Stonefish (Laszlo Ilyes / CC BY)

The stonefish, a member of the scorpionfish family, is characterized by its stout body, widely separated bulging eyes, and an upturned mouth. It typically lies motionless and half-buried in the sediment of coastal waters and is easily mistaken for a stone covered with algae. It can reach 35 centimeters (13.8 inches) in length. The stonefish is the world's most venomous fish and is responsible for many human fatalities. The venomous dorsal fin spines are able to penetrate the sole of a tennis shoe.

Inhabits the Indo-Pacific Ocean.

skull and crossbones

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This supplemental online resource accompanies the book Scuba Diving Hand Signals by Lars Behnke, available on Amazon.