Around 70% of our planet is just ocean, with depths reaching past 20,000 feet. To this day – around 46 species of underwater animals have been identified as living there. Only 3 people have made it to those extreme depths, including film director James Cameron in 2012. Today we look at some pretty scary inhabitants from the very depths of the ocean.
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9 - Devilish Demeanor
And devilish looks, if this triplewart sea devil is anything to go by! It’s also a type of anglerfish, and there’s a small part of its dorsal fin that he uses like a fishing pole to attract the prey towards its ready mouth. Bear in mind though, it’s only the females that have this bioluminescent feature, and the males hold on to the female with their sharp teeth, and go along with her whilst she catches the prey. The 2 end up fusing together, sharing tissue and circulatory systems until the male loses all his organs functions, and can only produce sperm. Job done!
8 – Looks can be deceiving
Some of these types of deep-sea dwellers are exceptionally beautiful, and then some are just absolutely horrifying, like this spiky one. Sea-cucumbers are found on the sea floor, and although some of them look perfectly harmless, if they’re attacked or startled – they let off a toxic chemical. This chemical is so strong, it can either kill the predator or at the very least, stun it – giving it a chance to escape.
7 - An anomaly
This one may not be seen by humans very often – but there are enough legends and folklore surrounding it to last for centuries! The giant squid has only one predator worthy of mentioning, and that is the sperm whale. The two of them often go into battle, and when their bodies sometimes wash up on shore, you can see their battle wounds. Females are much larger than males, and grow up to 43-feet! People weren’t even sure this squid existed, until 2004 when Japanese fisherman managed to get live footage of the beast.
6 - From one squid to another
This is the vampire squid, and despite their eerie name, these guys are quite small and only grow to around 6-inches. They’re found at depths of 10,000 feet below sea level and have eyes that are disproportionally bigger than their bodies. The reason they are called vampire squid is due to their webbed arms that look like a cloak when wrapped around the squid. They’re found in warmer, tropical oceans and are red in color, have bioluminescent eyes and feed on organic matter from the ocean.
5 - Let’s go fishing
And hope to goodness we don’t catch this unfortunate flabby whalefish. They’ve been discovered off New Zealand’s coastline, and they’re really deep under the water – around 1.3 miles! What little research is possible at these depths, has found that the whalefish don’t serve much of a purpose – that they know of! They grow to just under 17-inches, are able to detect vibrations and appear flabby due to the lack of ribs. Scientists are still busy studying these unusual sea-dwellers.
4 - I see right through you
The Skeletal Jellyfish is absolutely breath-taking. It’s also called the Crystal jellyfish, and can grow up to 10-inches. It’s their tentacles that are worth mentioning. They can be as little as 1-inch in length, or can be as long 120 feet! The body is translucent, and they feed on hydromedusae and comb jellies.
3 - Copy Cat
This is the larval longarm octopus, with a scientific name that will leave you all tongue-twisted! It’s has long, skinny arms that can reach out up to 7-times the length of the octopus. It’s also been noted that this little guy can shape-shift, by copying the color, shape and behavior of a flounder fish, making it easier for him to catch his prey. The Caribbean Sea is where you’ll more likely come across them, but they do crop up occasionally in the Indian Ocean, The Mediterranean Sea and close to Somalia.
2 - Good memory?
I’m not sure, but this is the Elephant Shark, and whether he has the memory of a goldfish or the memory of an elephant – we will just never know! These bizarre looking sharks use that trunk-like snout to sift through the sand and pick out any tasty morsels buried underneath it. Amazingly, these sharks can identity color – just like you and I! Just an interesting thing to note, these sharks are recorded as having the slowest evolution on record. So, what you’re seeing now is very similar to what has been around for countless years already!
1 - More than a mouthful!
This is the gulper or pelican eel, and like a pelican that can swallow something excessively large, so can this creature! The mouth has very loose hinges, which allows for the eel to open it seriously wide! It sometimes uses the mouth as a net, and just breezily swims through a group of crustaceans, swallowing as he goes along. They’re found more often in the Atlantic Ocean, and grow to roughly 2.5 feet in length. Their unusually long tail sometimes glows pink to try and attract prey.