(ORDO NEWS) — Scientists say they know more about the cosmos than about the ocean. So in a sense, most of the creatures hiding under the water column can be natural aliens, because 91% of them are still unknown to us.
Those that we know at least something about have adapted to their environment with a special predilection. “Popular Mechanics” has collected a dozen of the strangest and rarest marine life.
1 – Black Crookshanks
The black live-eater (lat. Chiasmodon niger) is able to swallow prey much larger than itself, thanks to the expanded intestines attached to its abdomen. This adaptation is especially useful, since the lover of food lives at a depth of 150 – 3,900 meters, and in the bottomless depths of the sea with food, the situation is tense.
2 – Long-spined hedgehog
Like its cousin, the puffer fish, the urchin fish is covered in long spines and has the ability to quickly take water into its mouth to turn its body into a ball when threatened.
This is useful because it is almost impossible for predators to swallow a urchin fish in full alert mode. And even if the predator manages to devour the hedgehog before he has time to pout, it still will not end in anything good. All in all, not the best meal.
3 – Goblin shark
Sharks are generally not very attractive, and this one looks damn scary at all. A very rare creature can grow up to four meters in length and has the ability to stick out its entire jaw to catch prey. Fewer than 50 of these sharks have been sighted since 1898.
4 – Hellish vampire
Oddly enough, this species of marine life is neither a squid nor an octopus, despite its appearance. Scientists have identified the infernal vampire as a completely separate animal, although it has eight “arms” and two tentacles.
Again, the name can be confusing – these creatures don’t suck blood and are actually quite passive hunters. Juveniles are found at great depths, where they feed on organic debris falling from the upper layers of the ocean.
And they named him so because of the skin between his “arms”, which resembles the cloak of Count Dracula.
5 – Darwin’s bat
Darwin’s bat is a poor swimmer, using his adapted pectoral fins to walk on the ocean floor. And, as the name implies, there is no hurry. When this strange looking fish reaches sexual maturity, its dorsal fin becomes single. But she can’t swim better even in adulthood.
6 – Architeuthis
It’s not just another squid, it’s a giant squid! And it’s just a nightmare. The largest ever recorded was a whopping 13 meters long – almost half of a blue whale. Scientists know little about the giant beast and its habits, since they spend most of their time at depths that are almost impossible for us to reach.
7 – Pelican bigmouth
Believe it or not, this fish is named for its massive mouth and jaw that help them swallow their prey whole. No intrigue.
They can grow up to 180 centimeters in length, and their huge mouths allow them to hunt for prey several times their own size.
To navigate at great depths in conditions of pitch darkness and excessive pressure (for a large mouth this value ranges from 30 to several hundred atmospheres), the lateral line helps the fish, which consists of a series of convex tubes instead of holes, as is typical for other fish.
8 – Angelfish
Although they are called sea angels, in fact, these creatures are predatory sea molluscs. The irony lies in the fact that the sea angel feeds on … monkfish.
So, good conquers evil even at a depth of 500 meters. If you have always wondered what baleen whales eat, then the answer is in the photos. By the way, in Japan, the sea angel and the characters created on the basis of his image are common heroes of children’s books.
9 – Worm “Christmas tree”
No, the photo is not a beautiful plant in the shape of a Christmas tree, although the creature is called “Christmas Tree”. This is a worm, scientists found it on the Great Barrier Reef.
The spiral branches are in fact the worm’s breathing and feeding apparatus, and the worm itself lives in a tube-stem. In the event of a threat, the worm folds the “Christmas tree” like an umbrella.
10 – Frog fish
It costs nothing to miss this representative of the anglerfish species, because it completely merges with its surroundings – mainly coral reefs.
They come in just about every color and texture imaginable. Regardless of their appearance, all species of frogfish have one thing in common – their eccentric way of locomotion.
They can swim very well, but most of them literally walk along the bottom on their pectoral fins. His limbs don’t just look like arms, they have a joint that resembles an elbow.
11 – Pink sea cucumber
Imagine that you have transparent skin through which you can see the intestines and other not-so-sexy organs. It’s still a spectacle.
But the pink sea cucumber, or scientifically Enypniastes eximia, does not agree with you – it really likes such a “suit”. Moreover, unlike you, he has nothing of the organs: mouth, intestines and anus.
The sea cucumber has a survival tactic that points to its long evolution: bioluminescence to deter predators. Those who do not respond to the warning signal, on those he sheds his sticky skin. Just try to call it “roto-ass” now!
12 – Mantis shrimp
A large predatory stomatopod crustacean of the genus Oratosquilla of the family Squillidae, is a candy-colored crustacean known for its ability to quickly beat prey with two forelimbs.
This guy’s kick is one of the fastest moves in the animal kingdom. It is so strong that in theory it can break the glass wall of an aquarium. But don’t worry, they mostly use their boxing skills to cut open shellfish and dismember crabs.
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