10 Strange Animals That Live In The Ocean
We talk a lot about protecting our oceans from pollution. We’ve encouraged a reduction of single-use plastics, participated in beach cleanups, and are moving toward plant-based dyes for our products that produce significantly less water pollution than traditional, synthetic dyes. We stay focused on this issue in order to protect the wide array of incredible plants and animals that live in the seas. Animals like…
Sea angels are a type of small sea slug that, unlike other mollusks that have shells and crawl along the ocean floor, float around in the water. It has wing-like appendages that help it move through the water. Sea angels are mostly transparent, allowing you to see into the inner workings of their bodies. These mollusks can be found throughout the world’s oceans, from arctic conditions to warm, tropical waters.
Carpet sharks encompass a diverse group of sharks, including the world’s largest: the whale shark. They get their name from the mottled, splotchy coloration typically featured on the sharks’ backs. For some, this pattern gives them special camouflage to hide on the ocean floor, waiting for prey to pass by. Carpet sharks can be found all over the world, but primarily live in tropical waters.
Sea pens are a grouping of more than 200 confirmed species that live in temperate coastal waters. Sea pens, like most polyps, live in colonies. Initially, one sea pen will develop an erect structure with tentacles, but eventually, those tentacles fall off and more sea pens begin to bud out from the base of the first. This is how colonies are developed. Some sea pens are bioluminescent, meaning they have natural mechanisms that allow them to glow. Sea pens can live 100 years or more.
Okay, pretty much everyone knows what lobsters are, but that doesn’t make them any less strange! Lobsters can live an extraordinarily long time, up to 50 years in the wild. Scientists have discovered that as lobsters age, they don’t lose fertility or seem to slow down. Lobsters have an enzyme called telomerase that repairs repetitive sections of DNA sequences, which allows them to live significantly longer than they otherwise would. When the lobsters do finally die, it’s because their exoskeletons degrade and no longer protect the creature’s insides.
Sea spiders are given their name by their spider-like appearance. They walk on between 8 and 12 long, slender legs. Sea spiders do not have a respiratory system, which makes them a particularly strange creature. Sea spiders that live at greater depths sometimes have no eyes, due to the lack of sunlight reaching the dark ocean floor. When reproducing, males take care of the young.
The flying gurnard is a tropical fish that dwells on the bottom of the ocean. They are found primarily in the Atlantic Ocean, though there are similar species from the same genus that live in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. They vary widely in coloration, with some flying gurnards appearing brown, green, red, blue, or yellow.
It seems like a pretty mean name, but the warty frogfish doesn’t seem to mind! The fish is characterized by a frog-like appearance and skin covered in wart-like protuberances. Frogfish have been known to be able to change their color. Scientists have observed them turning white during coral bleaching events, which helps them blend in with their newly whitened surroundings.
Leafy sea dragon
Leafy sea dragons are a type of fish belonging to the same family as sea horses. It is the lone member of its genus, Phycodurus. The small, dragon-like creature has leafy lobes of skin that provide it excellent camouflage when hiding in seaweed. Leafy sea dragons can be found in southern Australian waters from Jurien Bay, north of Perth, to Wilson’s Promontory in Victoria. Like seahorses, when reproducing, male leafy sea dragons care for the eggs.
Anglerfish are an old, largely unchanged fish that dates back to the mid-Cretaceous period, making the species approximately 100 million years old. These fish are well known for the lightbulb-like appendage, called the illicium, that dangles in front of the face of the fish. The illicium helps lure in prey and attracts mates during mating.
Giant squid for centuries were mysterious creatures. Aristotle provided one of the first written testimonies of the creature in the fourth century BC. The first images of a live adult weren’t captured until January of 2002. Males are believed to reach a maximum size of around 33 feet; females grow larger to about 43 feet.