Stonefish inhabit tropical areas of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Stonefish rest on the ocean floor and typically live in coral and rocky reefs. Rock and sediment help camouflage them.
Some stonefish are so sedentary that algae grows on their bodies. Their disguises hide them from both prey and predators. Stonefish have back spines that inject venom when they feel threatened. The venom is able to kill an adult human within one hour. Pain and swelling quickly occur at the site of the sting, but the venom affects many bodily systems. Symptoms include difficulty breathing, nausea and vomiting, muscle twitching, delirium, seizures, paralysis and heart failure.