The goblin shark is probably one of the scariest sharks to swim in the ocean. I mean, look at it!
Goblin sharks typically live at depths of more than 100 m (330 ft), and look unlike any other shark, with a long flattened snout, highly protrusible jaws (you can see just how protrusible in the gif) containing prominent nail-like teeth and a pinkish coloration.
A very rare creature, it has only been encountered a few times since its discovery.
There is this thing on Wikipedia that says “in April 2003, over a hundred goblin sharks were caught off northwestern Taiwan”, but I don’t know how accurate that is. Can anyone confirm it?
Angler fish- the huge, ugly creature in the first picture is certainly one. But is the second? What about the fourth?
In actual fact, those are male angler fish. In my opinion, they’re one of the most pathetic and unfortunate males in the fishy kingdom. Why? Because its weak, horrible at getting food, and because the entire reason for their existence is to find a female.
After sniffing out (literally) a suitable female, the males will latch themselves onto her and soon his lips, body and internal organs will literally fuse with the female. He leaves behind nothing but a pair of gonads (testicles to you) that help the female fertilise her eggs.
Basically, the male angler becomes a new pair of balls for the female.
A side note: the female angler can fuse with as many males as she wants.
Leafy Sea Dragons
These stunning sea dragon pictures illuminate their mysterious beauty and extraordinary adaptations. The near-invisibility of their fins gives the sea dragons the appearance of floating seaweed that is drifting with the currents. Instead of scales, they have protective armor to ward off predators. The row of spines along their backs can also wound attackers. At other times they will curl into balls like porcupines in self defense. Truly extraordinary creatures.
I love me some bioluminescence
Gymnosomata, commonly known as Sea Angels. An apt name- the sea angels are the ethereal, translucent, fluttering angels of the sea.
In hard scientific terms, they’re small swimming sea slugs, but we’ll pass over that for now and just admire how delicately beautiful these wonderful creatures are.
Sea butterflies, a group of swimming sea snails, are canaries in the coal mine for the ocean. Delicately beautiful and highly sensitive to the changing oceans, these tiny creatures—most smaller than a pinky nail!—present a unique way to gauge climate. One-quarter of the carbon dioxide we release into the atmosphere dissolves into the ocean, which makes the water more acidic and makes it more difficult for these animals to build their own shells.
Scientists at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History are studying them to learn how ocean acidification will affect a wide array of ocean animals. Read our article at Smithsonian Magazine about the animals and scientists studying them—with stunning photos.
All photos © Karen Osborn (Smithsonian biologist)