Beyond every shoreline lies a sea, a seemingly uniform body of water with turbulent, ceaseless movement that joins the coastlines into a continuous whole, showing no sign of the borders and labels we set upon it.
The Deep Seas
Despite being the most inhospitable environment on Earth, the deep sea is home to an astonishing variety of life. It is puzzling how such a wide variety of species could have evolved in the face of such seemingly inhospitable habitats – and yet they have. Deep sea vents and nutrient flow are likely contributing factors. According to deep sea ecologist Dr. Ramirez-Llodra, at the Norwegian Institute for Water Research, typically, the ocean floor below 656 feet (200 meters) is usually termed the deep sea, an area where sunlight is sparse and primary production is limited. Over the past few decades, the deep seas have provided a treasure trove of data on animal evolution.
There’s a good reason why the anglerfish is considered a rather scary fish. From a human perspective, it may very well be one of the ugliest creatures in the known world and one of the scariest deep sea creatures known to man. Its environment, the dark depths of the ocean floor, is one of the most hostile places on Earth.
One of the weirdest deep sea creatures is the fangtooth fish, which has a large jaw that can protrude out into the water. Fangtooths are deep-sea predators. There’s also an eel called the fangtooth moray, but it’s found in a very different environment than the fangtooth fish. The zone where fangtooth fish thrive is called “the twilight zone,” about 650 to 3,300 feet (200 to 1,000 meters) below the ocean surface.
Sea Sapphire Copepods
The sea sapphire, also known as the Sapphirina, is a tiny crustacean that is a genus of parasitic copepod. These direct phytoplankton feeders are called “sapphire of the water” due to their iridescent, translucent skin, which causes them to seem to shift colors under different lighting conditions. This quality results from minuscule hexagonal crystal plates that reflect specific wavelengths of light. Because of this, depending on the lighting, the crustacean might become undetectable to the naked sight.
The bodies of sheepshead fish have an interesting look; they are often silver or gray in color with five to seven vertical black streaks. These fish are among the most unusual in the ocean, with a single dorsal fin and an arched back behind the head. Because of the resemblance of their patterns to prison garb, these fish are sometimes also referred to as Convict Fish. Their human-like teeth are unique features of this deep sea fish; they have incisors (like human front teeth) and molars (back teeth) in their mouths.
Deep sea spiders have been discovered as far down as 2,300 feet. These bottom-dwellers may be found in every ocean on the planet and subsist on sea nettles, sponges, and other slow-moving marine organisms. Some species have sharp claws to better seize their food. Sea spiders may resemble terrestrial spiders, but they are not the same. The Arachnida class includes the spiders we see on land. In contrast, sea spiders belong to the order Pycnogonida. There are, nevertheless, some shared features between the two – they share some characteristics, such as being arthropods.
The frilled shark is one of the scariest deep sea creatures due to its prehistoric-looking eel-like body and snake-like head. It has extremely long, thin teeth with three cusps. This fearsome beast of the deep may be found at depths of up to around 4,500 feet below the ocean’s surface but is also found higher in the water column. According to scientists, one of the oldest sharks in the ocean is the frilled shark; it has been around for millions of years. In addition, studies reveal that they have altered little throughout that time.
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