13 Days of Halloween: Top 10 Weirdest Sea Creatures

2016-06-29T10:48:46+00:00 October 19, 2009|

They’re weird in good ways, and they’re weird in bad ways. But most importantly, they’re just WEIRD. Really weird…

(From Discovery) — And frankly, we felt like we were being totally selfish not sharing them with you. So put on your snorkel, goggles, and flippers, and hit the water with us to check out the absolute weirdest (but coolest!) sea creatures. But we’re warning you—if our choices’ names alone are any indication, it definitely won’t be pretty.

10-blobfishNo. 10 – Blobfish

In case you ever wondered where the creator of Ziggy came up with the artistic concept, wonder no more. This fish (if “fish” we can really call it) is the weirdest looking sea creature we’ve ever seen. What’s worse is that this animal is just as lazy as it looks and sounds…it barely expends any energy even eating, making sure it gobbles up whatever just happens to be floating by at the moment. So maybe a little less Ziggy … a little more Al Bundy. Either way, it makes us seriously think about our carb intake.

axolotlNo. 9 –  Axolotl

Axolotls are like the cute anime pet you never had but always wanted, because you saw it on a deck of Pokémon cards. Tack onto that the ability to completely regenerate any dangling limb, and you’ve got yourself a real live Tamigachi! Another cool thing about axolotls is that they stay in their larval state even into adulthood, when they start becoming sexually mature—talk about babies having babies! Maury Povitch would have a field day with these weird sea creatures. Which of course, only makes them weirder.

frilled-sharkNo. 8 –  Frilled Shark

Its oxymoronic-sounding name alone conjures up visions of a shark from a Disney movie—a fluffy, fun little animal that wags its fin like Pluto wags its tail. Well, perhaps that assessment isn’t too far off. The frilled shark is not your typical shark, judging by looks alone. It closely resembles an eel—so much so that it’s mistaken for an eel quite often, and the only real distinguishing features are its signature six gill slits (that’s like a “Hell’s Angel” tattoo for sea creatures).

One more weird thing about this sea creature: they came back from the dead. Well, sorta … these animals were long thought to be extinct (they had the fossils to prove it!). It wasn’t until 2007 that someone witnessed a real live frilled shark wash up on the shore.

(Click to enlarge image) A deep-sea anglerfish caught during the current MAR-ECO cruise. Its sharp teeth are angled inward to prevent prey from escaping after being attracted by the brightly-colored "lure" above the fish's mouth / Credit: David Shale) No. 7 –  Angler Fish

We’ll say it, and we’ll say it without fear: anglerfishes are ugly. There, we said it. They are disgusting bottom-dwellers, and if that isn’t the lowest of the low, they also have a spine that doubles as bait for prey. They have big pointy teeth, and we’re pretty sure you don’t want to know what their mating habits are (if, for some reason, you do, please feel free to peruse our Top 10 Mating Rituals, where you’ll see our friendly fish here has graced yet another impressive list). All in all, “weird” only scratches the already scaly surface.

LochnessmonsterNo. 6 –  Loch Ness Monster

While the Scottish Highlands have a history of having things appear out of the mist (is Brigadoon humor still in, or is 60+ years too much time?), it is the The Loch Ness Monster, or “Nessie” as we’ve come to know her, that has become the most popular Scottish Highlands’ mist-dweller. The story goes that in August of 1933, the Courier published an article stating that a man had witnessed what appeared to be a dragon … or at least, the closest thing he had ever seen to a dragon. Years passed, and evidence proving Nessie’s existence (including photographs, video and even sonar) mounted. Because of this evidence, The Loch Ness Monster has been neither confirmed nor denied—though the scientists in the room may beg to differ.

dana-octopus-squidNo. 5 –  Dana Octopus Squid

This weird sea creature mesmerizes its prey by flashing it—but not in the what’s-under-that-trench-coat kind of way. In an actual, literal light-gets-in-your-eyes kind of way. By emitting flashes of light used to blind their prey, the Dana Octopus Squid successfully disorients, then captures them. Which begs the question: whatever happened to stimulating conversation?

leafy-sea-dragon-ocean-pobook006-swNo. 4 –  Leafy Sea Dragon

The Leafy Sea Dragon is one of the few sea creatures with its own built-in camouflage. The tiny fins that are used to propel our leafy friend forward are impossible to see, giving the illusion that you are merely watching some seaweed lazily float by (like an underwater plastic bag à la American Beauty). So the next time you see a chunk of seaweed … notice the beauty of it, yes. But also notice that you may just be witnessing one of the weirdest sea creatures in the world.

03043No. 3 –  Longhorn Cowfish

Although the Longhorn Cowfish tends to look like a hovercraft when it’s moving along, it’s not quite as fun as the Bumper Car-esque exterior it tends to exude. In fact, what it does exude is a poisonous toxin from the mucous secretions of their skin, rendering their flesh a deadly delicacy (should you be so inclined to eat one, since it has “cow” in the name and fast food these days will take anything they can get). The good news is, they tend to make a very distinct grunting noise when they’ve been captured—so just be sure to listen carefully to your next double cheeseburger.

viperfish_4No. 2 –  Viperfish

Even without the visual aid, we’re pretty sure we can explain what a viperfish looks like: imagine a baseball bat with the head of Predator. Then add some scales and the gnarliest teeth you’ve ever seen (they are so large, they don’t even fit in its mouth—they curve backward up toward its eyes). Finally, it has a radio antenna on top of its Predator head—you know, so it doesn’t miss the game. Well, that’s not entirely true: the “radio antenna” actually works as a fishing lure for its prey. By flashing the light at the tip on and off, it attracts passers-by that may (or may not, in most cases) want to be eaten. Sort of like a taxi cab! Although you’re probably safer in a viper … fish, that is.

vampire-squidNo. 1 –  Vampire Squid

Helping it stay true to its name, the Vampire Squid comes complete with its own cape, made from arms connected by black webbing. The webbing help propel it through the water and almost fly like—you guessed it—a bat. But by far, the coolest/weirdest thing about this sea creature is its ability to hypnotize its prey using what’s knowns as “photophores” on its arms. So basically it’s a living, breathing dance club.