Sep 06 2016

15 Bizarre Creatures from the Sea

15 Bizarre Creatures From the Sea




The Rattail Fish — This monstrosity has a head and an enormous mouth that surely can’t be real.  Just looking at it makes you feel like you’re slipping into some kind of vortex.  Well, this is called Grenadier (grine-uh-deer) Fish or a Rattail Fish.  It gets the latter name by virtue of having a tail fin that tapers to a point.  It can grow up to 5 feet long (1.5 meters) … And it is real, take a look at this picture from coolweirdo.com.  These fish live at depths of over 19,000 feet  (6000 meters) from the Arctic to Antarctic, so just a few have ever been caught.  



Scale Worm —  also known as Polychaetes (polly-keets).  These small but scary-looking creatures live more than 3200 feet (1,000 meters) below the water’s surface, where it’s too deep to receive sunlight.  Take a look at these pictures from the Daily Mail.  They’re tough little animals, too having evolved to survive to the seabed’s extreme cold temperatures and the heated water found near hydrothermal vents, where water temps can reach over 700 degrees fahrenheit (375 degrees centigrade).  The Scale Worm’s most unique feature might be the way it eats its food, which is thought to be smaller creatures and bacteria.  Their mouths actually turn inside out to catch their prey!  The Scale Worm proves once again that some of the most alien-looking life forms in the universe can be found in our very own oceans.



Squat Lobster — These animals resemble the headcrab and can exist as deep as 16,000 feet (5000m) below the ocean surface.  Their compressed bodies have huge front claws as you can see.  These crustaceans are almost always found near deep-sea corals, and are known to be scavengers or predators.  This particular species of Squat Lobster as shown in this picture from listverse.com was discovered off the coast of New Zealand in 2012.



The Rhinochimaera (rhino-ki-meera) —  As you can see in this picture from thehindunews.com, a fisherman is holding a scary looking fish that is thought to be a full-grown specimen of Rhinochimaera, an extremely rare fish that lives in the deep seas.  The creature was caught 40 nautical miles south of Pamban (pahm-bahn) India, in 2014.  The Rhinochimaera is a genus of fish that comprises three species, the Africana, Atlantica and Pacifica.  They’re believed to range from Asia to Africa, Europe and North America.




Flabby Whalefish — This fish has a lot of bright colors for a creature that lives so far below the sea … this picture from seacreaturefacts.com displays an example of the “flabby whalefish” species, and was caught off New Zealand’s east coast at more than 1.3 miles (2km) underwater.  But this fish family has actually been found even deeper, at depths of over 11,000 feet (3,500 meters). You can see that the eyes are very small because at those extreme depths, the fish navigate by detecting vibrations.  Why do you think it’s called a ‘flabby’ whalefish.  Not because it doesn’t work out … It doesn’t have any ribs!




Basket Star  — Pretty amazing patterns created by this marine invertebrate, almost looks like a mass of seaweed..  Check out this picture from wired.com.  You can see that all those branches are actually fleshy arms, giving it a basket like appearance, hence its name.  To catch prey, they’ll coil their tendrils about their victims, usually small crustaceans or mollusks … Then the Basket Star will transport the food to its mouth, located underneath the central disc.  Did you know that these marine invertebrates can reproduce sexually or simply divide their bodies and regenerate themselves!




Sea Cucumber — These marine animals have leathery skin and an elongated body, generally measuring up to 12 inches long (30cm).  Sea Cucumbers are usually found on the seafloor and many collected are for human consumption … not because they taste like cucumbers, though.  They get that name because they resemble the fruit of the cucmber plant.




Glowing Sucker Octopus — Living in the north Atlantic Ocean at depths more than 13,000 feet (4000 meters), this animal can light up its surroundings thanks to bioluminescence … it can generate its own light from 40 suckers on each tentacle, the longest of which are 14 inches (35cm).  These suckers emit a bluish-green glow and will sometimes flash.  Scientists aren’t sure why their lights flash, but it could have to do with luring prey or attracting a mate.  Did you know this creature has the distinction of holding the Guinness World Record for ‘most bioluminescent octopus’!  That should brighten up its day!  




This translucent shrimp-like animal was found in New Zealand in 2014.  You can see the picture here from dailymail.com.  Despite the fact that you can see through the animal, scientists still don’t know much about it. It’s thought the creature could be a Salpa Maxima, which are known to have gelatinous bodies and feed on phytoplankton and have gelatinous bodies.  They’re usually found in both temperate and cold seas.  Think you’d want one for a pet?



The Dumbo Octopus — This animal gets its name because it looks like a Dumbo … You know,  Walt Disney’s Dumbo,  the elephant whose ears were so big he could flap them and fly?  Maybe you can see the resemblance in these pictures from ipfactly.com and bajiroo.com respectively. Well, this creature don’t have ears, but it does have fins it uses to flap its way across the ocean floor.  They’re known for their large eyes that are about one-third the width of their bell shaped heads and are known to live 23,000 feet (7010m) deep  … Did you know the Dumbo Octopus eats its prey whole and can change color to camouflage itself?




Tonguefish — Species of Tonguefish are usually found in tropical or some shallow estuaries.  The one pictured here (*as seen on listverse.com*) was actually inhabiting the bottom of the western Pacific Ocean and was caught in 2012.  They tend to be survivors, as many of these animals have been located around hydrothermal vents which spew sulphur … Scientists aren’t quite sure how they can survive such condition.  Did you notice that both of the Tonguefish’s eyes are located on one side of its head!



Sea Angel — They might be called sea angels, but they can be one devil of a predator.  This animal is actually a predatory sea snail that makes its home in the deep waters of the Antarctic.  Also rather un-angelic is their habit of hunting and eating shelled pteropods, which is another kind of snail … wouldn’t that be some sort of snail-cannibalism?




Napoleon Wrasse (rass) — Found in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, this is one of the largest reef fish found in those warm waters, measuring more than 6 feet (2m) in length.  It’s also known as the Maori Wrasse due to the intricate blue-green facial design that resembles Maori war paint. You can see those patterns in this picture from popularmechanics.com.  Like fingerprints, those designs are unique to each animal.  Did you know that this creature is a protogynous (proto-jin-uss) hermaphrodite and can change its sex from female to male …   Would you like that kind of ability?


The Squidworm — Sounds like a great title for a horror movie, right?  Take a look at this creature feature in this picture from phys.org.  This is actually a new species discovered in the Coral Triangle, an area between Indonesia and the Philippines.  The animal was found in 2007 at a depth of 1.8 miles (2800m) by scientists using a remote operated vehicle (or ROV).  The Squidworm earned its name due to the 10 appendages on its head which are tentacle shaped and each of which are longer than its 3.5 inch (8.9cm) body.  




Mola Mola — Also known as the Ocean Sunfish, this animal can weigh an average of more than 2,200 pounds (998kg).   Little surprise that it’s earned a reputation as the heaviest known bony fish in the world.  Resembling a fish head with tail, its body is laterally flattened … you tell that from the picture here.  Over 10 ft in height (3.2m) and over 5 feet long (1.8m) these fish can be as tall as they are long when their dorsal and ventral fins are extended.  Despite their size, they pose no threat to humans and like feed on jellyfish, squid and crustaceans.

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