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What the Heck Is This?

Anyone who knows what the thing that this is a close-up of will have no trouble guessing what it is.

A lot of people will guess something similar but miss the mark just slightly, I bet.

Need a hint: I think not, today. See the full-size image below and an explanation…

It's the mouth of a Koi (Cyprinus carpio) that has come to the surface of a lily pond "in hopes of finding some food," say the photographers, Linda and Dr. Dick Buscher.  "These native carp from Central Europe and Asia are now found around the world adding color and charm to man-made ponds.  They were first bred for their color mutations in China over a thousand years ago."

In a nutshell, koi is domesticated, colorful carp.

Did you guess goldfish? That's what I would've thought it was, not knowing my Koi.

Koi (Cyprinus carpio) are carp native to Central Europe and Asia that have been domesticated and shipped to ponds all over the world. (Image credit: Linda and Dr. Dick Buscher)

Got a strange or interesting photo related to science, nature or technology? What the Heck, send it to me, and maybe I'll use it. Or follow me on Twitter, or Facebook.

Robert Roy Britt
Rob was a writer and editor at Space.com starting in 1999. He served as managing editor of Live Science at its launch in 2004. He is now Chief Content Officer overseeing media properties for the sites’ parent company, Purch. Prior to joining the company, Rob was an editor at The Star-Ledger in New Jersey, and in 1998 he was founder and editor of the science news website ExploreZone. He has a journalism degree from Humboldt State University in California.