Ten Fascinating and Bizarre Creatures of the Deep

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Finally!  A list where you don’t have to hit “next” after every entry! According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, humans have only explored five percent of the world’s oceans.  Here are ten fascinating and bizarre creatures of the deep.

#10: The Blobfish

The blobfish (Psychrolutes marcidus) is a misunderstood creature, when it is in it’s natural habitat (the deep ocean), it doesn’t appear to have overly bizarre features. However, when it is brought out of the water, due to a lack of muscle it’s face becomes rather unappealing.

#9 The Gulper Eel

The Gulper eel (Saccopharynx ampullaceus) that has evolved to be almost entirely consisting of mouth and stomach.  It has the ability to swallow prey it’s own size (and sometimes larger) due to the enormous size of it’s mouth in comparison with the rest of its body.

#8:  Giant Squid

The Giant Squid (genus Architeuthis) is one of the largest cephalopods in the ocean.  Specimens have been observed that have reached up to 43 feet in length, and they have the largest eyes of any known animal ( in order to hunt their prey in the deep ocean).

#7: The Oarfish

The giant oarfish (Regalecus glesne) is a fish that may have given rise to some sailor’s tales of sea serpents.  For good reason: the giant oarfish has been known to reach a length of 36 feet or more.  They live in the deep ocean where there is little to no turbulant water, so when they are found in shallow waters, they are usually sick or injured and do not have the muscle mass to survive the choppy seas of the surface.

#6: The Frilled Shark

The frilled shark (Chlamydoselachus anguineus) is one of the strangest-looking sharks in the ocean.   Its body is eel-like, when the gills are flared, the head resembles that of a venomous snake, and its jaws are filled with small, backward-pointing rows of needle-like teeth which make them perfect for snagging squid.

#5: The Giant Isopod

The giant isopod (Bathynomus giganteus) is a massive Deep-sea dwelling relative of your typical garden-variety rolly polly and woodlouse. Their size can reach up to around 15 inches.

#4: The Sarcastic Fringehead

The sarcastic fringehead (Neoclinus blanchardi) is a fish whose first impressions are drastically changed as soon as it opens its mouth.  Although small and a relatively shallow-water fish, once it’s gaping maw is open it looks like a nightmare.  The huge mouth flaps on the fringehead’s mouth is used to deter enemies and establish dominance.

#3: Transparent Fish

While there are many transparent animals in the world, these ghostly creatures are understandably rarely seen. Transparent animals have tissues with the molecular structures of the cells arranged in such a way that allows light to pass through, allowing for a nearly-perfect camouflage.

#2:  Fish with Transparent Head

It’s scientific name is Macropinna microstoma but commonly referred to as the “barrel head fish.” It’s one of the strangest fish in the ocean.  The fish is so bizarre that when the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute posted videos of the fish online, many viewers claimed that it was an April Fool’s joke and that the fish was a product of computer-generated imagery.  It’s not uncommon for fish to have transparent bodies.  However, this species is exceptional for it’s looks (no pun intended).

#1:  The “Flying Spaghetti Monster”

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This strange creature is a relative of jellyfish and coral, and lives at great depths.  It’s nickname comes from the strong resemblance to subject of the religion of “The Flying Spaghetti Monster.” It’s scientific name is Bathyphysa conifer, and was captured on film by a BP oil rig diving team off the coast of Angola.

 

 

Read National Cryptid Society Case Files 1st Edition for case files 1-10.

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