Steam Charts: Perfectly Normal Edition

Nothing strange here.

Welcome to my nightmares. As chronicled last week, all human progress is wiped out by a Steam Sale. Where once we were a species that revelled in new, interesting ideas, pursuing our dreams, we are once more wedged neck-deep in the past, doomed to buy the same £40 five-year-old games until we rot and coagulate into a molten horror. Welcome to the Steam Charts!

So how about instead we return to that oasis of safety and solace in the midst of the worst excesses of this horror-column: weird fish facts!

10. ARK: Survival Evolved

He looks so innocent, until you find him in your kitchen, going through your wallet.
By Brian GratwickeSnakehead – Channa argus, CC BY 2.0, Link

Ok, listen up: the snakehead can just get out of the water. It needs to be able to, because after it’s done eating every other creature in a lake or pond it’s still hungry. And I don’t mean, quickly hop out and back into water. It can spend three days out of the wet, merrily breathing air with its gills. According to, former US Interior Sec Gale Norton said, “snakeheads can eat almost any small animal in its path”.

Oh but they’re small, right? Nope. They can grow to a metre long. The reproduce fast. Their only real predator is themselves, as they get so hungry they eat their own babies. What I’m trying to tell you is we’re all going to die.

9. The Forest

No no, those are just his internal organs getting sprayed out of his bumhole.
By Brocken Inaglory

The sea cucumber seems a relatively innocuous sea-based oddity, until you realise this echinoderm can vomit/shit out its internal organs to scare off predators. Or, some claim, for its own amusement.

And then they don’t just pull their tangle of tummy tubes back in again – they shed them, and grow some new ones over a couple of weeks. On planet Earth.

8. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

An excellent pet if you have a two mile deep fish tank.
By Laurence Madin, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

One of my most favourite things about sea creatures is when you read, “We don’t really know much about the…” I love how impossibly alien and unknowable so much of our planet really is. And indeed, we don’t really know much about the mightily named teuthidodrilus. Or, slightly less mightily named, squidworm.

It was only discovered in 2007, and lives 2,800 metres below the surface. That’s 1,7 miles straight down. It has ten tentacle-like things on its head, hence the comparison with a squid, and after that they know it’s anatomy and not much else. It can swim! It consumes bits and bobs that sink to the bottom of the sea (“marine snow”), it… nope, that’s it. It’s probably planning to destroy us all.

7. Jurassic World Evolution

It's essentially a pod hotel.
By Kevin Raskoff, Cal State Montereyderivative work: Crisco 1492 (talk) – Marrus_orthocanna.jpg, Link

Silly old you, thinking this is a single creature! You dafty! This is a colony. Like the Portuguese man o’ war, this is a bunch of beasties living together and functioning as one. It’s essentially the way the RPS Hivemind works, with Graham as its brain, the team functioning as vital body parts, and Alec and me as its bottom. And like RPS, all the different parts are all born from a single fertilised egg.

The different parts are called zooids, which was my favourite TV show in the 80s, linked by a stem – the stem forms from the first protozooid to develop, which buds off all the other parts! They get to several metres long, and none of its individual parts can exist without the others, and goodness me, nature.

6. Divinity: Original Sin 2

Gizza kiss, fishface.
By Rein KetelaarsFlickr: DSCN1938.jpg, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

One of the Galapagos Islands’ many peculiar residents, this demonstration of the Darwinian is an anglerfish not so great at swimming, but better at walking. Their pectoral fins are used as legs letting it mimic walking along the bottom of the sea.

It also has rosy red lips making it look VERY SEXY.

5. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt GOTYE

Flayed shark, anyone?
By © Citron / , CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Sharks from an alternative universe where everything is 73% worse than our own universe would look like frilled sharks. Except they are from our universe, so I guess everything is 73% worse?

They could well have the longest gestation of any vertebrate, about two and a half years, but brilliantly they’re so mysterious people really aren’t sure. You don’t tend to see these guys in your local aquarium. In fact, only a handful of humans have ever even seen one alive! BECAUSE THEY ARE BIDING THEIR TIME.

4. Final Fantasy XV Windows Edition

This is the best sandcastle I've ever seen.
By Canvasman21 at the English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Like your mum, the wonderfully named stargazer has its eyes and mouth on top of its head. And just like her, it buries itself under the sand before leaping out to ambush prey. It even has a little lure that it pokes up out of its mouth and wiggles to trick fishies in coming to look. Like your mum does.

Also, they are poisonous. Your mum is poisonous. And some of them, in a manner almost identical to that of your mother, can deliver electric shocks.

I’m saying your mum is a venomous electric ambushing fish monster.

2. Grand Theft Auto V

Basically the ocean is filled with your nightmares, and they are all coming to get you.
By Peter Marriott – NOAA, Public Domain, Link

Right, I admit I don’t actually know anything about the Snaggletooth fish, other than it has another name:


I mean, something had to get that name, and it’s pretty weird it’s this uggo, but goodness me. They can create their own light down in the deep dark sea, to help with hunting, with that chin dongle obviously irresistible to prey. And presumably one day they will rise up and eat the stars.

3 & 1. Plunkbat

I've never wanted to cuddle and not cuddle something so much.
By th1098Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Let’s finish on a classic. The ridiculously cute axolotl salamander. Which, despite being able to regenerate its own limbs, is dangerously close to extinction. There’s a certain irony there, for sure.

It can regrow an entire severed limb in just months, and has even been shown to be able to regenerate organs, including parts of their brains! On top of that, they’re more than happy to have any old bits of another axolotl transplanted onto them, and then use it, even eyes, and then regenerate these to working condition too!

Oddly enough, their closeness to extinction exists in the wild, while in captivity their own superpowers might have saved them as a species – they’re in so many labs being researched upon that people are keeping them going. But it’s still brutal. In 1998 there were 6,000 pairs per square kilometre in their Mexican habitat, but by 2013 absolutely none were found in a four-month search.

But still, they’re very cute!

The Steam Charts are compiled via Steam’s internal charts of the highest grossing games on Steam over the previous week.


  1. Benkyo says:

    Enjoyed this a lot, thanks!

  2. mcjamieuk says:

    All very interesting, but for god’s sake I need to know, what are Rockstar spending the GTA V money on this week?

  3. ji_ji says:

    “I’m saying your mum is a venomous electric ambush fish monster.”

    How do you nominate someone for a Pulitzer, is there an app for the public vote or something?

  4. laggyluk says:

    Those steam charts are amazing, thanks!

  5. Grizzly says:

    Number Zero: Odell Down Under.

  6. Premium User Badge

    distantlurker says:

    Another great read. Thanks John!

  7. Roest says:

    Someone explain to me, how does not everyone already own two copies of GTAV. Ok I’m guilty as well, I own two copies but that’s for PS3 and PC and it was years ago. I’d say this is getting ridiculous if it was wasn’t getting ridiculous last year already. Is that really new copies of the game or do their shark money cards count a well?

    • John Walker says:

      Thank goodness you said “shark” because otherwise we might have had to delete this for being too far off topic.

    • Premium User Badge

      phuzz says:

      I’ve heard that it’s down to people getting banned for cheating, and buying a new copy, but I have no evidence to back that up.
      Maybe what Rockstar are spending their money on is more copies of GTA?

    • krai says:

      I do not how, but I still do not have even one copy. Maybe there is something fishy about me.

    • unacom says:

      Uhm. I don´t even own one copy. Nor do I own this PS3 thing, you speak of. Is it edible?
      Were we to talk Jagged Alliance though… guilty.
      Also, Mantis shrimp.

    • Kefren says:

      Each year more people grow older and get into gaming to replace those that die off. It is impossible to have 100% saturation.
      Also, I don’t own this game – wouldn’t buy anything with extra DRM, let alone where they can take stuff out of your games with it.

    • Grizzly says:

      I think it’s just that GTAV is one of those few games that actually has mainstream appeal. Steam Spy had an article on how if you have a game on steam you basically have an audience of 1.3 million people. GATV is just one of those games that it is in itself a market, like, say, Fortnite. So it keeps beating the steam charts simply because it’s market isn’t on steam.

    • kud13 says:

      kud13 says:
      I do not own GTA 5, CGO, Plunkbat, OR SKYRIM.

      I do, however have a GOTY edition of Witcher 3. On GOG.

      I suspect that the latter disqualifies me from getting the Goldfish cracker as a reward

    • Shinard says:

      I think it must be the shark money cards. The 3 games that’re on this list consistently – Plunkbat, GTAV and CSGO – are all full price games with microtransactions, so I guess that’s tricking the system. It doesn’t include F2P games, so DOTA 2 and Paladin don’t get in the charts, and the only other big full price releases with microtransactions are off Steam – Overwatch, Destiny etc.

  8. Jerppa says:

    And like RPS, #7 apparently farts fire.

  9. krai says:

    Best Steam Charts article ever. Thank you!

  10. Sunny_Troglodyte says:

    Reset my long-forgotten password just so I could show my appreciation for this splendid edition of the Steam Charts

  11. Axolotl says:

    I’m No. 1, RPS says so!

  12. LewdPenguin says:

    Having had a great many shall we say ‘energetic’ encounters with teuthidodrilus squidworms in subnautica, I don’t think there can be any doubt that they’re planning to destroy us all.

  13. InternetBatman says:

    I really, genuinely liked the fish facts.

  14. wackazoa says:

    And people are sooooooo obsessed with “little green bipedal men” with bug eyes. Aliens already live among us. And when the seas rise we will all be their feast!!!!!!

    Also, bravo on the long winded mom joke….


    • Premium User Badge

      particlese says:

      Given the tiny collection of rad stuff on show here (or even regardless of it), I can’t wait to see what we find in Enceladus, even if it’s “just” some weirdo bacteria.

  15. Josh W says:

    Zombie Carp.

  16. napoleonic says:

    It’s uncanny how much that frilled shark looks like Geralt.

  17. Premium User Badge

    Lo says:

    I forgot where I was for a minute, resurfaced, and then promptly dove back in. This was an amazing trip :D <3

  18. Neurotic says:

    I was reading up on Axolotls this past weekend after my 11-year-old suggested getting one for our aquarium. They’re known as ‘the walking fish’, and they’re amphibious salamanders, not fish. Also, it’s the increasing urbanisation and subsequent pollution of modern Mexico City that is threatening their wild existence. Cute little buggers. (I bought a new plant instead of an Axolotl, and it gave me trumpet snails which I was harvesting all day too. Serves me right, I suppose). :D

  19. heretic says:

    Best steam charts ever. Thanks John!

  20. tigerfort says:

    Definite applause for this week’s steam charts, John. May I suggest parasitic wasps for a future week?

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