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Underwater Photobomb: Porcupine Fish Steals the Show

Image: Spotted Porcupinefish
A diver looks at spotted porcupine fish underwater in Red Sea, Egypt. ANDREY NEKRASOV / Barcroft Media via Landov

You won't meet a more charming photobomber than this startled porcupine fish.

One evening in November, photographer Andrey Nekrasov was on a dive looking for nocturnal wildlife, near Sharm al-Sheik in the Red Sea, off the coast of Egypt.

The group was at a depth of about 26 feet (8 meters) when this startled specimen — a porcupine fish — joined the party.

"He accidentally hit me in the flashlight beam," Nekrasov wrote to NBC News in an email. "But he did not see me."

Neksarov sneaked a photo of the fish before it inflated, then took a few of the puffed-up photobomber before swimming away.

Robert Robins, a senior biologist at the Division of Ichthyology at the Florida Museum of Natural History, identified the fish as a member of the "diodontid" family, and a relative of the family known as pufferfish.

When startled, both puffers and porcupine fish swell up by swallowing water into a stomach pouch — but "they can perform the same trick out of water using air!" Robins told NBC News in an email.

Some species carry a toxin in their organs, which is lethal if the fish is eaten without being cleaned.