These 34 Rare Sea Animals Seem To Come From Another World… Amazing!
By Julia Lynn Rubin
Also known as “water bears,” these incredible, microscopic animals can survive in all of the Earth’s extreme conditions, and even in outer space!
Siphonophores are composed of medusoid and polypoid zooids that are morphologically and functionally specialized.
With its many primitive features, this rare shark is often called a “living fossil.”
No one seems to know what this is or where it came from, and it shocked vacationers when it washed up on the Gower Peninsula in Wales back in 2010. Six-feet-long and covered in shells, this goose barnacle is certainly a strange sight to behold.
Pink Sea-Through Fantasia
Only recently discovered, this incredible creature is a free swimming cucumber found in the Celebes Sea, a remote area of the western Pacific Ocean.
Christmas Tree Worm
These are tube-building polychaete worms have multicolored spirals that serve as feeding and respiration structures.
This colonial animal is composed of a complex arrangement of zooids, some of which are polyps and some medusae. At its front is an orange-colored, gas-filled float that looks like fire.
An umbrella octopus that lives in the deep sea, the Dumbo octopus has ear-like fins and can live up to 23,000 feet below sea level.
These creepy deep sea creatures are one of the ocean’s fiercest predators, using their fang-like teeth to immobilize their prey.
Australian Ghost Shark
Also known as an elephant fish, whitefish, or plownose chimaera, this shark is found off southern Australia, including Tasmania, and south of East Cape and Kaipara Harbour in New Zealand.
These brittle stars generally are found in deep sea habitats and can live up to 35 years in the wild.
This small, deep-sea cephalopod lives in lightless depths up to 3,000 feet below sea level and is able to live and breathe normally in a remote habitat known as the as the oxygen minimum zone (OMZ).
This slow-moving filter feeder shark resembles a whale but is actually fish, and can live up to 70 years in the wild.
These sharks are rare and poorly understood, with a fascinating lineage of around 125 million years.
This deep-sea creature is part of the Ptychopteridae family.
Deep Sea Jellyfish
Deep sea jellyfish come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, and are found in every ocean in the world.
Known as as a pram bug, this species of amphipod crustacean lives in depths of up to .6 feet.
Glenn Williams / National Institute of Standards and Technology / nist.gov
No, they’re not swimming unicorns, but they certainly look like ones! Those long, nerve-filled tusks help the narwhal better sense its environment.
These bizarre and colorful-looking shrimp have 12 color receptors in their eyes, as compared to the three we humans possess.
Richard E Young / tolweb.org / Creative Commons
Yes, those are chompers you’re seeing on this deep sea squid, which was found 6,000 feet below sea level by a German research vessel in the southern Atlantic ocean.
Daniel Selmeczi/Steve Bloom / Rex Features
My, what lovely lips you have! The roughback batfish lives off the western coast of the Atlantic Ocean and grows up to 3.9 inches in length.
Karen Osborne et al / biolbull.org
This charming fellow that grows to about the size of a marble lives 3,000 feet below sea level.
With a face only a mother could love, the blobfish is a lazy blob of a fish that eats whatever swims by, and was dubbed the “World’s Ugliest Animal” in 2013.
Also known as the Ocean Sunfish, this terrifying animal weighs an average of a whopping 2,200 pounds.
This spooky fish can, Exorcist-like, rotate its eyes within its transparent head, and yes, you can see its brain.
Despite its goofy name, there’s nothing funny about this fish. They use their massive, gaping mouths to wrestle with other fish over territory.
This scary guy terrorized youngsters in a memorable scene from Finding Nemo. It uses its light-producing organ to lure in prey, and to reproduce, males lose their digestive systems which then attach to the females as feed off of them, parasite-like.
This living nightmare burrows in the sand and then electrocutes fish and crustaceans that happen to pass by before swallowing them whole.
Like a cockroach of the ocean (but not related to cockroaches), the Giant Isopod can grow up to 16 inches long in deep waters due to a phenomenon known as “deep sea gigantism.”
This horrifying monstrosity enters fish through their gills and sucks all of the blood from their tongues until the tongue falls out. Noooo….
Terrible Claw Lobster
These technicolor lobsters were just discovered in 2007. Imagine all of the species in the ocean we still don’t know about…
This monster from the underworld can grow up to two feet in length, but only the females. The males only grow up to three inches long and die immediately after mating.
Also aptly known as the ghost shark or spookfish, these guys are believed to be the oldest known fish in existence, having split from sharks nearly 400 million years ago.