A Guide on Exotic Sea Animals
The ocean covers 70% of our world, and 80% of it remains unexplored. It is home to many mysterious and exotic fish, slugs, shrimp, squid, and many more creatures. Some of them are venomous, and some glow or live in extreme depth.
5-Minute Crafts has created a list of 10 exotic sea animals that you likely haven’t heard of.
1. Vampire squid
The vampire squid is a deep-sea creature that lives 3,000 feet below the water’s surface. Thanks to its photophores, it is hard to spot in those depths. This animal got its name because it has the ability to fold its webbed arms over its head, which makes it look like a vampire cloak. It commonly feeds on plant and animal matter that sinks to the bottom of the ocean and grows about 12 inches long. This squid can be found in the North Pacific and near the Aleutian Islands.
2. Kitefin shark
This shark is one of the largest glowing animals in the world. It reaches a max size of 5.2 feet and weighs about 18 lb. In the ocean twilight zone, being bioluminescent can help them camouflage so they can avoid predators and communicate with each other. They are commonly found at 660 feet to 3,300 feet below sea level in the Georges Bank, Florida, the Gulf of Mexico, the Bahamas, the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea south of Cameroon, and the Mediterranean.
3. Mandarin fish
The Mandarin fish is a small, super colorful animal that grows about 3 inches in length.
They are fussy eaters, as their main diet consists of small crustaceans, small worms, and protozoans. This fish is found near staghorn corals in the Western Pacific Ocean at a depth of 3 feet to 59 feet.
4. Mantis shrimp
This colorful alien-looking creature packs a powerful punch. The 2 appendages that are used for hunting can hit so fast that the surrounding water is boiled. They communicate with each other through polarized light, and that is their secret language since other species are not able to see this type of light. It’s commonly found in tropical climates, such as Western Pacific and the Indian Ocean. It grows around 2 to 7 inches long and feeds on fish, clams, and small invertebrates.
5. Leafy sea dragon
This animal might look like a plant, but it’s a type of pipefish. They are native to the southern coast of Australia. Their plant-like appearance helps them to camouflage in the seagrass that grows on the rocks, which is their habitat. The leafy sea dragon reaches a maximum size of 1 foot, and small, plankton crustaceans are their favorite food.
6. Sarcastic fringehead
The sarcastic fringehead is 10 inches long and native to some areas of California and Baja, California in the Pacific Ocean. This fish is very territorial and it uses its big mouth to scare other animals away from the burrows, where it lives. Not much is known about this creature’s diet, but they have been spotted eating squid eggs and small plankton.
7. Hairy frogfish
This walking creature can be found in the subtropical reef system and rocky grounds in Africa at depths of 33 feet to718 feet, but it’s most commonly found at 130 feet below the ocean’s surface. The hairy frogfish is good at camouflaging because it can change colors to match the surrounding environment. They grow to be around 8.7 inches and feed on crab, shrimp, and small fish.
8. Blue dragon
A blue dragon is a type of sea slug that floats upside down in the waves. They have silver backs, blue and white bellies, and grow to a maximum size of 1.2 inches. This animal feeds on the Portuguese man o’ war and the blue button jelly and can store venom and protect itself against predators. It can be found in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans.
The viperfish is a deep-sea creature that lives at 2,000 feet to 5,000 feet below the sea in the Indian, Atlantic, and Pacific Oceans. It has needle-like teeth and feeds on shrimp, fish, plankton, and crustaceans. This animal grows to be about 12 inches to 24 inches in length.
10. Humpback anglerfish
The humpback anglerfish spend their lives at a depth of 6,600 feet in the Antarctic Ocean, East, and the South China Sea. This animal has a unique way of hunting. It has a glowing modified dorsal fin that can weave and attract prey. In those depths, there isn’t much food. They will eat anything that can fit in their larger mouths, such as crustaceans, snails, and small fish. Anglerfish reach a max size of 7 inches.