Freckles + smile

A marvelous image sent in by Ms. Gabrielle Pope, of SF Chicks with Sticks. The image comes from one of those fabulous emails with a billion animal images in it. Email me if the photo is yours, for your credit!

/follow up, 3/4/06. The photographer is Shelley Sanders. Found by Cuteologist Heidi A. Thank you, Heidi!/




  1. Holy adorable, batman!

  2. What is this?! Caterpillar?!
    Teehee – like Yoda looks… :o)

  3. EEK.

    Hmm, I think maybe fishface looks more like E.T. than Yoda.

  4. It’s a Puffer Fish

  5. AWWW!!! No one must ever turn him into sushi.

  6. EEEEEEEE. My favorite!

  7. wow – this is unbelievably cute and weird at the same time. god/dess sure can create some amazing creatures.

  8. I would just love to cuddle it…if I was another fish!

  9. Love the smile. Very photogenic.

  10. Ick. No. Fish are not cute. I don’t care if it’s smiling, it’s slimey and scaley and has pokey things sticking out of its head. And major Beady Eye Factor.
    (runs off to find a nice puppy or bunny picture to look at)

  11. this is the only fish I will ever love….

  12. Beauregard says:

    Actually I was just going to post that I like his eyes; they are very pretty.

  13. Wow! I’ve never closely look at a Puffer fish like that before! Amazing close-up!

  14. E. Collison says:

    One word: kawaaaaiiiiii!!! (Faints.)

  15. this fish definitly does not have beady eyes – it’s eyes are anything but small! that’s also one of the reasons why i think this little fish is very, very cute – it looks so happy 🙂 my favorite fish is the cowfish, though. it’s bright yellow with spots and has little horns on its head. hee hee

  16. E. Collison says:

    Yep – a happy fish, with sparkly eyes. (Faints again.)

    I wants it, I does.

  17. It looks like the work of photographer Akiyoshi Ito.

  18. All I can think of is:
    “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming”

    NOW, let’s see how many folks get that reference..

    (StormCat waits….)

  19. StormCat: Finding Nemo! Weeeheheheee! =o)

    Ultimate in cuteness! ^,^

  20. Dory’s song in finding nemo.

  21. I just wandered her through many blogs and I lu-huh-huv your blog. It is really just wonderful!

  22. StormCat — I’m assuming the questions get harder as the contestants get closer to the $1M mark?

  23. This fish looks just like me!

  24. There seems to be a fine line here between cute and truly hideous …

    And a question for the experts: when I watch TV for 24 hours straight this weekend, is it conceivable that I’ll get overdosed with cuteness?

    (For sure I’ll get overdoes with hideousness.)

  25. Yes, it is quite adorable, but pufferfish only get puffy when they are truly aggrevated and angry & it can potentially affect their health for the worst. :/ sorry. heheh. But yes. cute.

  26. Oh, I have ALWAYS thought puffers have the most gorgeous eyes. They’re like lapis set in a ring of amber. Plus they’re all smiley… PLUS they can get pointy!

  27. oh my god…it’s trying out for the new version of little house on the prairie.He is their 1st choice, tied with “Whatever you say, Mr. Lasseter!”, and “Smile:You’re on underwater camera”.

  28. A local library has a huge saltwater aquarium with one of these little guys in it. Unlike all the other fish, this one will come to the glass and look at you while you look at it. It will even follow you as you walk around the aquarium 🙂

  29. He just looks so H A P P Y

  30. Wow, I am surprised at how cute this non-furry little guy really is! I am all for alternative cuteness.

  31. I didn’t know eyes could look juicy when they’re underwater! @_@

    HEE! AWW! Heheheee…


  32. Like stated above, cute and yet not so cute…which means it’s squeal worthy. ;D

  33. Let me tell you I worked in two offices with puffer fish and they are the sweetest most amiable “pets.” One of them would follow me from end to end of the fish tank (a rather large tank it was)with that adorable smile. Honestly, we’d play like that a few times a day. I really love them so much. I’m astonished that anyone would find them not cute. So weird, your loss.

  34. OH-MY-GOD! I’ve never SEEN the likes! Sure, its head is all spiney and sinister. But. . its like some benevolent alien from the abyss . . its purply eyes glimmering . . its little tinkerbell wings aflapping . . and . . its smiling!!! Aaaaa. We come in peace.

  35. I love pufferfish!!!! I squeeled with delight then died when I saw this little guy on here. How can you not like a cute little smiling feesh with glittery eyes?

  36. Pixar couldn’t create a fish this cute. Mercy.

  37. Thats such a great foto!!

  38. i’m in wuv!!! (and i luv this website…thanks for cheering me up today…I didn’t know that other people had “cuteness explosions” too!)

  39. I thought I was the only one with blowfish lovin’s- boy howdy am I glad that I obviously am not!!

  40. it’s ET!!

  41. anyone wants a sushi? yummi :DDD

  42. This just makes me laugh out loud!

  43. I bet it’s cockney.

    “i wanna go dahn the pub, see? – but the missus? Well, she shouts at me while i’m in the hall. I get all anooyed and *boof* i can’t get out the bleedin door, can I?”

  44. very unusaul

  45. Matt–ever heard of fugu…? Go on, try it–you’ll love it. Don’t mind that little piece of paper you have to sign before you chow down, though. It’s just a technicality.


  46. (The above was said in a humorous manner and not meant to be taken mean-spiritedly…)


  47. its lovley

  48. So, what is the basic policy if the copyright owner objects to your publishing his or her photograph and reaping the benefit of traffic, publicity, and goodwill based on their work?

    I was just curious how you handle that sort of thing since most of these works do not appear to be paid for.

  49. To “Content Owner” with website “” —

    If you have a specific, legitimate concern regarding any photo(s) posted in this blog, then I suggest you email the owner at . She does respond to reasonable requests.

    Also, since you mention “goodwill,” some friendly advice: The comments area for these blog entries amounts to a public forum, more or less. Posting in oblique, snide language will be counter-productive for you, more likely than not.

  50. That’s a really sweet smile..

  51. He looks like he’s about to say “Won’t you please donate generously?”

  52. Hi ‘Content Owner’,
    Of the hundreds of pictures posted, 2 people have written to request that pictures be taken down. Requests like that are no problem and always granted.


    P.S. Thanks, Theo 😉

  53. That is cute and strange at the same time. More cute, though. What kind of fish is that?

  54. Awwww! And I thought fish couldn’t be cute. Am very happy to be proved wrong. 🙂

  55. dwarf rabbit owner too! says:

    They can’t all be bunnies…I supose…

  56. Meg — now *I’m* curious — which pix have been removed by request? I was assuming it was the Junku and Shisso posts (Suuuupercat, and the macro shot of kitty tongue) but they’re still up.

    Junku apparently sent an actual cease-and-desist to YTMND, and I actually corresponded with Shisso a while back, who had been grousing a bit (rather like Content Owner here) and was somewhat mollified by being credited & linked to.

  57. Aha, here’s one…

  58. I instantly remembered where I saw this one before. It was on Steve’s digicams Picture of the day, , scroll down till you spot it. it’s probably the cutest fish photo in the history of digital photography :D.

  59. omg, i luvluvluv fish.
    u shold find 1 more fish, + make a fish page

  60. E. Collison says:

    I vote “yes” for a fish page.

  61. E. Collison says:

    I vote “yes” for a fish page.

  62. Theo,
    The two requests have both been bunnies. Both pictures have been taken down and you can see the entries, sans photos, here:

    I have not heard from Shisso—am I missing something? I hope not. I did not hear anything from Junku/Supercat!, other than from you to please link to the correct person, which we did, ASAP.

  63. Hi again Meg —

    The first reference to Shisso’s displeasure is here:
    …but I’m not too concerned about it; his sites have changed now and I can’t find the comments about the tongue close-up anywhere. (He never posted mine, opting instead to post his own responses sans context; he’s not what I’d call a classy moderator.) Besides, he’s done the same thing with other folks’ stuff (like Junku!) that you’ve done with his stuff.

  64. (Shisso’s rant is on Jan 13th in his blog archives: )

  65. Christina – well done, there they are. I’ve namelinked the comments & you’ll note that mine aren’t there. Shisso’s “I have no problem for them to use my images and all…” comment is actually in direct reply to a comment I’d submitted, pointing out that Meg had credited & linked to him as the source, without getting into any intellectual-property subtleties.

  66. Yeah – I don’t see what the problem is, honestly. Meg credits and links everyone’s images if she knows who they are and if she doesn’t, she asks people to email and let her know. (I wouldn’t mind free publicity – especially since it’s positive (!!).)

  67. He kind of reminds me of the aliens from Close Encounters of the Third Kind. If only he could do that weird sign language with his leetle fins.

  68. Looks like this guy here:

    I just want to kiss him ^^

  69. that smile , its photoshopped
    sorry to burst your collective bubble .. still a great image though 😀


    Must not… eat… the sad… ignoramus…

  71. I bought some of these fish and put them in with my goldfish. Yes puffers are cute, but also VERY MEAN. The next morning they had nipped to death two goldfish and my eel. All the surviving goldfish still had nipped fins which took two weeks to heal.

    They are adorable MONSTERS. If you buy one put them in a tank all by themselves.

  72. I love his smile !!!!!!!!!!

  73. Baby Gigi says:

    This is from the Vancouver Aquarium, right? I took a photo of the same porcupine fish with the exact same blue background and rocks at the bottom, except that the fish is not smiling in my photo. I call it “Patton” fish, naming it after a teacher.

    This looks like the smile might have been photoshopped.

  74. gigi falco says:

    How silly to say you know where it’s from, all water is blue and all aquariums have rocks, and to insult someone’s picture is so rude.
    Anyways, I love puffers.
    It is absolutely adorable.

  75. I am the photographer of this photo. It has been, by far, my most popular photo with requests for it weekly from around the globe. It has been stolen and entered into a county fair and it has been copied many times over on the web, but it has brought me in some nice money. The smile was not achieved by PhotoShop. PhotoShop was used to brighten the photo. The smile is 100% authentic and is what is special about the photo to me. Also, this was through the glass at the local zoo. Funny, I never thought a balloon/puffer fish would be so appealing if not ‘blown up’, but this only proves how happy this fish was. I recently leased this image to Avanti. The creative dept. added a pencil, bubbles and glasses in a software program and it is now a birthday card. In the near future you will be able to find it in calendars, photo books, etc. I will try to find the email for this site and get the original on here for the skeptics. : )

  76. The Libster says:

    The caption (in the email this came from) bothered me. On this pic it said something about having a face only a mother could love. I tell you he is damned adorkable, this puffy!!!

  77. *humming to herself*
    when your smiling
    when your smiling
    the whole world smiles with you

    when your laughing
    oh, when your laughing
    the sun comes shining through