Beneath the vast surface of the ocean lies all sorts of incredible marine creatures. Let’s take a look at some of them!
TOP 1 Clown Frogfish
The Clown Frogfish is a colourful creature that resembles coral reefs. It is able to change colour within weeks to adapt to its surroundings. In spite of its seemingly small size and harmless look, it is a skilful carnivore that feeds on other fish, including those with almost the same size. After striking its prey at lightning speed, it swallows the pray whole with its big mouth.
TOP 2 Leafy Sea Dragon
Found in the waters off south and east Australia, leafy sea dragons are closely related to seahorses and pipefish. They are among the marine creatures who are the best at camouflaging, with many branches of “leaves” growing out of their bodies which resemble seaweed. This is immensely useful in helping them to hide among clumps of seaweed on the ocean floor. However, these leaf-like structures do not help with the movement of the sea dragon. Two thin and almost transparent fins are used instead to help them move.
TOP 3 Pink See-Through Fantasia
The pink see-through fantasia is a type of sea cucumber where you can see all of its internal organs from the outside, from the mouth to its intestines and right through its anus. Found at depths of roughly 2500m below sea level, it is bioluminescent (able to give off light) and it usually lights up when it senses danger such as when it is attacked by predators. These amazing creatures were only discovered in the western Pacific Ocean in 2007!
TOP 4 Marrus Orthocanna
This eye-catching creature looked as though it is one organism, but it is actually a siphonophore (a group of zooids). The different zooids that are attached to the orange stem have different roles such as capturing prey, locomotion, reproduction and removing wastes. All of them are genetically identical as they descended from one fertilized egg. The orange burst at the end that looks like the flame from a rocket is a gas-filled chamber that helps it to stay afloat in water. It is found deep in the Arctic sea and it feeds on prey such as krill and other small crustaceans.
TOP 5 Yeti Crab
The Yeti Crab got its name from its hairy body and pale yellow colour. This fascinating creature is completely blind but this is of no concern as it is able to obtain food using its hair where countless bacteria reside. First discovered in 2005 in the South Pacific Ocean, it lives near the thermal vents on the sea bed where hot water is seeping out through the sea floor. They can usually be found in large quantities, hiding behind or underneath rocks and huddled together for warmth.
TOP 6 Christmas Tree Worm
The Christmas Tree worm has two fir tree-like appendages sticking out from its back, which earned it its name. As a ciliary feeder, the bristles on the “Christmas trees” are used to take in air and catch food that passes by. The food is then channelled into the worm’s body for digestion. Perched on corals, the Christmas Tree worm also takes in sand through its appendages for the purpose of building structures that anchor them to the corals.
TOP 7 Wobbegong
The Wobbegong is a species of the “carpet shark” family that resides in the tropical waters of the Western Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean. Looking incredibly like a piece of rug, they spend a lot of time resting on the sea bed. As they lie there in camouflage, they wait for their prey, such as fish, octopuses and crustaceans, to swim past before jumping on them and swallowing them whole. Some wobbegongs have also been observed to sneak up on their prey in a more active search for food.
TOP 8 Giant Hatchetfish
Contrary to its name, the giant hatchetfish only has a length of less than 5 inches. It is a deep sea fish that can be found in most oceans with temperate waters. It has eyes that look upwards and a row of light-producing organs along its belly which makes it bioluminescent. These light-producing organs are capable of shining white light that resemble daylight from above the surface of the ocean. This creates a counter-illumination that confuses its predators.
TOP 9 Red-lipped Batfish
This fish with red hot lips can be found walking the seafloor in the oceans near the Galápagos Islands. It belongs to one of some 60 species of batfishes who have adapted to a life on the seafloor where their pectoral and pelvic fins are modified for walking. The functions of the red lips are not entirely known, and it is speculated that it could be used to attract mates or identify others of the same species. They use their fishing rod snout on a retractable appendage to emit chemicals that lure preys.
TOP 10 Basket Star
The Basket Star is one of the most intricate and complex creatures. It is a distant relative of sea stars, sea urchins and star fish. Each of its five arms have their own branches that in turn branch out into more branches, forming an intricate network. The branches curl into little hooks at the end to help the star grab their prey which includes small mollusks and crustaceans. When disturbed or when there is a strong current, the Basket Star will curl up to protect itself and make itself more dense and resistant to being swept away.
Photo credits: National Geographic Kids, Science Focus, ourmarinespecies, hyperactivz, Sierra Club
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