Weird sea creatures and strange fish

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Cookie Monster sea sponge

Mauricio Handler / Handlerphoto.com “>Cookie Monster sea sponge

A trio of purple sea sponges

(Alpysina archeri)

fused together form a strong resemblance to Cookie Monster. Photographer Mauricio Handler came across this surprise while on a diving trip to Curacao in the Caribbean.  

( Mauricio Handler / Handlerphoto.com )

Axolotl … or Pokemon?

The axolotl is also known as the Mexican salamander, which remains in its larval stage throughout its life.  (DanielleB2013 / Flickr)

Sea pig

The deep-ocean sea cucumber (

Scotoplanes globosa

), or “sea pig,” eats sea floor mud and small animals and microbes that live in the mud. Research by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute suggests

its population can change dramatically

depending on how much food sinks to the sea floor.  

(2005 MBARI)

Giant spiders on the ocean floor

A giant sea spider (

pycnogonid

) and a pom-pom anemone — each about a foot across — were photographed nearly 10,000 feet below the surface of California’s Monterey Bay. The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

videotaped the spiders

sucking the juices out of deep-sea anemones.  

( 2002 MBARI)

Blob sculpin

This blob sculpin (

Psychrolutes phrictus

) was photographed off Big Sur. Blob sculpin grow to about 2 feet long and are shaped like large, flabby tadpoles.

Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

researchers have seen groups of them brooding eggs in undersea ridges off Northern California. 

(2001 MBARI)

Monster goldfish

Huge goldfish

weighing more than 4 pounds — dwarfing their finger-length, aquarium-bound counterparts — have caused problems in California’s Lake Tahoe. 

(Heather Segale / University of Nevada-Reno)

Snakehead fish

The snakehead fish, illegal in most U.S. states because of its danger as an invasive predator, is able to live outside water for days. (Ed Wray / Associated Press)

Fangtooth moray eel

The fangtooth moray eel has an elongated jaw and glass-like teeth. (Phillippe Guillame)

Barreleye fish

The deep-ocean barreleye fish has a transparent dome-like head and tubular eyes that gaze upward as well as forward.  (Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute)

Ancient shark-like animal helicoprion

The helicoprion was a giant shark-like animal from roughly 270 million years ago. Fossils show that the helicoprion had up to 150 sharp, serrated teeth that spiraled around each other. The smallest teeth are in the middle of the spiral, which looks a bit

like a buzz saw.(Ray Troll)

Sea slug disposes of its penis

The sea slug

Chromodoris reticulata

has a

disposable penis

that it sheds after sexual intercourse.  

()

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