Categories: F.Y.I.

5 Bizarre and Wonderful Sea Creatures

The ocean covers 71 percent of earth’s surface, and yet for some reason, we know less about what’s in it than we know about deep space. However, I’ve decided to gather up some information about some of the more interesting sea creatures that we do know about. Prepare yourself, because this is gonna get a little weird. 


1. Mantis Shrimp.

Our first sea creature is in fact a whole order of invertebrates: The stomatopods, or Mantis Shrimp. These little guys look like they’re from another planet, can see microwave radiation, punch with the acceleration of a .22 handgun, and are apparently delicious when boiled. Let me explain some of that, because it is a lot. Mantis shrimp eyes are kind of nuts, in that where humans have only three types of photoreceptor cell in their eyes, Mantis Shrimp have between 12 and 16 types of receptor. They can see polarized light, and have access to a much wider potion of the electromagnetic spectrum than humans do. As for their ability to punch things, certain types of mantis shrimp hunt by seeking out shellfish, and using their club-like forelimbs to smash through the shells. These punches have similar acceleration, but not speed or force, to a round from a .22 handgun. They won’t do serious damage to a human, but some mantis shrimp have been known to shatter the tanks they’re being kept in. 

2. Flamboyant Cuttlefish.

Our next sea creature is the Flamboyant Cuttlefish, a small and flashy cephalopod found around Australia and southeast asian islands. Like many cuttlefish, they use their color-changing skin for disguise or stealth when on the hunt, but unlike most cuttlefish, flamboyant cuttlefish also use it as a warning. These small creatures can be found “walking” along the seafloor on their fins and tentacles like tiny sea elephants, their bodies flashing a vibrant display of colors. Cuttlefish are actually quite smart, and employ complex changes of color to blend in with their surroundings when stalking or ambushing prey. The reason the Flamboyant Cuttlefish puts on a display of bright colors when moving or disturbed is because its entire body is filled with unique and deadly toxins. These toxins are as potent as the neurotoxins of the deadly Blue-Ringed Octopus, so our little friend is in good company. As for why the Flamboyant cuttlefish “walks” on the seafloor, these little guys have small cuttlebones, so they can only control their buoyancy for a short time. Basically, they walk because swimming makes them tired. 

3. Bigfin Squid.

Sea creature number 3 is an elusive nightmare that hails from the deep depths. The Bigfin squid is a really weird creature, and looks like it’s some sort of alien. These squids are also referred to as “Long-arm squids” due to the fact that their arms and tentacles can reach up to 26 feet in length. Very little is actually known about these squid, because researchers have never captured an adult specimen. However, researchers have seen what they assume are adult Bigfin or Long-arm squid, but these creatures live really deep down, between 7,000 and 15,000 feet below the surface. The reason their arms are so long is thought to be related to their hunting method, and scientists theorize that they might drag their long tentacles along the seafloor and snatch up prey. The reason they hold their arms out perpendicular to their body, however, is entirely unknown. I added these things to the list because of how weird and mysterious they are. They look like alien life-forms, and for all we know about them, they might as well be. Before I forget, they’re called “Bigfin” squid because their mantles have large fins on them. 

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4. Immortal Jellyfish.

For our fourth sea creature, we have a truly incredible being, Turritopsis dohrnii, The Immortal Jellyfish. These creatures are tiny sea jellies, less than an inch in diameter. Unlike certain other jellyfish of similar size, such as the Common Kingslayer, the Immortal jellyfish is harmless to humans, as it feeds primarily on plankton and other jellies. It is quite pretty if you can actually see it, but the real wonders begin when you consider the biological abilities of this creature. The Immortal Jellyfish, as its name would imply, possesses biological immortality. This means that it theoretically can live forever, provided no other creature manages to kill or eat it. If it gets old, sick, or otherwise exposed to significant stress, it can revert itself to a juvenile state or planula, letting it regrow and continue living. This unique ability to bypass death makes it very interesting to scientists, who are currently studying this creature for its potential applications in biology and medicine. I don’t really know if humans should be allowed to live forever, but I can’t deny that this tiny creature may hold a great amount of potential. 

5. Corals, In general.

The last of our sea creatures is actually an innumerable set of countless species. I am, of course, talking about Coral. Corals are in fact massive colonies of genetically identical creatures, known as polyps. They are Cnidarians, making them related to jellyfish and Sea Anemones, and are a very important part of the marine ecosystem. Corals have small tentacles armed with stinging cells, like jellyfish do, and use them to catch prey that drifts nearby. They also form symbiotic relationships with algae, which gives most living coral structures their vibrant array of colors, while dead corals take on a bleached, calcified white color. These Algae can form up to 30% of a colony’s mass, and are required for the coral’s long-term survival. However, some corals can have their own pigments. Many other species rely on corals for shelter and food, and rising ocean temperatures are causing damage to the coral population worldwide. While I don’t want to bring the mood down too much, it’s important that we look out for these amazing creatures we share our planet with. While most people think of hard coral reefs when the topic of coral is mentioned, there are also soft corals, such as the one pictured below. 

I hope you found these wonderful creatures as interesting as I do. If you did, Let us know!

Featured Image Source:
Edward Zukoski

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