Some people say that the oceans of planet Earth hold more mysteries than outer space. When we look at the vast array of fascinating creatures found in these oceans, that certainly seems true. The eight creatures listed below definitely show that our knowledge about the oceans and all they contain is only ever growing.
1. Pacific Blackdragon
The pacific blackdragon has a truly frightening appearance. They have long, thin bodies and large heads filled with incredibly long, needle-like teeth. The pacific blackdragon feeds mostly on crustaceans, venturing up from the depths at night before returning to the deep at dawn.
2. Terrible Claw Lobster
The terrible claw lobster wasn’t discovered until 2010. This deep-sea lobster only grows to about a foot in length, but it has one thin, spiked claw that is nearly as long as the lobster itself. Because the lobster is so rare, scientists aren’t yet sure of the purpose of the claw.
3. Sarcastic Fringehead
The sarcastic fringehead may simply look like a slightly odd fish at first glance. However, this fish, which is found along open coastlines, has a huge jaw which can open incredibly wide. Fringeheads leap at their prey, using their sharp teeth to snag food before swallowing it whole.
4. Roughback Batfish
The roughback batfish, which is found in the Atlantic Ocean from North Carolina to as far south as Brazil, looks something like a cross between a rock and a fish. The roughback batfish gets its name from its triangular shape and the way its body resembles a craggy stone covered in algae.
5. Frilled Shark
Frilled sharks look like something straight from the age of dinosaurs. These sharks, which can grow up to six feet in length, get their name from their frilled gills. They also have massive jaws, which allow them to swallow prey that is half their own body size. Because they live only in deep water, very little is known about this species.
6. Blue Sea Slug
The blue sea slug is perhaps one of the prettiest creatures in the ocean. The slug, which is actually a nudibranch, is tiny, only growing to about an inch long, and has brilliant blue colors and frilled appendages. The sea slug feeds on Portuguese man o’ wars and stores the stinging cells from the man o’ wars’ tentacles. These cells can then be released to sting predators when the sea slug feels threatened.
7. Giant Oarfish
The giant oarfish is the longest species of bony fish and can grow up to 56 feet long. They weigh around 600 pounds, but despite their massive size, these fish are actually peaceful and feed mostly on plankton. The oarfish is found only in deep water, so it’s rarely seen, although it does occasionally wash up on a beach.
8. Halitrephes Jelly
This beautiful, vividly colored jellyfish looks very much like a firework floating through the ocean. The jelly was first discovered in 1909 and is usually only seen at depths between 4,000 and 5,000 feet. The jellyfish seems to have a wide range, having been spotted in tropical and temperate waters, but because it lives so far down, little is known about it.