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Looking more like a Pokemon cartoon than anything the Longhorn cow fish has been described as “cute” by some people. Unfortunately for them, this little fellow is especially dangerous and releases a highly lethal toxin when under stress.
The Flying Gurnards are known for their disproportionately large pectoral fins. In spite of their name however, they can’t actually fly and some scientists argue that they should instead be called the Helmet Gurnard.
The basket star is one of the strangest looking brittle stars in the sea. It is also one of the most durable as it has mastered the art of longevity with a possible lifespan of up to 35 years.
Red Flashing Jellyfish
A recent discovery, the Red Flashing Jelly Fish has red tentacles which it uses to lure it’s prey. What has science nerds so excited though is that this jelly fish emits the first ever observed red lights in an invertebrate; an interesting discovery since it was believed that animals in the deepest part of the ocean could not detect red light.
Also named the great swallower, this freaky looking deep sea fish can swallow fishes up to twice its length and 10 times its mass (talk about a big stomach). Sometimes, it can swallow fishes that are so large that they can’t even be digested before decomposition sets in which results in excess gas making the swallower float to the ocean surface.
The marine emblem of the Australian State of Victoria can only be found in the Australian waters of the Eastern Indian Ocean. The dragons get their name from their leaf like appearance which they use for camouflage. A relative of the seahorse; dragons share similar appearances and can measure up to 18 inches.
Sea scorpions, or Eurypterids, are an extinct group of arthropods related to arachnids which include the largest known arthropods that ever lived. Although extinct, numerous fossils have been found scattered all across the globe. For all you science buffs out there, we realize the photo is ambiguous, improbable, and likely photoshopped. But…it gives a good depiction of what one of these creatures would look like.
Like something straight out of Aliens; this parasitic louse’s life revolves around destroying a fish’s tongue and replacing it with…itself. Also known as Cymothoa exigua, the female enters a fish’s mouth and attaches itself to the base of the tongue. After it has destroyed it, the louse will attach itself to the stub and act as the fish’s tongue. Thank goodness we don’t have anything like that on land!
Matsuba Koi (human faced fish)
No, it doesn’t actually have a human face. But, some members of the species come pretty close and have very human like characteristics such as eyes and noses appearing on their heads.
Not the most cuddly looking creature in the ocean, the stargazer buries itself in the sand and lies in wait to ambush its prey.
Also known as seabats or anglerfishes, the Ogcocephalus parvus is a species of batfish that grows to a length of 4 inches (10 cm). It has a bulbous lure or an esca which unlike that of most anglerfishes is not luminous but rather secretes fluid which acts like a chemical to attract prey.
This neotenic salamander that is already near extinction, also called ajolote, is widely used in scientific research due to its ability to regenerate its limbs. Because it is carnivorous, it feeds on worms, insects and small fish in the wild.
The ocean sunfish is the heaviest known bony fish in the world and has an average adult weight of 2,200 lbs (1,000 kg). A laterally flattened body, the common mola as it is also known, generally feasts on jellyfish.
A strange looking sea slug, the blue dragon is a gastropod that floats upside down on the surface of the ocean because of the location of its gas sac.
Another mollusk on this list that is a part of the world’s most abundant gastropod species, sea butterflies have calcified shells and because of that the increased levels of oceanic acidity threaten their survival.
Named after the mythical Yeti, this deep sea creature lives in hydrothermal vents at the bottom of the ocean. Males prefer warmer waters and the females who carry the eggs and the younger ones prefer the coldest.
With numerous protrusions all over its body serving as camouflage it is popularly called a “leafy” and is also the marine emblem of the state of South Australia.
Caprellidae is a family of amphipods commonly known as skeleton shrimps. Their common name denotes the threadlike slender body which allows them to virtually disappear among the fine filaments of seaweed, hydroids and bryozoans. They are sometimes also known as ghost shrimps.
Although it looks like the common squid, the sparkling enope squid or firefly squid only grows up to 3 inches (7.6 cm) long when it matures and dies after one year. It is commercially fished in Japan and is known for lighting up the shoreline when large numbers get washed up.
One look at the photo should explain the name. Although not all carpet sharks resemble carpets to this extent, as you can see some really live up to their name.
Moving around on the sea floor by walking rather than swimming, they are also known as warty anglers, and their highly modified fins resemble hands.
These strange looking creatures live on deep ocean bottoms, specifically on the abyssal plain in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Ocean, typically at depths of over 1000 meters. Some related species can be found in the Antarctic.
It may look like a plant under the sea but it’s definitely not. In fact it is a carnivorous deep sea sponge which was discovered in 2012 by a group from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI). This newly discovered creature lives several kilometers below the waves. Its usual meal menu includes copepods and other crustaceans.
Often cited as a delicacy in Chile, up close it resembles a mass of organs inside a rock that eats by sucking in water rich in organic matter and filtering out microorganisms.
Why sarcastic? We’re not sure, but one thing that can be said of this creature is that it is ferocious. Highly territorial, when two of these uglies battle it out, they wrestle by pressing their mouths together as if kissing which allows them to figure out which is the larger fish and thus the winner establishes dominance.