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Creatures of the Deep
- Sunday 18th February 2018
Did you know that 95% of our oceans remain unexplored by humans? And that around two-thirds of all marine life are unidentified? So what kind of amazing creatures live in the dark depths of the sea? We did some exploring to find out.
The Pacific Viperfish
This is one mean-looking fish! With razor-sharp teeth that are so huge they can’t even fit in its mouth, this fearsome beast can swim to depths of up to 4,400 metres and they use the bioluminescent photophores on their stomachs to lure in their prey.
The Vampire Squid
You might’ve seen little friendly squids swimming about when you’ve been on holiday, but you will probably never encounter the impressive Vampire Squid. It has earned this unusual name because it lives 3,000 metres below sea level, and is capable of drawing its dark, webbed arms over itself like a protective cloak.
Giant Tube Worms
Think worms are just the friendly fellas that hang around in your garden? Think again! Giant Tube Worms live on the seabed, despite enduring crushing pressure, complete darkness, and extreme cold. They thrive wherever there’s a hydrothermal vent, which gush out extremely hot water and toxic chemicals.
The Sixgill Shark
We all know that sharks are amazing creatures, but did you know that the Sixgill Shark can survive at depths of 2,500 metres? They only come back up to the surface to hunt, where they feed on other sharks, seals, rays, squids, and even crabs.
The Fangtooth Fish
This scary-looking critter has been found at depths of 5,000 metres! They may only grow to around 16 centimetres long, but their teeth are the largest of any fish, when you take into account the proportion of their body size.
The Frilled Shark
The second shark that makes it onto our list, the Frilled Shark, is rarely seen by humans as it lives 1,500 metre below the surface. They bear many resemblances to the creatures that occupied our oceans in the time of the dinosaurs, so they are considered particularly interesting by marine biologists.
The Giant Spider Crab
The largest arthropod in the world, the Giant Spider Crab can grow to up to 3.7 metres in length, from claw to claw. They forage for food at around 300 metres deep and they can usually be found swimming in Japanese waters.
The Big Red Jellyfish
As its name suggests, this huge animal grows to around 1 metre in length and emits a pinky-red glow in the dark ocean depths. Rather than having tentacles, this jellyfish uses its long fleshy ‘feeding arms’ to grab prey.
The Dragon Fish
Living at depths of up to 2km, this formidable beast is capable of producing its own light through bioluminescence, when light issues from the barbel attached to its jaw. Although it lives most of its life in the deep sea, it actually starts life right on the surface, as Dragon Fish eggs are buoyant.
The Goblin Shark
Not the prettiest creature in the world, but the Goblin Shark is impressive nevertheless. It roams the oceans 1,300 metres below sea level and protrudes its fearsome-looking jaws to catch fast-moving fish. What’s more, its skin is actually see-through. So the pink coloring you can see is actually the blood that rests underneath its skin.
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