The depths of the ocean are jam-packed with weird and wonderful creatures, great, small, hairy, ugly, colorful and alike. We were hard-pressed to pick just six, but here are some of the most amazing, and lesser known, creatures of the seas:
The Axolotl is a species of salamander that fails to undergo full metamorphosis, retaining qualities from the larvae stage into their adult phase. The species is generally found in Mexico,and is named after an Aztec term that means ‘water doll’. Axolotl’s are characterized by five colors (mottled black/green, white, gold, black, albino), long tails, a fin from the back of the head to the tail, four lizard-like legs, feathery gills and the ability to regenerate limbs. People tend to keep Axolotl’s as pets.
The Kiwa Hirsuta, more commonly known as Yeti Lobster, was discovered in March 2005 in the South Pacific Ocean. The crustacean is covered in silky blond setae that resembles fur and is thought to be blind because of the lack of pigment in its eyes. The hairy pincers are used to detoxify the poisonous minerals in the water where it lives.
The Dumbo Octopus is named for their ear-like fins that protrude from the top of their heads. Aside from their identifying features, Dumbo octopuses can reach up to six feet, weigh around 13 pounds, and live very deep in the ocean: between 13,000 and 23,000 feet. They use their fins to pulse the water, and hunt for food on the sea floor, often swallowing their prey whole.
The Pacific Barreleye lives in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans, and is named after their barrel-shaped eyes. Their eyes are usually directed upward to detect any oncoming prey, and are enclosed in a transparent dome. This transparent dome is also the reason they are referred to as the ‘spook fish’.
Vaguely resembling a piglet, the transparent and fleshy Piglet squid are found off the shores of Nigeria. Their identifying feature is tentacles protruding from above their eyes and very small paddle-like fins. The average Piglet Squid does not reach more than four inches.
Parrotfish are identified by the development of their teeth, which are arranged in a mosaic on the outside of their jawbones and resemble the beak of a parrot. Their beautiful, colorful scales change as they move from infant to adulthood.