It seems that Azeroth and Earth have more in common than pop culture references and noise pollution. Meet the handfish, an Earth-dwelling fish found in the waters of southeastern Australia that is oddly reminiscent our favorite aquatic Azerothians, the murlocs. As their name implies, handfish have hand-shaped fins which they use to walk on the ocean floor instead of swimming. (Check out this video if you want to see one ambling about.)
According to National Geographic, the handfish are no new discovery on Earth, but a recent scientific review evaluating the known populations of the fish have identified nine new species. The new species were determined on a number of traits, such as the number of vertebrae and fin rays, coloration and more.
Like murlocs, handfish are a scientific mystery in terms of behavior and biology, but unlike murlocs, this is due to their low population and small geographic occurrence. They are considered critically endangered, something Azeroth's adventurers only wish they could say about murlocs.
As many of our tipsters have pointed out, the handfish certainly do resemble WoW murlocs in a way, especially when you look at all the color varieties. I wonder what kind of sounds they make or if they can hold anything with those little hands? You know, like little sharpened spears? Perhaps Ghostcrawler, marine expert that he is, has some thoughts on how capable these little guys are or at least some insight on any connections that might exist between them and the murlocs of Azeroth.
Check out our murloc gallery and let us know what you think!