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Oddities Part 2
The world is a strange place sometimes, and under the sea, it can get even stranger. We have sent people to the moon and are right now planning missions to Mars, but we have not even come close to fully exploring or understanding the depths of the Earth's oceans. Even today new species are being discovered and ones that were believed to be extinct are being found. And then there are the really weird, the breathtakingly odd that deserve special mention.
Leafy Sea Dragon
Seahorses are some of the most elegant, beautiful and yet fascinating creatures in the ocean, and the Leafy Sea Dragon is the best example. They have heads like horses, tails like monkeys and pouches like kangaroos, and with their frilly, leaf-like fins, they put on a unique show. The remarkable thing about all seahorses is that the males carry the babies during gestation instead of the females.
This deepwater fish is not only one of the oddest, but its also one of the rarest in the sea. The spiderfish is named for its elongated pectoral and pelvic fins, which one type of spiderfish actually uses to stand on the ocean floor like a tripod. One remarkable aspect of the fish is the juveniles are nearly completely translucent, making them very seldom eaten by other fish.
Imagine being able to expand your stomach up to three times its normal size to be able to eat things bigger than you are. And we're not talking your relatives during the holidays here, this fish can actually do that. Not only is it probably the biggest glutton of the sea, it also lives at extreme depths and makes it own light due to the total darkness down there.
Much bigger than that puny giant squid, the colossal version can grow to 75 or 100 feet long--actually, we don't even know how big they can get. The really unique, actually terrifying thing about this mammoth of the deep is that, unlike its smaller counterpart, the colossal squid's suckers are equipped with sharp, swiveling, three pointed hooks that you just know wouldn't feel too good if they got themselves sunk into you.
These cute little critters are named for the fins that stick out of the tops of their heads, making them look like the famous flying Disney elephant. They are cephalopods, and they live at extreme depths of up to 7000 meters. They have a transparent layer of skin that they can pulse with bioluminescence and, unlike other octopus, they swallow their prey whole.
sources: montereybayaquarium.org, neaq.org, wikipedia.org, northernadvocate.co.nz, naturescrusaders.wordpress.com photos: divegallery.com, freshpics.blogspot.com, northernadvocate.co.nz, naturescrusaders.wordpress.com
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