14 Ocean Creatures That Show Just How Wild The Earth Actually Is
Nature is beautiful and terrifying.
Yes the idea of finding life on Mars is exciting I guess, but have you ever taken a moment to see what weird and beautiful creatures are right here in our Earth's oceans? Here's just a microscopic amount of all the awesome critters that are dwelling beneath the waves!
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Striated Frogfish (Antennarius striatus) commonly known as the Hairy Frogfish, uses its strange appearance to camouflage itself, it can also change colour to match its surroundings so it's not just a pretty face!
The Frogfish's front dorsal fin acts as a lure, it moves the fin pretending to be a small fish or worm while the fish lies completely still waiting for passing prey. It can swallow animals almost twice its size. That's some good eating!
Portuguese man o' war
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Physalia physalis, more commonly known as the "Portuguese man o' war" is often mistaken as a jellyfish, but is in fact a siphonophore. A siphonophore is an animal that is made up of a colony of organisms working together, meaning that the man o' war is in fact a group of animals!
man o' war get its name from its uppermost polyp, which is a gas-filled bladder that floats above the water, resembling an old warship. The man o' war's tentacles can grow to 165 feet in length and deliver a venom that can kill small fish and other small creatures. Although it can't kill humans it will give you a nasty sting, if your like me and you do kind of want to know what that weirdly beautiful gas-bag feels like, maybe think twice.
Dumbo Octopus named for its resemblance to the Disney character Dumbo, is around eight inches in length. It is found at the ocean floor in depths up to 400 meters. I think we can all agree that like elephants, it is in fact quite cute and cuddly-looking.
Anglerfish gets its name from its unique fleshy growth on its forehead. The Anglerfish is bioluminescent, which basically means it is a living light form which is handy, as it lives at the bottom of the ocean in complete darkness. The fish uses the light on the end of its growth to attract prey who are drawn to the light, the fish then waits till they are close enough to strike. You might recognise the Anglerfish from the Pixar film Finding Nemo which does a great job of demonstrating how the anglerfish hunts.
Japanese Spider Crab
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Giant Spider Crab is the largest of its species. Its leg span can be up to four meters and it is thought to have the longest lifespan of any crab, living up to 100 years. The spider crab has quite a strong resemblance to the creature that is attached to that guy's face from the film Alien just in case you needed any more convincing of how weird-looking these things are.
Younger Spider crabs use objects like kelp to decorate their shells which helps hide them from predators. So not only is the spider crab huge and kind of terrifying, it really knows how to accessorise!
Sunflower Sea Star
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Sunflower Sea Star is one of the largest starfish in the world, with a maximum arm span of one meter. It is predatory and feeds on other smaller invertebrates. When eating its prey the Sunflower Starfish extrudes its stomach, wrapping it around the animal, it then liquifies the animal leaving only the skeleton. IT LITERALLY POPS OUT ITS STOMACH AND MELTS OTHER ANIMALS!
Frilled Shark which are often known as living fossils, due to the fact that they have barely evolved in the 80 millions years they have lived on earth, this thing is old as shit! > The Frilled Shark are often known as living fossils due to the fact that they have barely evolved in the 80 millions years they have lived on earth. Basically they're old as shit!
The shark is named after its frilly gills, has over 200 sharp teeth, and lunges like a snake to catch its prey. Living in the deepest parts of the ocean there is little known about this prehistoric fish, which makes them extremely ~mysterious~.
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Sea Angel is a type of sea slug. It gets its name from its translucent appearance and wing-like flaps, which it uses to swim. Sea angels are very small in size, usually around 5cm. They beat their wings in a rowing motion, one to two times per second, and feed mainly on sea butterflies.
The fact that you can see the slugs insides but it remains beautiful makes it one of my faves on this list!
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Leafy Seadragons can grow up to 30cm in length. IIts body is specifically designed to blend in with its surroundings so it remains undetected by predators, but it also helps it catch its own prey.
Because of its seaweed like appearance it can't move all that well but it definitely makes up for it in its out of this world appearance!
Pycnogonid Sea Spider
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Sea Spiders like their on land counterparts come in a wide range of varieties and sizes, ranging from 3cm to 50cm (A 50cm SPIDER!).
Sea spiders crawl on the sea bed and suck the juices of soft-bodied invertebrates which is both interesting and absolutely terrifying. Male Sea Spiders carry their eggs inside a dedicated pair of legs or as I am going to call them "egg legs."
Of all the list these are definitely one of the most other-worldly looking creatures.
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Giant Trevally which is located in the Indo-Pacific region, is an apex predator – meaning that it is basically the bad bitch of the sea. It can grow up to 170cm in length and feeds mainly on fish and crustaceans, but can also be found feeding on birds too. It is so skilled as a hunter that it can be seen leaping out of the water to grab birds as they fly close to the water to feed. Land or sea no animal is safe from this fish!
Flamingo Tongue Snail
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Flamingo Tongue Snail is a small marine mollusk living in tropical waters. Despite its name, it bears no resemblance to a flamingo, but it has a bright orange shell with black markings that if I must say, is very handsome indeed!
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Jawfish burrow holes in the sand and when threatened by predators they dive into those holes for safety. Probably the strangest thing about the jawfish is that the males carry their eggs inside of their mouths. They do this for 1-2 weeks, keeping them safe before they hatch and are finally released into the wild like a beautiful sicky miracle.
And finally...The Whitemargin Stargazer
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Whitemargin Stargazers are often found buried in the sand with just their mouth and eyes showing lying in wait for for oncoming prey. The most intriguing thing about the Whitemargin is that it possess electric organs located behind its eyes, used to stun its prey with a shock of up to 50 volts. Move over Pikachu!
Sadly, many of our ocean's wonderful creatures are dying out due to pollution and plastic waste. It is estimated that
more than 150 million tonnes of plastic is drifting in the world's oceans, devastating marine life, birds, and mammals who once thrived. If you would like to learn more about how to help reduce plastic waste and be more eco-friendly, read this helpful list. BuzzFeed Daily
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