Living Beneath the Ocean – 6 Strange Sea Creatures
Survival beneath sea level can be difficult and creatures that live here have adapted in order to do so. Their general appearance and features can be extremely different from the animals that live on land. Some of the ones with a unique appearance are:
Looking almost identical to a seahorse-shaped piece of seaweed, this type of fish is found mainly off the coast of Australia. They normally grow to anywhere between 20 and 24cm long, feeding on small crustaceans and plankton. Their leafy appearance makes it easier for the fish to hide from predators, and they swim close to the reefs where they can ‘disappear’ when necessary.
Thought to be one of the scariest looking fish in the ocean, anglerfish have large heads and snarling mouths. They reside in the depths of the Atlantic and Antarctic Oceans and of the species are between 20cm and 1m. The female has a light that radiates slightly above her mouth and is used to attract prey, which she will then shred with her sharp, transparent teeth.
At first glance these sharks look like discarded pieces of carpet, lying on the sea floor. They spend most of their time waiting for their next unsuspecting meal which can include fish, octopuses, and crustaceans.
There are several different species of handfish, including red, pink and spotted, and their name has been derived from the fins that they use to walk along the ocean floor which look almost exactly like human hands. Handfish are found in the waters near Australia and Tasmania, and can grow up to 15cm long. As a part of their natural protection, their skin is covered in tooth-like scales called denticles.
- Northern Stargazer
These fish are found mainly off the coast of the United States, and their name comes from the fact that their entire face is located at the top of their head, making them appear to be looking upwards constantly. In order to catch prey they bury themselves on the bottom of the ocean, where their muddy brown body provides the perfect camouflage, surfacing when a tasty morsel swims above them.
- Blob Fish
This fish has been voted as the ugliest animal in the world, because of its droopy face and lumpy appearance. The blob fish lives in very deep waters, and is mostly found off the coasts of Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand. Floating directly above the ocean floor at incredible depths, the fish has no skeleton and very little muscle mass, because they would inhibit its ability to survive with the pressure of the water above it. This causes its entire body to droop when taken out of the ocean, and we have only been able to see them after they have died. The blob fish has become an endangered species, even though they are inedible, because they get trapped in the nets which are combing the bottom of the ocean and die while being lifted out.