7. The Gigantic Japanese spider crab
Not only does this spider have the potential of growing to gargantuan sizes – approximately 15 feet – it also lives to be over a 100 years old. The Giant Japanese Spider Crab is the largest crab species identified thus far, and is characterised by an armoured exoskeleton which not only protects it from large predators, but also aids in camouflage.(source)
In Japan, these crabs are something of a delicacy.
8. Chimaera Ghost Shark
A distant cousin of sharks and rays, the ghost shark, or Chimera, possesses a cartilaginous skeleton; the males of the species have external reproductive organs that derived from pelvic fins along with a supplementary clasping organ on the forehead and in front of each pelvic fin. Chimeras also have only a single gill opening, unlike sharks and rays, and their eggs have horny coverings.
Found in oceans across the world, they are edible and are sold as food; their liver oil was once used to lubricate guns.(source)
9. The fringehead
If a predator were to approach the fringehead, this otherwise seemingly unremarkable footlong fish will bare its rather impressive, and somewhat dangerous mouth and needle-like teeth to the intruder. Temperamental and rather territorial, these fish are known for their “mouth wrestling” with fellow fringeheads that might have intruded their marked territory.(source)
10. Brazilian treehopper
Known for the strange structure on its head, the Brazilian treehopper’s most striking feature is its rather impressive crown; the attached balls are hollow spheres made of chitin, the function of which still remain quite mysterious. Along with that, these treehoppers flaunt hair on their appendages, the function of which, again, remains unknown.(source)
11. Spotted handfish
The spotted handfish’s most remarkable characteristic – besides its Critically Endangered status – is the hand-like paired fins that it possesses, that allow it to “walk” across the seabed. They also have a lure above their mouth, which has been speculated as a means to attract prey. They are indigenous to the lower Derwent River estuary in Tasmania; however, over the years, their numbers have declined sharply, with only two handfish being reported between 1990 and 1994.(source)
12. Black Dragonfish
Possessing long teeth that resemble fangs, bioluminescent powers and strange sexual as well as hunting practices, the black dragonfish is a terrifying creature: it can produce its own light that ranges from the infrared spectrum to the blue-green spectrum; they have photophores scattered throughout their body which light up when they sense danger or threat; male dragonfish do not possess either a digestive system nor distinguishable teeth, and only grow up to 5cm long, while the females can reach sizes of up to 40cm.(source)
Sounds creepy? That’s because it really is.
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