Leafy Sea Dragon
Its name will perhaps chill one to death. However, its look will never scare anyone. A remarkably beautiful sea creature, having a number of long, leaf-like appendages, thus getting its name. A relative of seahorse and pipefish, the leafy sea dragon (Phycodurus equess) sports a long, pipe-like snout, and can reach 20–24 cm long. (8–10 in). that it uses to feed. It inhabit the coastal waters of Australia. The leafy sea dragon’s leaf-like appendages serves as camouflage, aiding this vulnerable sea creature to blend in with seaweed. It feeds on zooplankton, shrimps and larval fish. It can live from 5-10 years.
The ocean sunfish (Mola mola), s another very unique sea creature most likely many have never heard before. Considered the world's heaviest bony fish, adults average about 1,000 kg! This strange fish lives in tropical and temperate regions around the world feeding on various jellyfish, small fish, squid, crustaceans, and eel grass. It has a flattened shape, rough skin texture and silver-gray in color.
This unique, but disgusting-looking deep sea fish inhabits the coastal waters of Australia and Tasmania. The blobfish (Psychrolutes marcidus), lives at depth of about 800 meters, where the pressure is about 80 times higher than at sea level. No wonder, it is rarely seen by human and the only way to catch one is by bottom trawling using nets. Having a gelatin-like flesh with a lighter density ratio than water, the blobfish floats just above the sea bed expending less energy on swimming.
This bizarre-looking fish absolutely fits its name. Its appearance resemble that of a cross between a frog and a fish. Found in almost all tropical and subtropical waters around the world, frogfish eat small fish, crustaceans, and even each other. They vary in sizes from as small as five cm to some larger species who grow up to 38 cm. These strange creatures vary in colors, from brown, black, yellow, red, orange, white, green, purple or blue. Their strange color, shape and skin textures aid them to escape predators as well as to lure potential meal. They hardly move that much, instead use their highly developed leg-like pelvic and pectoral to walk along the ocean floor in search for meal.
Another unique sea creature, one may think have come from another planet. Barreleyes is a small deep-sea fish having a dome-shaped, transparent head, full of very transparent scales; and large, telescopic eyes that are generally gazed upwards to spot the presence of potential prey. Inhabiting tropical-to-temperate waters of the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans, barreleyes have small toothless mouth, a pointed snout, and small spineless fins. Barreleyes feed on small fish and jellyfish.
The Leaping Blenny (Alticus saliens), is such a very energetic saltwater fish. These unusual sea creatures are found in the Pacific Ocean, particularly in Cook Islands and Society Islands. They are found mostly in damp shallow spots of pitted limestone. A remarkable feature of these fish is their ability to leap from place to place when disturbed and can survive outside of water. The Leaping Blenny averages about eight cm long. They have 14 – 15 soft, elongated dorsal fins, 26 – 27 anal soft rays, and two anal spines. They are oviparous, meaning they lay demersal eggs that hatch outside the body.
The Crocodilefish (Cymbacephalus beauport), also known as De Beaufort's flathead, is a non-migratory bottom-dwelling flathead species. It is found in the tropical waters in the western Pacific regions, the Red Sea, Palau, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Borneo, and the Philippines. They have elongated bodies marked with irregular green markings, nine or 10 dorsal spines, 11 anal soft rays, large pelvic fins, and no anal spines. They can measure up to 70 cm length. Crocodilefish are piscivore (fish eater) and a specialized predator feeding on other species and crustaceans.
Another strange fish on the list, the jellynose fish or the tadpole fish, are small, bottom-dwelling, deep-water fish. These incredibly rare sea creatures are found in the Pacific coast of Central America, Caribbean Sea, and the Indo-pacific oceans. They have a long, gelatinous bodies that can reach two meters in length. They have large heads, a bulbous snout, small teeth, very long tails, and very small caudal fins. These unique fish are normally brown to black in color.
This is one sea creature you would avoid seeing on the waters, harmless or not, its fearsome appearance would make you froze. Viperfish (Chauliodus sloani), inhabits tropical waters of the major oceans living at depths between 457.2 to 2743.2 m. One of the fearsome predators of the deep, they can easily be distinguished by their hinged skull, large bulldog-like mouth and razor-sharp, fang-like teeth. These large teeth are used to immobilize its prey. Viperfish are about 15.0 to 25.0 cm long and can weigh up to 23 g. They are carnivorous feeding on crustaceans such as hermit crabs, shrimp, squid, and consume other little fish.
Our last entry on the list is an odd-looking fish that was accidentally discovered by BBC film crew while doing the documentary film The Blue Planet. Making its home at depth over 1,000 meters below the ocean's surface, they are found in the Indo-Pacific, western North Atlantic and eastern Atlantic oceans. They have small eyes, large dorsal fins, huge mouth, and a stretchable stomach capable of swallowing prey bigger than their size. Their bodies are covered with sensory spines and hairs which help in sensing water vibrations created by possible prey. Hairy-anglers eat fish and crustaceans.