The ocean represents the largest undiscovered portion of the entire planet. As our technology is progressing us, and allowing us to explore these unknown depths, we are discovering more and more mysterious creatures of the sea that have never before been seen.
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We all know that our oceans are some of the most remote and unexplored places on our planet,
due to their immense size and vast depths.
In recent years, however, due to an increase in our technological abilities, we have started
to discover and understand many new species of animal and plant life.
Cindy Van Dover, a marine ecologist at Duke University Marine Laboratory in Beaufort,
North Carolina says that those who work in the deep sea have the unique ability to discover
strange, never before seen species every time that they dive!
Here are some of the strangest of these newly discovered creatures!
Stay tuned to find out which creature of the sea can eat food up to 10 times it�s own
Number 10: The Yeti Crab.
The yeti crab is a genus of crab that was first discovered in 2005 living in, and on,
This crab is able to live in very deep water, in extremely harsh conditions, not an easy
feat especially, when you realize that millennia of evolving in the dark of the deep oceans
has left it completely eyeless!
They are quite large and grow to around 3 and a half inches.
The Yeti Crab gets its name from the hair like bristles that cover its arms.
As food is so scarce in the depths, and the conditions that they live in so harsh, they
have had to evolve a clever method of survival, one that also can be done by a creature that
is completely blind.
And so they have become farmers of sorts.
Crabs of this species actually cultivate, grow, and eat bacteria, which grow in the
thick bristles on the crab�s arms and feed on the inorganic compounds released by the
hydrothermal vents that the crabs live on.
The crabs eat the bacteria by brushing it out of their bristles with their comb-like
They have a symbiotic relationship with their food, as they can be seen waving their arms
in the air as a way of ensuring that the bacteria are getting enough oxygen.
Not a bad way of surviving in such difficult conditions!
Number 9: The Pink, See-through Fantasia.
This weird looking creature is a kind of sea cucumber that was only discovered in 2007.
The Fantasia is a free-swimming sea cucumber, found in the Celebes Sea and living at a depth
of around 8,200 feet.
It is an echinoderm, meaning that they are related to sea stars and sea urchins, but
this species has evolved webbed swimming structures that enable them to move from the seabed,
something no other sea cucumber can do.
This odd little creature is completely see through, meaning that we can see the inner
workings of all its internal organs, from its stomach, right down to its anus�nice.
As this is a relatively new discovery, we still know very little about them.
What we do know is that they are bioluminescent, meaning that they create and emit their own
light sources�using this light to scare away potential predators.
Number 8: Vampire Squid.
The vampire squid, known to scientists as Vampyroteuthis infernalis, looks like something
out of a horror film!
In reality, however, they aren�t particularly scary, growing to around 11 inches in length.
They are a gelatinous creature, more similar in appearance to a jellyfish than a normal
Originally discovered in the early 20th century, it was incorrectly mistaken for an octopus.
Found throughout the world, in tropical or temperate seas, at depths of around 300 feet
to 3000 feet, they live in the parts of the ocean where light does not penetrate, leaving
them with very large eyes.
In fact, the vampire squid as the largest eyes, in terms of body ratio, of any animal
on the planet!
And, their eyes can appear either red or blue, adding to their vampire like appearance.
Not much is known about their diet.
It is assumed to be mainly prawns and other non-vertebrates, but these vampires, themselves,
also seem to be on the dining table for many species of animal life.
Their beaks being found in the stomachs of seals, whales, and fishes.
They main reason that they were mistaken for octopuses when they were first discovered
is the skirt like webbing that joins each one of their eight tentacles.
If the vampire squid feels threatened, it will pull its tentacles over its head, encasing
itself in a protective webbing of fleshy spines, called Cirri.
I don�t think this is related to Siri from your iPhone, though�
Its theses tooth like spines and the squids all round peculiar looks that gave them their
Its odd appearance along with its bioluminescent abilities are what makes it a truly unusual
creature of the deep.
Number 7: The Blobfish.
Found it the waters of the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans at depths of up to 2,800
metres, the blobfish, or Fathead Sculpins, are a particularly odd looking species of
These strange looking creatures are reasonably small, growing to around 12 inches.
Living at such depths means that the pressures they encounter can be up to 120 times greater
than at sea level.
What this has meant to their evolution is that they do not rely on gas bladders for
buoyancy like most fish, but rather a gelatinous mass that is slightly less dense than the
water around it.
It is this lack of a proper skeletal structure that gives us the rather erroneous view of
Out of the water, they collapse in to themselves, causing them to look very strange.
But, when encountered in the proper habitat, far beneath the ocean waves, they look much
more like any other bony fish.
Again, due to the depths at which they live, there is little know about the habits of this
odd little specimen.
We know very little for sure, besides what they eat�which is usually whatever is right
in front of them, and tends to be deep sea crustaceans.
But, as our abilities to explore deeper and deeper continue, I�m certain we will learn
more about them.
Number 6: The Black Swallower.
The black swallower has to be one of the more disturbing specimens of fish out there.
They are found in the depths of the ocean where there is no light at all.
For such a small fish, growing to only around eight inches, they have the appetite of much
larger fish�and an appetite FOR much larger fish.
Somehow, in the complete darkness of the deep oceans, these terrifying fish are able to
locate pray, attacking it by biting its head, causing it to suffocate while their teeth
are angled inwards to prevent any prey from getting away�and they are eventually able
to swallow the fish whole.
This ravenous creature can be found across all the world�s oceans, in areas known as
the mesopelagic and bathypelagic zones, which range from 2,300 to 9,000 feet deep, but they
will only stay in one place if there is enough food.
Lets talks about that incredible stomach�as a creature of the deep, its hard to know when
your next meal might swim by, so these fish have come up with an ingenious plan.
The bigger the better�its been estimated that it can swallow fish up to ten times its
size, that�s like you trying to swallow a very large truck!
To enable this, its lower jaw sticks out past its upper jaw, with the teeth interlocking
once the mouth is closed, meaning that once it latches onto its pray, its trapped.
If, however, it does catch a fish that is too large, they can begin to decompose before
they are fully consumed, which can cause the prey to release gasses.
These gasses will cause the Black swallower to float towards the surface killing it.
Just like your doctor says�watch what you eat!
It might kill you!
Number 5: Ocean Sunfish.
The sunfish, or Mola, grow large in a peculiarly rounded shape.
It�s this rounded shape that gives then their name, Mola means millstone in Latin,
and well, the sun is also famously round.
Found in temperate and tropical waters, they are often mistaken for sharks when their massive
dorsal fins break the surface of the water.
Eating small fish and a lot of zooplankton, they really prefer jellyfish.
But, despite their massive size, they are no threat to humans, although as they are
naturally inquisitive, if you are lucky enough to dive with one, you may find they want to
come and investigate you.
They are also the largest bony fish on the planet, growing up to 14 feet in height and
10 feet in length and weighing as much as 5000 pounds!
As they provide such a large surface area, they are prone to parasite infestations, and
like most other large fish employ teams of smaller fish and even birds to help keep them
In some instances, though, they can be seen leaping out of the water in an attempt to
rid themselves of their pesky stowaways.
Their odd shape means that they are not graceful swimmers and tend to swim in a rather clumsy
This is not a problem though as they are not hunted by many, though they can fall prey
to sea lions, killer whales and sharks.
However in some Asian countries they are considered a delicacy!
Number 4: Firefly Squid.
The firefly squid is so called because its bioluminescent shows put all others to shame!
Between March and June each year, thousands of bioluminescent firefly squid come together
in a stunning electric-blue display that is one of the most eye-catching and colourful
marvels on Earth.
Not bad for an animal that only grows to 3 inches in length!
The show is caused by the spawning of these tiny creatures, as they meet in their millions
That brilliant electric blue light is produced by large photophores located in the tentacles
and around the eyes of each squid.
These lights can serve many purposes, from communicating with a mate or rival, to confusing
potential predators, or to disguise its shape.
It is also believed that they use their light to lure prey close to them before they pounce.
During the day they live in depths of around 1,200 feet, coming to the surface to feed
and night before returning to the depths.
Number 3: The Sarcastic Fringehead.
The sarcastic fringehead is a type of tube blenny that lives off of the coast of California
in the northeast Pacific Ocean, living in tunnels created by other creatures and, unfortunately,
occasionally finding homes in plastic or manmade debris that ends up on the sea bed.
Female sarcastic fringheads lay their eggs in the burrows of the males who act as protectors
until the eggs hatch.
This method of selecting mates, based on the perceived ability to protect the eggs, has
driven intense competition between the males.
The males of the species put on territorial displays by opening their huge mouths at one
The intimidating colors of the mouth, along with its cavernous size, which can be up to
four times the size of its closed size, enable the larger males to establish dominance over
smaller and younger males.
They display this incredible orifice by thrusting it close to their rivals open mouths, with
the smaller individual usually backing off and leaving the territory without any actual
fighting taking place.
Though little is known of their feeding habits, it is suspected that the large size of the
male�s mouths may actually be detrimental to feeding.
And I always thought that I had a big mouth!
Number 2: The Frilled Shark.
The frilled shark is considered somewhat of a living fossil.
And is one of the most uncommonly seen sharks, as it lives so far down�160 to 5000 feet
deep in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
It gets its name from its long red lined gills.
Its large mouth holds twenty-five rows of up to three hundred razor sharp teeth!
Living on a diet of squid, cuttlefish, octopus and other sharks, its long and flexible jaws
mean it can swallow its pray whole.
Looking more like an eel than a shark, this long shark grows to a length of 6 and a half
It is thought that it may strike its prey in much the same way a snake strikes theirs.
Number 1: Red Lipped Batfish.
With red lips, and fins that are made for walking along the sea floor, the red lipped
batfish is a truly odd sight.
Found off the coast of the Galapagos Islands, it looks very un-fish like.
Its pectoral and pelvic fins have become shaped in such a way that the fish is able to rest
and sometimes move around while supported by them.
Red Lipped Batfish are a type of anglerfish that use a built in fishing rod on their snout
to lure their pray close to their mouths.
Living in deeper waters, around 100 feet, they live on small fish, mollusks, and crustaceans
such as shrimps and crabs.
It seems that there is no end to the weird and wonderful creatures lurking in the depths
of our oceans, each more intriguing and interesting than the next.
What is your favorite or strangest sea creature; let us know, down in that comment section!
See you next time!
This post was previously published on YouTube.
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