The ocean is a place of wonder and magic. It has been extensively studied for years and years and still, it remains a mystery in many ways. Here, beneath the waves, can be found both the beautiful and the bizarre. A place of light and shadow, full of amazing creatures.
As always, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so while some may not find an octopus fits their typical idea of physical beauty, read on to discover how their incredible intelligence may be a part of their aesthetic appeal.
The Pacific Sea Nettle otherwise known as Chrysaora fuscescens is part of the jellies club. It lives in the eastern Pacific Ocean from Canada to Mexico. Sea nettles have a distinctive golden-brown bell with a reddish tint. The long, spiraling, white oral arms and the 24 tentacles may trail behind as far as 15 feet!
Despite their sting (which is painful to humans but rarely dangerous), sea nettles are eaten by sea turtles, as well as several species of large fish and marine birds.
Click here to learn more about this species of jellyfish.
The Bobtail Squid is one of the most unique sea creatures that you may find in the shallow coastal waters of the Pacific Ocean, as well as parts of the Indian Ocean. They are an absolute beauty of the ocean and they’re about as big as your thumb!
They may be small, but are quite smart and have an enormous brain. The Bobtail Squid can control the brightness of the glow caused by the bio-luminescent bacteria within them. They have special light organs inside their mantles that act as filters for the light, allowing them to adjust their glow to match the moonlight.. How incredible!
Click here to read more about these little guys.
The Lionfish is a flourishing invasive species, found in the Indian Pacific Ocean and Caribbean coastal waters. This species has the potential to harm reef ecosystems because it’s a top predator that competes for food and space with overfished native stocks.
There are 12 different species, all of which belong to the scorpion fish family. Lionfish have sharp, slender spines which are venomous, but are only used to defend themselves - not for hunting prey. They are also known for their beautifully coloured bodies.
Click here to read more about the Lionfish.
The Feather Star species are most abundant from the Indian Ocean to Japan. Their scientific name is Crinoid.
They live in shallow water, but can sometimes be found on ocean floors up to 9km below the surface. They wave their “feathers” to get around underwater. Even though they do look a bit like plants, like so many other creatures underwater, they are in fact animals. They belong to a marine animal class Crinoidea of the echinoderms. Other echinoderms are star fish, sea urchins and sand dollars.
Click here to learn more about this species.
The Octopus comes in many different colours and can weigh up to 600 pounds. There are up to 300 species of these ocean creatures!
Octopuses have three hearts, blue blood and have some of the most advanced marine animal eyes. Its two eyes have more than double the amount of optic nerves as human eyes! They are boneless and can squeeze into (or out of) tight spaces.
Not only are they beautiful, but are known as one of the most intelligent marine animals on the planet.
Click here to learn more about these species.