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Want to know more about the most beautiful fishes in the world? Here’s a list of 25 beautiful fishes that you can see when going snorkeling and scuba diving in the ocean:

Lionfish

The lionfish is one of the worlds most beautiful fishes, known all over the world for its unique appearance. They are characterized by their beautiful colors and striped bodies with spiky venomous fin rays.

Lionfishes are quite dangerous for humans, and can cause extreme pain, fever, vomiting, nausea, heartburn, diarrhea, numbness, and breathing difficulties. In rare cases, a sting from the lion fish can cause temporary paralysis of the limbs, heart failure, and death. However, it’s most common for young children, for those with weak immune systems, or the elderly.

The lionfish is native to the Indo-Pacific, and is most commonly seen around the edges of reefs, in lagoons, and on rocky surfaces down to 50 m.

lion fish

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Clownfish

Clownfishes, also known as anemonefish, are often associated with the Disney movie Finding Nemo (where two of the main characters are clownfish). They are known to be one of the worlds most beautiful fishes because of the yellow/orange color and white stripes.

These fishes live in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean in sea anemones. They are shy fishes, and are often hidden inside the sea anemones when a predator is close.

clown fish

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Banggai Cardinalfish

The Banggai cardinalfish is a small tropical fish found around the Banggai Islands of Indonesia. They inhabits shallow habitats, including coral reefs and seagrass beds.

They are characterized by their beautiful colors and patterns of both stripes and dots.

Banggai cardinalfishes are today endangered due to the aquarium trade. A significant number of these fishes are captured in the wild, which has lead them to be an endangered species.

beautiful fishes

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Siamese Fighting Fishes

Siamese fighting fishes is another popular fish in the aquarium trade, and they are today a vulnerable species.

They are native to the Mekong basin of Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, but is mostly seen in the Chao Phraya river in Thailand. This species can be found in both floodplains, rice paddies, and in standing waters of canals.

Siamese fighting fishes are characterized by their beautiful bright colors and flowing fins. They can vary in color from blue, red, orange, yellow, black and green.

Betta Fish

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Regal Angelfish

The regal angelfish, also known as the royal angelfish, is a 25 cm long fish found in the tropical Indo-Pacific oceans.

They can be found in the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean around East Africa and the Maldives to the Tuamoto Islands, New Caledonia, and Great Barrier Reef. The northernmost place to see them is around Taiwan and the Ryukyu Islands and Ogasawara Islands of Japan.

Their bodies are covered in narrow blue, white, and orange stripes with a black or blue dorsal fin and a yellow caudal fin.

Regal Angelfish

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Blueface Angel Fish

Blueface angel fishes are found in the shallow parts of the Indo-Pacific. They are most commonly seen in coral reefs in the islands of Maldives, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, Taiwan, Philippines, Micronesia and northern Australia.

This fish has gotten its name from the striking facial coloration, which has a bright blue color. It’s no doubt one of the most beautiful fishes in the world.

Blueface Angel Fish

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Ghost Pipefish

The ghost pipefish is found in the Indo-Pacific where they live in tropical waters.

They are around 15 cm (5.9 in) long and are characterized by their long snout and spikes covering their bodies. Ghost pipefishes can change shape and coloration depending on the environment they’re in.

beautiful fishes

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Regal Tang

The rengal tang is a colorful fish with a royal blue body with a black pattern and a yellow fin. It has become known all over the world from being one of the main characters of the Disney movie Finding Nemo.

They can grow up to 30 cm (12 in) in length and weight around 600 grams (21 oz). Rengal tangs are found throughout the Indo-Pacific, most commonly seen in reefs around the Philippines, Indonesia, Japan, Samoa, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, Sri Lanka, and East Africa.

Regal Tang

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Emperor Angelfish

These beautiful fishes are native to the Indian and Pacific Oceans – from the Red Sea to Hawaii and the Austral Islands.

Juveniles are dark blue in color with pale blue and white rings. When they get older they get a beautiful pattern of blue and yellow stripes with black color around their eyes.

Juvenile Emperor Angelfish

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beautiful fishes

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Moorish Idol

The Moorish idol is a marine fish species found in tropical and subtropical reefs and lagoons in the Indo-Pacific. It’s common to see them around East Africa, Hawaii, southern Japan, Micronesia, and in the Persian Gulf, Indian Ocean, and the southern Gulf of California.

They have gotten their name from the Moors in Africa, who believed the fish to be a bringer of happiness.

Moorish idols are characterized by their compressed bodies with bands of black, yellow and white. They have small fins and a big dorsal fin.

Moorish Idol

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Clown Triggerfish

The clown triggerfish is a quite big fish and can grow up to 50 cm (19.5 in). It’s known for its beautiful colors, leopard-like pattern and big white spots.

These fishes are found in tropical and subtropical waters of the Indian Ocean until the western Pacific Ocean and western Atlantic Ocean. They are most commonly seen in clear water along reef slopes.

most beautiful fishes in the world

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Rusty Parrotfish

The rusty parrotfish is one of the worlds most beautiful fishes because of its bright colors and patterns. This species is found on coral reefs in the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf, and the Gulf of Aden.

They are around 41 cm (16 in) long with multicolored bodies. The bodies are blue and green in color, but can also have a brownish color with light and dark bands.

Rusty Parrotfish

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Candy Basslet

The candy basslet is a small narrow fish that’s known for its beautiful colors and patterns. They have an orange-colored body with horizontal purple stripes and black spots on their fins.

They are most commonly seen in Indonesia and the Caribbean.

Candy Basslet

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Wrought Iron Butterflyfish

This is a species of butterflyfish that’s native to the western Pacific Ocean. They are active swimmers and are most commonly seen near central and southern Japan.

They can grow up to 15 cm (6 in) and are characterized by their blue bodies and bright yellow color at the end of their fins.

Wrought Iron Butterflyfish

Photo: Shutterstock

Picasso Triggerfish

The Picasso Triggerfish, also known as the lagoon triggerfish, can grow up to 30 cm (11.8) in length and are found in the Indo-Pacific region.

Fun fact: The Hawaiian name for the fish is humuhumunukunukuāpuaʻa.

Picasso Triggerfish

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Mandarinfish

This is no doubt one of the worlds most beautiful fishes. It’s naive to the Pacific and are usually found in th warm waters from the Ryukyu Islands to Australia.

The mandarinfish is characterized by its vivid colors and beautiful patterns.

beautiful fishes

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French Angelfish

The French angelfish is a fish species found in the western Atlantic from New York and Bahamas to Brazil. It’s also found in the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and the eastern Atlantic at depths of 2-100 meters (6.7-328 ft).

Their bodies are black with a golden yellow pattern. Juveniles are black with vertical yellow bands.

French Angelfish

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Royal Gramma

The royal gramma, also known as the fairy basslet, is a species that’s native to the tropical waters of the western Atlantic Ocean.

They are known for their bright purple color from the head that fade into a golden yellow color at the tail.

Royal Gramma

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Flowerhorn Cichlid

This is no doubt one of the world’s most unique fishes. The flowerhorn cichlids are characterized by their vivid colors and big hump on their head.

These fishes are man-made and was first developed in Malaysia, Thailand and Taiwan. However, many of them have been released to the wild, especially in Malaysia and Singapore, where they have become an invasive pest animal.

worlds most beautiful fishes

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Pufferfish

The majority of the pufferfish species are toxic and some are even among the most poisonous vertebrates in the world. It’s a small to medium sized fish that can vary in both colors, size, and patterns.

Even though they can look quite different from each other, they all are characterized by their ability to fill up the elastic stomachs with water (or air when outside the water) – which gives them a round shape.

Most pufferfish species are found in the tropical regions of South America, Africa, and Southeast Asia.

Pufferfish

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Guineafowl puffer

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Flame Angelfish

One of the worlds most beautiful fishes is the flame angelfish. It’s a fish that’s found in the tropical waters of the Pacific Ocean.

They are characterized by their bright orange-red body with black spots and stripes.

Flame Angelfish

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Goldfish

The goldfish is a freshwater fish native to East Asia. There are different spices of goldfish, so they can vary in both size, shape, and color.

They can have colors of both white, yellow, orange, red, black and brown.

beautiful fishes

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Discus

The discus fish is native to the Amazon river basin in South Africa and are characterized by their shape, bright colors and patterns.

They have a compressed rounded body, which has given them their name ”discus”.  They can reach a length of 15 cm (6 in) and weight up to 250 g (8.8 oz).

Discus

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Mbuna fish

Mbuna fishes lives along the rocky shores of Lake Malawi in Africa, often seen among piles of rock. They are known for their beautiful colors and patterns.

They are quite aggressive and territorial, and also have a clearly visible social hierarchy. The dominant males maintains a spherical territory, and only allows females to enter the territory for breeding.

Mbuna

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Coral Beauty

The Coral Beauty is a small angelfish that’s around 8 cm (3 in) long. They are characterized by their blue bodies with yellow to red stripes.

This species is native to the Indo-Pacific where they live in lagoons and coral reefs.

beautiful fishes

Photo: Shutterstock


Which ones do you think is the most beautiful fishes in the world? Leave a comment below!