Most Bizarre Sea Creatures

1 week ago
From ancient scary sharks … to enormous Sunfish and a tongue-eating parasite … Here are 26 of the most bizarre sea creatures

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#10 Hagfish
A lot of undersea life has an alien quality to it … and this creature is a definite case in point. Having changed little over some 300 million years, Hagfish have no jaws, and only rudimentary vertebrae. They are known to exude a thick slime when attacked, and can tie themselves into an overhand knot to avoid capture. Thanks to those defense mechanisms, the Hagfish is rarely targeted by predators.

#9 Sarcastic Fringehead
Measuring about 12 inches long, the unusual looking fish can be highly temperamental and territorial. To defend itself, and animal will expand its huge mouth, then flex and snap its jaws. When two fringeheads have at it, their gaping mouths grapple so closely that they look like they're kissing.

#8 Frilled Shark
While this animal is fairly well dispersed about the globe, they’re unlikely to been seen … since they usually live more than 4,000 feet deep in the oceans. They’re often cited as living fossils because the eel-like creature have changed very little over some 80 million years. Their mouth contains 300 sharp, triangular teeth, and they have a snake like motion when they strike prey. Did you know it name is a reference to the six pair of gill slits that appear frilled.

#7 Blobfish
It’s visage is often compared to that of a grumpy old bloke, and little wonder why. While it appears unsavory, the slimy gelatinous skin serves a vital role in the animal’s survival. The blobfish lives at depths of around 4000 feet. Its unusual flesh allow the fish to expend less energy swimming by easily floating above the seafloor.

#6 American Anglerfish
With a flattened body that enables it to hid on the seafloor camouflaged in sediment until prey passes by the Anglerfish is recognized as an expert ambush predator. The mouth is filled with strong teeth and spines … and is large enough to trap prey larger than itself.

#5 Harp Sponge
It doesn’t seem obvious at first glance, but this actually a carnivorous creature that was found more than 11,000 feet deep off the coast of California. The sponge has branching limbs with barbed hooks that can ensnare prey, usually small crustaceans. Its unusual form is thought to be an adaptation to a deep sea environment.

#4 Stargazer
DId you know these creatures are sometimes referred to as the ‘meanest things in creation’? It’s not just due to their scary appearance … it’s also due to some scary abilities. All species are venomous, while select species are known to administer electric shocks to ward off predators. And their scary appearance serves a purpose. While it doesn't necessary scare off aggressors, their top-mounted eyes allow them to stay buried in the sandy sea floor until prey passes by overhead.

#3 Hoodwinker Sunfish (thumb)
In case you were wondering, no … the picture does not show an eccentric chef that has created a strange colored pancake on the beach. And even though it appears to have been run over by a steamroller, the flattened appearance is typical for the Ocean Sunfish. It’s also known as the Mola Mola, and is known for its massive size … on average weighing more than 2,200 pounds and measuring more than 8 feet from fin to fin. In 2014, a previously unknown species of the creature was discovered on a beach in New Zealand. This one is larger than other species of sunfish, weighing around 4,000 pounds and measuring 10 feet long. Even though it’s bigger, this species actually has a slimmer and sleeker build. While it’s also known as the Mola Tecta, the research team that discovered it called it the Hoodwinker Sunfish because the creature proved so difficult to locate. Did you know that this is the first species of sunfish to be identified in around 130 years?

#2 Goblin Shark
This critter has become something of a fan favorite on Epic Wildlife, so we’d be remiss to omit it.
It’s best known feature is its mouth -- one of the scariest in the entire animal kingdom. They can catch prey with their razor sharp teeth by popping their jaws out of their mouths. It’s an unforgettable sight, and one that often draws comparison to the Xenomorph in Alien. Dwelling in frigid waters some 4000 feet deep, experts say they belong to a family that dates back around 125 million years.

#1 Pacific Lampreys
This sea creature looks like it was custom-made for a horror movie. Lampreys are among the most primitive of extant vertebrates remaining mostly unchanged over some 380 million years. Their scary mouths will clamp the lamprey onto larger fish (and even sperm whales) as a parasite to feed on blood and other bodily fluids.

Most Bizarre Sea Creatures