Around 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered by oceans. Now that is a lot of oceans and a lot of water! Some oceans you may have heard of are the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, Arctic Ocean and the Southern Ocean.
So if there is so much water covering the Earth then there must be a huge amount of creatures living in them. There are hundreds of thousands of known marine life forms, but there are also thousands of creatures we still do not know about.
In this post, you will be able to see some of the amazing creatures that live in the ocean. Some you may have seen before but there will be a fair few that look pretty strange and unusual too. In fact, not all these creatures are found in parts of the sea that man can explore. Some of these weird animals have been discovered many hundreds of feet deep in the dark and cold ocean.
You will see beauty and you will also see beasts. Many will make you giggle at how strange they look and a few may even scare you. One thing is for sure and that is you will be fascinated by these truly amazing marine creatures.
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01. Sea Pen
Sea Pens are peculiar invertebrate marine animals. There are around 300 species of Sea Pens. They can be found in both shallow and deep waters. A species of Sea Pens called the Subselliflorae looks exactly like quill pens used for writing – hence their name. Sea Pens are normally found rooted on the sea floor.
Fun fact: Although they are hard to take care of, Sea Pens are sometimes sold for bigger aquariums.
The blobfish is a squishy, deep-sea fish that lives on the coasts of Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand. Usually, a blobfish doesn’t grow any longer than 30 centimeters although this one in the picture obviously grew much bigger. The blobfish’s squishy body allows it to survive the high water pressure where it lives.
Fun fact: The blobfish looks so ugly, it is considered as the world’s ugliest animal.
03. Pink See-Through Fantasia
The strange Pink See-Through Fantasia is actually a sea cucumber with a pink, transparent body. This weird creature lives 2,500 meters under the surface of the Celebes Sea. Pink See-Through Fantasia is a newly-discovered species.
Fun fact: It moves around the water using its webbed feet located under their bodies.
04. The Squidworm
The Squidworm is another newly discovered species with a face that looks slightly creepy. The Squidworm is known to grow for up to 3.7 inches long. Despite its name, it looks nothing like a worm or a squid. It has 10 tentacle-like appendages located on its head.
Fun fact: It uses the appendages on its head to catch particles and detritus for food.
05. Sea Angel
The Sea Angel is a small sea slug that appears harmless at first look. These charming creatures look like they have transparent wings on the sides of their bodies. These wings flap to help it move through the water. Despite their friendly name, Sea Angels are actually carnivores that eat other sea slugs and snails.
Fun fact: The species of Sea Angels are very small that the largest known relative (the Clione Limacina) reaches only about 5 cm.
Axolotls, also called as Mexican salamanders or Mexican walking fish are four-legged creatures that can be found in many lakes. They were also called “water monsters”. Axolotls are amphibious creatures. However, adult Axolotls remain underwater and breathe using their gills. They could grow for up to 15-45 cm in length. Since 2010, the Axolotls are in danger of extinction due to water pollution.
Fun fact: The concept for a famous Pokemon called Mudkip was said to be based on the physical appearance of the Axolotl.
07. Kiwa Crab
The Kiwa Crab or “Kiwa Hirsuta” is a strange-looking crustacean that was originally found in the South Pacific Ocean. They can grow for about 5.9 inches in length. They are also called as “Yeti lobsters” or “Yeti crabs” due to the fur-like growth on its long pincers and legs.
Fun fact: The ‘hairs’ or setae on the legs and pincers of the Kiwa crab contain bacteria that cleanse the water in hydrothermal vents where it lives.
08. Pycnogonid Sea Spider
Pycnogonids or Sea spiders are the nightmare of people with arachnophobia. Despite its name and the usual eight legs, pycnogonids are not actually spiders. They’re not even considered as a member of the arachnids. There are also species of sea spiders with 10-12 legs.
Fun fact: Due to extremely small size of some pycnogonids, they do not have respiratory systems.
09. Frilled Shark
The Frilled shark is a rare species of shark that can be found deep in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. These odd creatures are long with a strange, eel-like appearance. They are often observed with mouths widely open. They can grow for up to 6.6 ft in length (about 2 meters).
Fun fact: The Frilled Shark is named as such due to the long gill slits that appear like frills due to its extended gill filaments.
10. Longhorn Cowfish
The strange, angular appearance of the longhorn cowfish is due to its hard carapace that protects most of its body. They have a pair of long horns in front of its head; resembling a cow. They are solitary creatures and are often territorial. Both male and female cowfishes have bright yellow color. They are known to excrete poison from their skin.
Fun fact: The longhorn cowfish, just like others in the boxfish family, is a very slow swimmer. In fact, they can be caught by hand.
11. Flying Gurnard
These strange large-eyed creatures can be found in the warm waters on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. The flying gurnard (also called helmet gurnard) are known for their large, wing-like pectoral fins that spread whenever they feel excited. These slightly transparent fins also have phosphorescent blue coloration on the outer edges.
Fun fact: Sometimes, flying gurnards “walk” on the sea floor to hunt for small invertebrates and crustaceans.
12. Mola Mola
The Mola mola or “ocean sunfish” is a large and very heavy species of fish. They can grow for an average of 5.9 ft long and 8.2 ft high. The body of the Mola mola is flattened on the sides with two extended fins on top and below its body. Mola molas eat large quantities of jellyfish to sustain its large body.
Fun fact: The biggest and heaviest Mola mola ever recorded is over 10 feet high and weighed nearly 5,000 pounds!
13. Blue Dragon
The “Glaucus atlanticus” or Blue Dragon is a species of very small sea slugs. An adult blue dragon can grow for up to 3 cm long. It has a long, silver stripe running down the length of its body. Its six appendages have several other “fingers” that look like wings when extended.
Fun fact: Touching these tiny creatures may cause a painful sting due to the nematocysts stored in their bodies.
14. Carpet Shark
Carpet sharks (also called as Wobbegongs) are species of sharks that have patterned colorations on top of their bodies. Some carpet sharks use their patterns as camouflage.
Fun fact: Carpet sharks spend most of their time lying on the sea floor; displaying their patterned bodies just like carpets.
15. Sea Pig
A sea pig or Scotoplanes is a strange looking creature with a pink, rounded appearance. They grow for about 6 inches in length; resembling a large potato. They can be found in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans. They eat organic particles found on the sea floor. The legs at the base of their bodies and their pink skins are what contribute to their pig-like appearance.
Fun fact: The Sea pig’s legs are used by the creature to put food into its mouth.
16. Red-lipped Batfish
These strange and slightly disturbing creatures can be found near Cocos Island off the shore of Costa Rica. They are also called Galapagos batfish. These unusual creatures use their fins to “crawl” across the ocean floor. They eat mostly smaller fishes and crustaceans.
Fun fact: Just like the Anglerfish, the Red-lipped batfish also has an elongated structure on its head called the illicium.
17. Mantis Shrimp
The Mantis shrimp or stomatopods are brightly colored crustaceans that can be found in the tropics and sub-tropics. They were also called as “sea locusts” and “thumb splitters”. Mantis shrimps can grow for up to 12 inches in length. The Mantis shrimp is known for its very powerful claws that deliver damage using a punching motion.
Fun fact: Some bigger species of mantis shrimp are known to break through aquarium glass by ‘punching’ it with its claws.
The Narwhal or “Narwhale” belongs to a species of medium-sized whales. Their bodies can grow for up to 5.5 meters and weighs for up to 1,600 kilograms. They can be found in the Canadian Arctic and Greenlandic seas. They are known for the long “tusks” in front of their heads.
Fun fact: Narwhals are known to communicate with each other using “clicks”, “whistles”, and “knocks”.
19. Mimic Octopus
Octopuses are known for their ability to change skin color. However, the Mimic Octopus or “Thaumoctopus Mimicus” is capable of using its flexible body to copy the bodies of other sea creatures. They often mimic corals and rocks to avoid predators.
Fun fact: The Mimic octopus is intelligent enough to identify which animal or object to imitate when facing various threats.
20. Megamouth Shark
These extremely rare species of sharks live in the depths of the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian oceans. When feeding, the Megamouth shark swims through the water with its large mouth wide open. It feeds mainly on plankton and jellyfish. They can grow for up to 5.5 meters long and weigh for up to 1,215 kilograms. In average, their mouths can measure for up to 1.3 meters.
Fun fact: The Megamouth shark is extremely rare that only 58 sharks were ever caught or sighted.
The Chimaeras are believed to be the oldest group of fishes today. They live 8,500 feet from the surface of temperate oceans. The Rhinochimaeridae or long-nosed chimaera is known for its long snout and its set of sharp teeth. They have branched off from the shark species around 400 million years ago.
Fun fact: A slightly disturbing photo of a long-nosed chimaera circulated around the internet was mistaken as a Goblin shark.