Saige Sewell, Writer

The humuhumunukanukuāpua’a is the Hawaiian state fish. The majority of Hawaiian names have a deep meaning. The beginning humuhumu means triggerfish. The end nukunukuāpua’a translates to “snouts like pig”. when these fish feel threatened they make a grunting noise that is similar to a pig. This fish is present in Hawaiian mythology. It is closely associated with the demigod Kama Pua’a. Kama Pua’a was a shapeshifter who turned into a wild boar. He began to fall in love with Pele, the goddess of fire and lava. Kama Pua’a was ruthless and Pele had enough so she threw steam and lava at him and he fled. As soon as he touched the ocean he turned into a Humuhumunukunukuāpua’a. This fish spends its days along the ocean floor eating algae and invertebrates in the sand. At night they sort of wedge themselves into a safe place by opening up their three spines. This fish prefers a shallow outer reef environment and are often found on surge-swept basalt reefs. The colors of the Humuhumu are very beautiful. One cool thing about their color is that when they are sleeping their colors will appear dull but when the fish is healthy and thriving the colors are very vibrant. They have have blue lips and blue teeth that are very close together. This fish can be pretty aggressive towards other organisms nearby. Once in a While they even attack swimmers usually the swimmers ankles. Sometimes it leaves a mark! Don’t tick off the fishy.