We are all aware that the ocean is big. Not just big…HUGE. Studies estimate that we have explored less than 5% of the Earth’s oceans. In fact, we know more about alien planets than we know about our own ocean floor. Scientists have attempted to “guess” at how many marine species are undiscovered, but how can one accurately estimate the number of sea creatures in the ocean? Here, we will talk about some of the strangest deep sea creatures ever seen by man.
The Three Strangest
The recent story about the 18-foot-long Oarfish being found in shallow water, dead, piqued my curiosity. Even though the Oarfish isn’t a “newly discovered species”, there is very little known about it because it lives in deep water. This got me thinking about all the various ocean inhabitants that we don’t know much about, and there are many! Below are the top three most interesting in my opinion.
1. Deep Sea Hatchetfish
The Deep Sea Hatchetfish lives up to 3 ½ miles deep in the ocean. It has large eyes that are permanently fixed upward so it can find downward floating food. They get their name from the shape of their body and look more like a zombie than a fish. Ew.
2. Sarcastic Fringehead
This fish grows to be about a foot long and has a huge mouth. It is very aggressive, territorial, and will protect its home from any size intruder. When it feels threatened, its mouth opens extremely wide and displays its needlelike teeth. When confronted with another Fringehead, they engage in “mouth to mouth” combat to determine which fish is stronger.
First of all, it’s name is deceiving. “Stargazer” sounds like a romantic quality. With this fish (pictured above, courtesy of mabusincarnate.com), I would hardly call this fish “romantic”. It is actually called the stargazer because its eyes are situated on top of its head. This guy buries himself in the sand on the ocean floor and waits until something swims by that looks like a good meal. Its ugly mug comes complete with electric shock capability and poisonous spines making the stargazer something I would not want to meet up with. Ever.
Maybe you’ve heard of these fish or maybe they are “new discoveries” to you. One thing is true; these three are just a tiny drop in the bucket compared to what’s out there. That’s a pretty scary thought!