Deep Sea Oddities

Deep Sea Oddities

Contributed, Contributor

Earth is a strange, mysterious place and the organisms found roaming this planet can be even stranger. With 70% of the Earth being water it does not come as a surprise that most of these strange creatures are found in our oceans.  Here are some of the oddities that we have come across in our oceans today.

1.) Vampire Squid (Vampyroteuthis infernalis)
This deep-sea squid looks as though it came straight from the gates of hell, hence it’s name “Vampire Squid from Hell.” Although it’s a terrifying sigh,t it is actually a very small squid, only reaching about six inches in length. Aside from its unique look, it is also unique in the sense that it’s the last surviving member of the order Vampyromorphida, a very unique member of the Cephalopod family. It has similar features to that of octopuses and squid, and was mistaken for an octopus by researchers in 1903. Another unique feature being the two small fins on the top of its head, resembling ears, and allow them to move through the water with ease. One more special super power this creature has is that when threatened the vampire squid has the ability to wrap its web of tentacles around its body as a defense mechanism. Want to see this squid in action? Check out this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gr3JpmmQR7Y

2.) Sea Gooseberry (Pleurobrachia pileus)
In contrast to the “Vampire Squid from Hell” this underwater creature is fascinatingly beautiful. The Sea Gooseberry or Comb Jelly, as others like to call it, is not actually a jellyfish at all. Despite its looks and feathery tentacles it belongs to a phylum of it own, called Ctenophora, completely unrelated from the jellyfish. It gets its name, comb jelly, from the eight rows of hair-like cilia found on its body, called comb-rows. The rhythmic beating of the cilia on these comb-rows allows the comb jelly to swim and is also responsible for the multi-colored light given off, making it very interesting to look at! Watching them do their thing its breath-taking, check it out! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOJJxnNL4SY

3.) Pacific Barreleye Fish
The Pacific Barreleye Fish may just be the one of the oddest things in our oceans today. It’s most unique feature being its transparent head. Located inside this fluid filled capsule are two green blobs that are actually the fish’s eyes. These eyes can rotate either straight up, though its transparent head, or forwards through the mouth. This unique creature is covered in scales and its large, flat fins allow it to remain nearly motionless in the water. Although scientists have know about the barrerleye fish since 1939, it was only photographed alive for the first time in 2004, and thank goodness it was, so we could see this incredibly odd but very cool fish. To find out more about check out this link, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RM9o4VnfHJU

4.) The Deep Sea Anglerfish 
(Melanocetus johnsoni)
Made famous by the Pixar movie “Finding Nemo” this creature of the deep makes for a very shocking sight. This particular anglerfish is just one of 200 different species. The anglerfish gets its name from its long dorsal spine that holds a bioluminescent light that the fish wiggles around, like a fishing lure, to catch its prey. Another rather odd thing about this fish is the way it reproduces. When the male anglerfish matures, it loses its digestive system making it impossible to feed. In order to survive the male must lock its hook like teeth into the skin of the much larger female anglerfish. Once he bites the female an enzyme is released, fusing the two together, thus allowing the male angler to live off the female like a parasite. Could it get any weirder? Its rare to catch these things on camera, check it out! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VqPMP9X-89o

5.) Carnivorous Coral
This species of coral is very much odd compared to its other shallow water relatives. Although it has been known to be in the depths off the coast of California since 2000, it only recently was found to be carnivorous. The carnivorous coral, also known as the harp sponge, has its shape in order to increase its surface area to catch its crustacean prey. It does so with its tiny Velcro-like hooks, and then it surrounds the catch with a membrane, and slowly dissolves it with chemicals. It gets even weirder. The tiny balls on top of the branches are actually “sperm packets” that will one day float away and find another sponge to create more of these weird coral creatures. Interested to find out more? Check out this video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VC3tAtXdaik
With less than 10% of our oceans actually discovered, who knows what other oddities could be hidden in the deep-blue sea? Miraculously we have found the strange creatures above, here’s to hoping to find much weirder things to come!