The Sea Cucumber

The continued existence of these icky echinoderms is somewhat mind boggling. Lacking a true brain and any semblance of sensory organs, the sea cucumber is endowed with the same mental capacity as the food for which it is named. Nevertheless, the colorful cuke constitutes a vital part of the oceanic ecosystem, as it breaks down detritus and recycles any and all nutrients that come its way.

Unlike the cucumbers we like to put over our eyes and into our salads, the sea cucumber is incredibly flexible due to its collagen levels. For instance, if the sea cucumber needs to wedge itself into a tiny crevice, its collagen will loosen and the sea cucumber will effectively liquify itself to seep into its desired locale. When situations get truly dire, sea cucumbers can also engage in self mutilation by violently contracting their muscles and expelling some of their internal organs out through their anus to ward off predators. Don’t try this at home the next time you have an unwanted guest, though; unlike sea cucumbers, your internal organs won’t grow back.

Leopard Sea Cucumber

Source: WordPress

Sea Cucumber Bizarre Ocean Animals

Source: Reef Guide

Savannah Cox
Savannah Cox is the Managing Editor of All That Is Interesting. She holds a Master's Degree in International Relations, and works as a reporter/producer for DNAinfo.
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