverton -  October 14, 2010 - 4:53 pm

    Mainly, the ocean has fantastic things, that exist! I know of a fish that was as big as the dinosaurs.

  42. Bambi -  October 14, 2010 - 4:20 pm

    .that is fake that is clay

  43. C.S. -  October 14, 2010 - 3:35 pm

    that is an interesting fish. your not going to find that in a pond or lake!!!!

  44. Tyler -  October 14, 2010 - 3:10 pm

    Of course it is going to be made of clay, they have only found one in the wild just then, and if that fish cannot find a mate, then that further endagers the eco-system, so that is why they made a model of it in clay.


  45. Sean -  October 14, 2010 - 2:53 pm

    LOL cool. But it doesn’t explain the coffin thing?

  46. Jordan -  October 14, 2010 - 2:51 pm

    Wow, that is so cool! I am so going to use this fish for my english report!

  47. sarah -  October 14, 2010 - 2:34 pm


  48. dylan metz -  October 14, 2010 - 2:30 pm

    is this the top info bring more info it really does look interesting

  49. dylan metz -  October 14, 2010 - 2:28 pm

    tht is soooooo cool and not i love i want more of it so come on with more come on bring info babea come on wooi hoo and it dont look like clay

  50. find o -  October 14, 2010 - 2:22 pm

    that is amasing

  51. Chris Bosch -  October 14, 2010 - 2:22 pm

    um, yeah…tht fish is cool….uh huh, thts about it and GO HEAT!

  52. winne zheng -  October 14, 2010 - 2:11 pm


  53. carlo manuel mendoza -  October 14, 2010 - 1:50 pm

    GOD is a God of variety and wonders! Creation shows His limitless works of design and artistry.

  54. noman -  October 14, 2010 - 1:49 pm

    hello, is the fish like a blood sucker or something.wonder how it would taste.

  55. bacon girl -  October 14, 2010 - 1:36 pm

    thats so koolio i love ocean sea stuff

  56. nathaniel vivanco -  October 14, 2010 - 1:34 pm


  57. Tas -  October 14, 2010 - 1:23 pm

    I think this is very interesting but there isn’t a lot of information
    on this topic so it is honestly hard to entirely believe this creature
    truly exists or existed

  58. Bryant Lin -  October 14, 2010 - 1:16 pm

    Whoah, a fish that stabs other fishes with it’s fangs.Cool. I wouldn’t want one in my aquarium though ;D

  59. Kaze -  October 14, 2010 - 12:55 pm

    jazmine that is a model to show u how it looks like

  60. kaloana -  October 14, 2010 - 12:40 pm

    thats is soo clay!
    but i woukd be cool if the discovered something new

  61. Mrs. Doe -  October 14, 2010 - 12:30 pm

    Well this is an interesting little thing. I dont really believe it. I agree with jazmine looks like clay pretty fake. It also looks a lot like Mariah Williams BAHAHHAHAH

  62. Serge -  October 14, 2010 - 12:20 pm

    “The fish actually was first found in 2009, in a fish tank in Britain, but was only discovered in the wild this year.”

    WTF? A new species discovered in a fish tank?

  63. chris n. v. -  October 14, 2010 - 12:13 pm

    can they like show the whole fish or a sketch of who it would look like in color.

  64. modesto leal -  October 14, 2010 - 12:13 pm

    wow it looks fake but i think it is real:)

  65. Anonymous -  October 14, 2010 - 11:40 am

    I would like to see the real fish….not just a clay model…

  66. biodun -  October 14, 2010 - 11:23 am

    Wow!!!!!!!! that is so awesome! man i wish i was a vampire (i am just playing)!

  67. Damon -  October 14, 2010 - 11:06 am

    this is cool…but i dont think its real

  68. Trayvon -  October 14, 2010 - 11:04 am

    This is freaky.

  69. class 204 -  October 14, 2010 - 10:48 am

    hello it is definitely not a sport

  70. Ashley -  October 14, 2010 - 10:42 am

    Man…this is fish looks AMAZING!

  71. Amy-lou -  October 14, 2010 - 10:38 am

    hey look it’s not real

  72. Gregory M. Elmthorp -  October 14, 2010 - 10:26 am

    Woah this fish! is So Scary to me! There’s so many we dont know about – this Website makes me feel, like an Explorer!

    - Prof. Greg

  73. Dethanos -  October 14, 2010 - 10:17 am

    “Prince Vlad III Dracul”?

    Vlad II was Vlad Dracul. Vlad III was Vlad the Impaler/Dracula.

  74. Nick -  October 14, 2010 - 10:02 am

    i love how people dont believe anything, why would they post it if it wasnt real. ignorant people piss me off. it is vey interesting that new species are still being found.

  75. Mark V -  October 14, 2010 - 9:57 am

    No, its pixels. Look! try and touch it. its just your computer screen. Its not a fish or clay at all.

    New species of fish: Cool
    special abilities – Teeth : Meh.
    Its no bioluminescence or shapeshifting Octopus.

    I highly recommend you Youtube the shapeshifting octopus, though. It be rad.

  76. Jasmine Jenkins -  October 14, 2010 - 9:47 am

    Very interesting that this type of animal exist… I find this very interesting and shocking to my nature…. keep up the good work..

  77. jazmine -  October 14, 2010 - 8:50 am

    that is fake that is clay

  78. fredricka -  October 14, 2010 - 8:39 am

    wow thats so cool how we’re finding new things everyday

  79. adrian smith -  October 14, 2010 - 8:22 am

    this is so look interesting but kinda sorta unbeleivable , even though the ocean has many secrets thats mainly why i do believe it!!!!!!!!!

  80. leanne -  October 14, 2010 - 7:56 am


  81. abbhy -  October 14, 2010 - 7:16 am

    What the hell???

  82. Peter O'Connor -  October 14, 2010 - 5:49 am

    Dracula – some suggest drá- cula bad-blood as in Irish/Gaelic. Stoker was born and raised in Dublin at a time his mother was a nurse during a terrible fever epidemic. H was confined to his bedroom for years partly raised by an(Irish-speaking)nanny. His mother would come home with tales of people wandering the streets marked by death as the plague took hold.
    Great background to a great story. Mary Shelly (Frankenstein) was Irish too.

  83. Hannah -  October 14, 2010 - 5:21 am


  84. Amy-lou -  October 14, 2010 - 5:18 am

    Okay I thought I was going to learn about a fish named dracula not where the name came from!!!!!!!!! Gosh this really disapointed me.

  85. KStil -  October 14, 2010 - 5:00 am

    Well…at least we finally have a fish that may be mildly scary on Halloween night.

  86. Emma Kang -  October 14, 2010 - 3:59 am

    This is so cool!!!!!!Read it and find out about Dracula’s!

  87. World Peace -  October 14, 2010 - 3:10 am

    such a nice story..
    How interesting!

  88. worrld suuckk -  October 14, 2010 - 3:08 am

    thak u for such a happy story..
    u DEPRESSING ppl

  89. alorah -  October 14, 2010 - 2:07 am

    it look like viper fish….

  90. Ben -  October 14, 2010 - 1:03 am

    Man I hate those random links that dictionary.com put in. Its like urs reading and boom! This random link is there, e.g (If this sounds scary, consider this: The word “hello” actually originates from danger. Why? Learn the genesis of this everyday word, here.)Kinda irrelevant.

  91. calvin -  October 13, 2010 - 11:49 pm

    how can it be “first found in 2009, in a fish tank in Britain, but was only discovered in the wild this year.” then it’s not really a discovery is it, if someone’s been keeping it in a tank for such a long time?

  92. ms.karma -  October 13, 2010 - 11:44 pm

    oh, that’s a tiny fish. i wish it was bigger so we could have a nicer view of its vampire-like fangs. :)

  93. lewi -  October 13, 2010 - 11:22 pm

    it rely look like dracula

  94. joepyn -  October 13, 2010 - 9:40 pm

    here in the philippines i think i discovered a “fishcroach” it’s a half fish and a cacroach..the head has a features of a cacroach..and the bottom half has a fish tail..when i attempted to photograph it..it got away..maybe it’s the fusion of the fish and croach here in my shop i found it while cleaning my flooded documents after the typhoon ondoy..evolution of life in my shop.AWESOME!!!:))

  95. madison -  October 13, 2010 - 9:22 pm

    I love this type of stuff if you have anything that you discovered plz email me!

  96. sweetheart -  October 13, 2010 - 9:08 pm

    Ha ha vampire fish who pokes other fish, next thing u know thell discover a zombie fish, who eats other fish brains.

  97. Nicholas Ha -  October 13, 2010 - 8:25 pm

    This is sooooo cool and AWESOME! :)

  98. Aoikitty -  October 13, 2010 - 8:18 pm

    i would not like to be an innocent little fishy swimming around near that thing.

  99. allie -  October 13, 2010 - 7:33 pm

    wow scary fish!

  100. social worker -  October 13, 2010 - 7:22 pm

    fang is a dog tooth as noun and as verb means driving fast, that I just found out the latter.

    according to dictionary.com, the origin of fang
    bef. 900; ME fangen to seize, catch; c. OS fangan, G fangen, var. of proto-Gmc *fanhan-, whence OE fōn, c. OS, OHG, Goth fāhan, ON fā; akin to OE gefangian to fasten

  101. Bee -  October 13, 2010 - 7:21 pm

    Vlad’s father won the tournament they held each year for multiple years in a row earning him a special title. He was known as the dragon, or something similar to that which later became dracul. This word in Romanian now means devil. In any case, Vlad was one of the best leaders Romania has ever had, and definitely one of the bravest.

  102. Titte B ooB -  October 13, 2010 - 6:38 pm

    I like fish. Well I like to look at them and eat them but I Don’t like to Touch them because they are Squirmy and Scaley and they feel all gross and stuff. Anyways, I think the vampire fish thing is kinda cool, I bet it Sparkles in the daylight like the vamps in Twilight and I think that is hot. I wonder if they are going to name another fish after Lucien the werewolf guy from Underworld that would be sooo fetch.

  103. Ms. Klipp -  October 13, 2010 - 5:39 pm



  104. Gregory M. Elmthrop -  October 13, 2010 - 5:35 pm

    I forgot to sign My Name, before.

    - Professor G. Emlthrop

  105. jonnyBgangsta -  October 13, 2010 - 4:37 pm

    dude fishes isn’t a real word the plural of fish is just fish
    i can’t how can dictionarycom make such a simple mistake!!

  106. NO FISH TODAY | BLOGCHI@mayopia.com -  October 13, 2010 - 4:34 pm

    [...] is a fish first discovered in a fish tank in Britain — and later Far East away. — Immigration has tightened — it’s fittin [...]

  107. Maddy M. -  October 13, 2010 - 4:31 pm


  108. Gregory M. Elmthrop -  October 13, 2010 - 4:28 pm

    That fish is Scary! Thank’s for the Post about this Fascinating Topic! I hate fish, to eat, but Love learning about them and the Word’s about Them!

  109. David E. -  October 13, 2010 - 4:19 pm

    In Latin, dracula would be the feminine terminology for “little dragon” (masculine would be draculus).

  110. Curly Hair -  October 13, 2010 - 4:09 pm

    “Take a stab at his preferred method of execution.”

    Nicely done. I like your sense of humor.

  111. Nathan -  October 13, 2010 - 3:57 pm

    This is probably the only fish I will actually own…except maybe pirhannas and lionfish.


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