10 of the Weirdest Creatures Found in the Deep Sea
6 Sea Pen
Appearing like a feather of a quill pen, the sea pen is a colony of organisms called polyps that live together. Any from the 300 species of the sea pen could be attached to the structure. They often have colors like dark orange, yellow, and sometimes white. They are found in shallow to deep waters but prefer the deep since they are less likely to be uprooted there.
The sea pen is not a single creature; it is a colony of multiple polyps that live together. The maximum height they can reach is about two meters.
Sea pens could be found anywhere in the world with tropical and temperate waters. They have a chubby, club-like, or feather-like appearance. Sea pens are attached to the soft bottom of the sea like mud or sand via the bulb-like structure they have below.
They strategically attach themselves in the path of the currents so that they could feed on the planktons floating by.
They usually bury themselves in the day and erect back up in the nighttime to eat. Some of them are even bioluminescent in the dark. The invertebrate organism is not permanently fixed to the ground; it can free itself up and move around. (Source)
One of the species of fish with the best camouflage is the frogfish because it comes in all imaginable textures and colors. It disguises and resembles sponges, algae-covered rocks, and even mimics poison sea slugs. Their pectoral fins have evolved into arm-like limbs. Even if most of them can swim, they enjoy walking with the modified fins on the sea bed.
Frogfish are just one of the species of anglerfish that are fairly small in size. The biggest it can grow up to is 12 inches.
These fish have extraordinary skills in deception that they use in avoiding predators and hunting prey. One of them is that they can change their color to pink, red, yellow, or brown. They also have a variety of textures similar to the surface they live on like reefs and stony corals.
Frogfish have two techniques of hunting; aggressive mimicry and a modified fin that they use as a fishing rod.
One is, before attacking, they camouflage themselves to match the surroundings and get as close as possible to their prey. The other technique is they use the “fishing rod” that looks like a worm that attracts the prey to come closer before they devour it. They mostly feed on crustaceans and other smaller fish. (Source)
More than 2,000 species of nudibranch, a versatile and jelly-like sea slug, have been found until now. They are available in a multiplicity of appearances, but each one of them lacks a shell and is bright. They basically derive the coloring from what they eat. The most distinctive feature some of them have is the ability to swallow, digest, and reuse stinging cells from prey.
Every single day new species of the organism are discovered. They are available in abundance almost everywhere. Nudibranches are present in all of the world’s oceans and are found in shallow to deep waters.
The scientific name of the animal is Nudibranchia meaning naked gills. Along with the feathery gills, most of them also feature horns on their back.
The structure of the nudibranch resembles where they exist but are generally oblong in shape and can grow up to 12 inches in size.
They prey on algae, sponges, coral, and can even become cannibals. Some of them are capable of retaining the poisons from their prey and secrete them against the predators in return.
The bright creature is a hermaphrodite so it can basically mate with any other mature individual from the species, and its maximum life span ranges from a month to a year. (Source)
9 Flamingo Tongue Snail
The flamingo tongue snail is a mollusk that has a soft part of its body covering its shell. When detecting a threat, they unfold the mantle flaps and expose the shell inside. The invertebrates are tiny with yellow or orange bright spots covered with black rings.
In the waters, the flamingo tongue snails could easily be missed because they are very tiny and can grow only to about an inch. They have a wavy radula under their body which they use for locomotion and feeding. Their eyes are fixed on the two antenna-like structures present on their heads.
Beneath their soft, leopard-like designed softcover, they have a shell with white or tan color. These snails could be found easily on the reefs of the western Atlantic and Caribbean, mostly feeding on sea fans, whips, and gorgonians.
10 Red-lipped Batfish
As the name suggests, the red-lipped batfish have bright red lips and modified leg-like fins to walk on the surface of the ocean floor. Because of its bizarre lips, it appears as if the fish just had a bloody meal. The pectoral, pelvic, and anal fins of the fish have evolved to rest on the ocean floor comfortably.
The red-lipped batfish could be found around the island of Galapagos, Peru, up to 75 meters down in the sea. During their entire lifespan, they live and feed on the seafloor itself.
Another fish that resembles the red-lipped batfish is the rosy-lipped batfish. The rosy-lipped batfish lives on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. The two of them are different examples of batfish but have very similar body structures.
The staple diet of the batfish is other small fishes, shrimps, crabs, worms, and mollusks.
The red-lipped batfish is just one of the 60 other batfishes that feature modified fins. They use these fins alternatively to either swim in the water or walk on the surface of the sea.
While swimming, they tuck their modified fins underneath their body and force themselves forward using the tail. Nonetheless, evolution has better adopted them to walk on the ocean bed.
The bright red color on the lips helps them to recognize their kind and keeps them separate from others. Scientists also say that this feature helps them attract mates.
The batfish also features an illicium on its head that helps them to attract prey. (Source)
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