We have only explored about 5% of our planet’s oceans, meaning there are still millions of rare sea animals left for us to discover.
It’s hard to believe there are so many aquatic creatures out there that scientists have never ever seen or heard of. Either way, there are tons of incredible animals out there for us to explore and learn more about each and every day.
Some sea animals are cute and cuddly. Others are the stuff of nightmares! But no matter how comprehensive a collection we back up with, we’d only be scratching the surface (of the ocean). It would be impossible to know about every sea creatures, but believe us, scientists never stop exploring.
A massive 95% of the world’s sea have yet to be explored. There’s no telling what’s lurking in the rest of the waters that humankind has left to discover.
Here are some of the strangest, and the most beautiful sea animals that seem to come from another world.
Also known as “water bears,” these incredible, microscopic animals can survive in all of the Earth’s extreme conditions, and even in outer space! They’re so indestructible they can even live in a pot of boiling water. These guys are so tiny, you’ll probably never see them.
You may also see it as Rhinomuraena quaesita or Bernis eel. It may not look like it but these tiny eels are carnivores. They feed on small fish and other sea creatures. They can stay in the same hole for months at a time.
They are unique sea animals – with a massive bulbous head, large eyes, and eight distinctive tentacles. It basically is the size of a 6-foot man.
The dumbo octopus, whose actual name is Grimpoteuthis, lives on the ocean floor at extreme depths – up to 13,000 feet. They are small sea animals about 8 inches tall. They float just above the seafloor looking for food, which is usually snails and worms.
It is found in deepwater marine habitats of the Indo-Pacific region. It gets its name because of its oval body that is covered with spiny platelike scales that look like a pinecone. The luminescent organs are on the lower jaw.
Goblin sharks are a species of fish that usually live at the bottom of the sea. They can grow 12 feet long and weigh up to 460 pounds. Scientists don’t know much about the behavior of these rarely seen animals. They have ability to completely unhinge its jaws when feeding.
Giant tube worms
Also known as Riftia pachyptila. They were discovered by accident when researchers were exploring the deep Pacific Ocean floor and saw strange, hydrothermal vents. They feed on tiny bacteria that get their energy directly from the chemicals in the water.
The name probably give them away – they can jump out of warm ocean waters. Their streamlined torpedo shape helps them gather enough underwater speed to break the surface. They are hunted by many different, and larger, fish for food.
Flamingo tongue snail
This tiny marine snail lives on coral reefs in the western Atlantic Ocean. Their bright pink or orange coloration and black spots come from the snail’s soft tissue. These sea animals are mostly found on their preferred prey species –sea fans, whip corals, and other soft corals.
Similar to other deep sea creatures, the fangtooth has large, sharp teeth which it uses to catch its food that may be swimming nearby. They grow to be about 6 inches long and have a single row of teeth.
Its scientific name is Antennariide. Its skin looks like that of a frog. What’s unusual about these sea aniumals is that it has legs – most fish don’t. The frogfish also hunts like a frog.
Australian ghost shark
This unusual shark family branched off from sharks almost 400 million years ago. You won’t mistake the ghost shark because it has very large, high-set eyes. Their snout is made to search for food prey in the sand, and is highly sensitive to electric fields and movement.
This weird- and prehistoric-looking and rare shark lives in the open ocean in in deep and dark waters. It has a long and cylindrical body that reaches about 7 feet in length. Its fins are placed far back on the body. They swim like eels, in a serpentine fashion.
It was seen for the very first time in 2005 in the South Pacific Ocean near Easter Island. Its scientific name is Kiwa hirsute. It is unusual because it has hair and no eyes.
The gigantism of the giant isopod may be an adaptation to the extreme pressure of the deep ocean they inhabit, according to Aquarium of the Pacific. These sea animals are among the largest known members of the isopod family, a group of crustaceans that are closely related to shrimp and crabs.
The basket star lives in cold to warm waters in both the northern and southern hemispheres, and doesn’t really go very deep – no more than a few hundred feet. The basket star has a five-pointed body and an arm extends from each point. Each arm has branches with many sub-branches.
It is also called stalked barnacles or gooseneck barnacles. In Spain, gooseneck barnacles, “percebes,” are an overfished delicacy fetching a high market price – $50 per pound, according to Oregon State University.
Giant spider crab
Macrocheira kaempferi’s legs span to 15 feet. It lives in the Pacific Ocean near Japan. Its natural habitat is the seabed at depths of 500 to 1,000 feet. These sea animals are the largest known species of crab and may live up to a century.
The Atlantic wolfish has very large teeth that stick out of its mouth. Despite this scary look, they are not aggressive towards people and are not known to bite humans unless provoked. They are sometimes called “wolf eels” because of their long bodies – they can be up to 5 feet.
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