14 Aquatic Animals You Didn’t Know Were Real

Think you know what kind of animals live below sea level? Think again. Here are the critters no one ever learns about in school. And to explore the distinct possibility that mermaids once existed on planet Earth, watch Mermaids: The New Evidence, Sunday, May 26th at 10pm on Animal Planet.

1. Bat Fish

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Batfish are terrible swimmers and they use their fins to “walk” around the ocean floor (a fact that this particular fellow doesn’t seem to be too happy with).

2. Spirographis

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These tubeworms are kind of modest because they build their homes out of mucus and silt (even though they seemingly have an unlimited budget to spend on their wardrobes).

3. Yellowhead Jawfish

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Jawfish are described as having long “body plans,” and allow their eggs to hatch in their mouths.

4. Scorpionfish

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Where’s the fish? Just kidding. The better question is: where isn’t the fish?

5. Christmas Tree Worm

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Resist the urge to decorate, please.

6. Nudibranch

threefingeredlord / Via Flickr: threefingers

Nudibranches are soft-bodied mollusks, and defend themselves against predators by releasing toxins that cause the other guys’ hearts to stop.

7. Tunicates

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Not to be confused with tourniquets! These guys are casually known as “sea squirts,” which is pretty great. Unfortunately, they are pretty useless during emergencies.

8. Brittle Star

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Brittle stars have a mouth that also serves as an anus. We will move on.

9. Bearded Fireworm

Philippe Guillaume / Via Flickr: philippeguillaume

Do not touch those bristles! They are poisonous and not to be used for fun.

10. Frogfish

prilfish / Via Flickr: silkebaron

Frogfish don’t have scales and don’t really move around. They wait for everything to come to them, like heroes.

11. Hydra

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Hydra reproduce asexually, and scientists are obsessed with them because they have regenerative qualities that indicate they do not die of old age. So stay tuned for their global domination.

12. Humphead Wrasse

Philippe Guillaume / Via Flickr: philippeguillaume

Humphead wrasse are hermaphrodites, can grow to be 6 feet long, and have lips the better to kiss you with, my dear.

13. Squat Lobster

Stephen Childs / Via Flickr: steve_childs

Squat lobsters have bristles and 6 pairs of mouth parts. They live in infamy.

14. Sea Butterfly

NOAA Photo Library / Via Flickr: noaaphotolib

Sea butterflies are a suborder of sea snails, and apparently one of coolest things about them is they are about the size of a lentil. So go sea butterflies!

Inspired by “Mermaids: The New Evidence”

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Were mermaids real? Seems like they certainly COULD’VE been!

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