Our mysterious and stunning oceans span about three-quarters of the Earth's surface. So, it's no wonder that most of our oceans are unexplored, and why we still don't know everything that lies beneath.
Let's jump right into the deep end to discover some sea creatures that seem to be plucked out of a far away planet and find out what the ocean holds!
The massive ocean sunfish is also known as "Mola" and can be found in both tropical and temperate waters. Sunfish are known for their circular shape and stunted back fin. They typically measure at a minimum of 11 ft(3.3m) in length and weigh up to a whopping 2.5 tons(2,268 kg)! The aptly named Sunfish tend to bask in the sun near the surface of water. Thanks to their mighty dorsal fins, they are commonly mistaken for sharks but don't worry, they don't pose a threat to humans.
Pink See-Through Fantasia
The translucent Pink See-Through Fantasia was recently discovered in 2007. This sea cucumber is known for its transparent body which reveals all of its fascinating structures inside. What's more remarkable is that the bioluminescent cucumber protects itself from predators by emitting a pinkish glow. The Pink See-through Fantasia has been found north of Indonesia, in the Pacific Ocean, and at depths of 8,202 ft(2,500 m).
At first glance, the Frilled Shark resembles an eel because of its long, slithery shape and ancient physical features. Its fins are found at the back of its body and it has 6 pairs of gills instead of the usual 5. Their name is fitting as the gills on both sides of their body join together like a collar at the front of the throat, giving them a ruffled appearance. Encountering a frilled shark in the deep ocean is rare because they live an isolated lifestyle. Don't underestimate their size as they can open their jaw and swallow prey whole—even larger than them!
In 2013, the Blobfish was dubbed the world's ugliest animal. Unfortunately, its reputation comes from its droopy, sad-looking face. However, we shouldn't judge the Blobfish so harshly as its unsightliness is caused by its surrounding environment. They've adapted to living in the deepest parts of the ocean, where they experience high atmospheric pressure. The viral photos of the Blobfish are above water and at low pressure, which causes its jelly-like body to cave in on itself. Furthermore, they have bulging heads and slender bodies and weigh less than 4.4 lbs(2kg).
Christmas Tree Worm
Just like its title, the Christmas Tree Worm is adorned with beautifully colored bristle-like attachments, stemming from a central body. These tiny whorl-shaped worms are predominantly found on tropical coral reefs and are less than 2 in(5 cm) in length. Their vibrant headpieces are used for both breathing and feeding. Although these festive creatures don't move, they can tunnel into the corals to hide from potential attackers.
Labeled Dumbo after the lovable Disney character, this octopus has fins that look like elephant ears. These fins are a driving force through ocean waters. Out of all the octopus species, the Dumbo octopuses are the only ones that live at extreme depths of 13,100 ft(3,993m) or more. Thankfully at these depths, they're less likely to meet with predators so they don't have signature octopus ink sacs. Not only that, Dumbo octopuses have adapted over time to live in freezing temperatures and darkness, which is a key requirement in the deep ocean.
There are about 1 million species of animals in the ocean. To protect the extraordinary creatures mentioned and many others, we need to take care of our waters. With every purchase, Solgaard and its partners save 229 plastic bottles from entering the oceans. It's time we take action—together.
Written by Arista Caldera