Vol. 3, No. 2 Page 5 February, 2001
Just add water to dirt and voila, Instant Fish in as little as 10 minutes! Sound like a commercial for some kind of new freeze-dried food product? Well, it's not! It is one of the most unusual creatures that God has created. Let's learn a little about this most unusual fish.
The fish is called the Salamanderfish and lives in Australia. It is about 2 inches long and lives in small ponds and shallow lakes. It appears to be just a normal fish on first inspection but its most unusual feature does not become obvious until the long, dry, hot Australian summer. For as the water in its pond begins to dry up, this fish disappears. It will remain 'gone' until the rains return and then in a matter of a few minutes it appears. This fish could have been out of the water for several months until wet weather occurs again. How can a fish live out of water for months at a time?
It appears that this marvelous creation of God has been given the ability to breathe through its skin. While under normal circumstances it breathes like all fish with its gills, during these long periods of drought the fish takes in oxygen directly through the skin. As the pond begins to dry up, the fish burrows down into the mud. Going deep enough that it never completely dries up, the fish can survive as long as its skin can stay damp. The fish probably goes into a period of dormancy, which slows down its metabolism and therefore its need for large quantities of oxygen. As water returns to soak the hard, dry ground the Salamanderfish wiggles up out of the mud none the worse for the experience.
Scientists studying this incredible creature have also found that not only is its ability to survive out of water totally unique, but it is particularly hardy in several other areas that most fish aren't. During the course of a normal day in Australia, the temperature in the ponds where it lives varies as much as 30 degrees. This wide range of temperature tolerance is very unusual in fish, and it is unclear how the Salamanderfish can survive in it. It also can tolerate an extremely large amount of acid in its environment which is also unusual.
So, as the scientists and evolutionists try to figure how this lowly fish came to have such unusual abilities, we will agree with the psalmist. "How marvelous are thy works, and that my soul knoweth well right" (Psalm 139:14).