If you’re like most people, you probably think of sharks and dolphins when you think of water dwelling creatures. But the ocean and waterways are home to many more amazing animals than that! Here are 17 sea and water dwelling creatures that you’ve never heard of before. From the bizarre Mola mola to the beautiful peacock mantis shrimp, these creatures are sure to amaze you!
The ocean is a vast and mysterious place. Covering over 71% of the Earth’s surface, it is home to an estimated 8 million species of plants and animals! That’s more than all the other habitats on Earth combined! And we only know about a fraction of these species. Scientists estimate that there are still millions of undiscovered species living in the ocean. Rivers and lakes take up a further 0.8% of the Earth’s surface and are home to an estimated 3 million species. That’s a lot of creatures!
So what kinds of creatures are out there? Here are 17 of the most amazing and bizarre sea and water dwelling creatures that you’ve probably never heard of!
1. Mola Mola
The Mola mola, or ocean sunfish, is one of the strangest looking fish in the sea. It has a large, flat body and a small tail fin. Its diet consists mostly of jellyfish, but it will also eat algae, crustaceans, and sometimes even other fish.
Axolotls are a type of salamander that can be found in freshwater lakes and rivers in Mexico. They are unique because they can regenerate their limbs and spinal cord! They are also the only known vertebrate to be able to do this.
3. Sea Pigs
Sea pigs, or Scotoplanes, are a type of sea cucumber that lives in the deep ocean. They get their name from their pork-like appearance. They feed on detritus and use their tube feet to move around.
4. Peacock Mantis Shrimp
The peacock mantis shrimp is a type of crustacean that can be found in tropical and subtropical waters. It is one of the most colorful creatures in the sea. It is also one of the deadliest, as it can kill with a single strike of its powerful claws.
5. Goblin Sharks
Goblin sharks are a type of deep-sea shark that can grow up to 12 feet long. They are pink in color and have a long, flat snout. They are rarely seen by humans as they live in the deep ocean. They eat fish, squid, and crustaceans.
6. Water Bears
Water bears, or tardigrades, are a type of microscopic animal that can be found in freshwater and terrestrial habitats all over the world. They are one of the few creatures that can survive in space!
7. Yeti Crabs
Yeti crabs are a type of blind crustacean that can be found in the deep sea. They are covered in hairy spines and have long claws. They are named after the Yeti, a mythical creature from the Himalayas.
8. Pink Dolphin
The pink dolphin, or Inia geoffrensis, is a freshwater dolphin that can be found in the Amazon River. It is the largest river dolphin in the world and can grow up to 8 feet long.
9. Blue Dragon
The blue dragon, or Glaucus Atlanticus, is a type of sea slug that can be found in the open ocean. It is blue in color and has a long, thin body. It feeds on poisonous creatures such as jellyfish.
10. Giant Squid
The giant squid, or Architeuthis dux, is a type of cephalopod that can be found in the deep ocean. It is the largest known squid species, and can grow up to 60 feet long! Most squid that people know of grow to around 3-4 feet in length.
Anglerfish are a type of fish that can be found in the deep ocean. They get their name from their long, lure-like appendage that they use to attract prey. They are one of the strangest looking creatures in the sea!
12. Hammerhead Shark
The hammerhead shark, or Sphyrna mokarran, is a type of shark that can be found in tropical and subtropical waters. It is distinguished by its wide, flat head. It is a top predator in the ocean and feeds on fish, squid, and crustaceans. There is a rare sub-species of the hammerhead shark called the great hammerhead shark, or Sphyrna mokarran. This type of shark can grow up to 20 feet long!
13. Vampire Fish
The vampire fish, or Payara, is a type of freshwater fish that can be found in the Amazon River. It is a predator and feeds on other fish. It has two long, sharp teeth that protrude from its lower jaw. These teeth are used to impale its prey.
14. Diving Bell Spider
The diving bell spider, or Argyroneta aquatica, is a type of spider that can be found in freshwater habitats all over the world. It is the only known spider to live entirely underwater! It builds a web-like structure that it uses to trap air and breathe.
15. Great Crested Newts
The great crested newt, or Triturus cristatus, is a type of newt that can be found in Europe and Asia. It is a protected species in the UK. It is black or dark brown in color with orange spots. It can grow up to 8 inches long.
16. Chinese Giant Salamander
The Chinese giant salamander, or Andrias davidianus, is the largest known amphibian in the world! It can grow up to 6 feet long and weigh up to 140 pounds. It is native to China and can be found in rivers and lakes. It is a protected species in China.
17. Goliath Tigerfish
The goliath tigerfish, or Hydrocynus goliath, is a type of freshwater fish that can be found in the Congo River. It is a predator and feeds on other fish. It can grow up to 6 feet long and weigh up to 154 pounds. It is the largest known freshwater fish in Africa!