Deep-Sea Creatures that Seem out of this World!

By Shreesha Ghosh

June 8 , 2022

Mantis Shrimp

These exotic deep-sea creatures may be small, but they are extra mighty crustaceans (exoskeletoned water animals) with glowing green backs, red legs, bulging eyes, and long antennae that make the mantis shrimp one of the most alien-looking creatures on the planet! They reside in coastal waters but can be found upto 1,300m deep.

Image source: Adobe Stock

Feather Star

These magnificent marine animals wave their “feathers” to get around underwater. They like shallow water but can sometimes be found on ocean floors up to 9 km below the surface. Feather stars use their grasping “legs” (called cirri) to perch on sponges, corals, or other substrata and feed on drifting microorganisms.

Image source: Adobe Stock

Glaucus Atlanticus

The glaucus atlanticus or the “blue dragon” is a stinging sea slug that floats upside down on the waves: their blue bellies face up to match the surface, and their silver backs face down to blend in with the light shining down. They are found throughout the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans in temperate and tropical waters.

Image source: Adobe Stock

Dumbo Octopus

The name dumbo octopus refers to deep-sea umbrella octopuses, named for their fins that resemble Disney's Dumbo, an elephant with enormous ears. There are at least 15 species of dumbo octopuses with their arms connected by a web of skin that resembles an umbrella when spread out. They move slowly by flapping their ear-like fins and using their arms to steer.

Image source: Adobe Stock

Leafy Sea Dragon

Leafy sea dragons are named for their plant-like appearance, which allows them to blend in perfectly with algae that grow in the seagrass beds and the rocky reefs. These fish mostly resemble seahorses but are closely related to the pipefishes or may be the intermediate between the two.

Image source: Adobe Stock

Hairy Frogfish

Talk about being in a hairy situation! The hairy frogfish is a type of fish that is covered in spines, which resemble strands of hair that helps it to camouflage itself against coral and seaweed. Found mostly in warm waters around the world, the marine animal also changes its colour to blend in with its surroundings.

Image source: Adobe Stock

Ribbon Eel

Usually seen nestled into burrows around coral reefs, the ribbon eel (also called leaf-nosed moray eel) is named so because they swim like a dancing ribbon. They start out black with a pale yellow stripe along the fins, and as they grow and transition to a bright blue and yellow colouring. These eels can change their sex from male to female several times in their lives.

Image source: Adobe Stock

Christmas Tree worm

Scientists found this strange creature at the Great Barrier Reef's Lizard Island. The spiral "branches" seen on them are actually the worm's breathing and feeding apparatuses, while the worm itself lives in a tube. Each worm has two brightly coloured crowns that extend from its tube-like body.

Image source: Adobe Stock

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