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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A Halloween Treat — Creepy Creatures of the Sea


This Halloween Sub Sea Systems is sharing a special treat… or is it a trick? We are revealing some interesting facts about our favorite creepy creatures of the sea. What is Halloween without a little tremor of fear? Read on for creepy chills and thrills as you learn about five horror story stars of the deep.



The Portuguese Man-of-War


The Portuguese man-of-war may look like a colorful, beautiful jellyfish, but it is actually a colony of tiny polyp like creatures that take on different functions and work together in a group. The creature has venomous, pearl-like strands, which reach an average of 30 feet in length, and inject their prey with a strong toxin. The venom is deadly to small fish, but to humans the results depends on the location and severity of the stings, as well as the age, and skin thickness of the individual. Shock and death are rare, but possible. The creepiest thing about the Portuguese man-of-war is that they are virtually invisible at night, and they lurk near the surface with their 30-foot stinging chains trailing in the black sea. Beauty, deception, and venom — ingredients for the perfect Halloween story.

To learn more check out these websites:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/features/2014/08/140821-portuguese-man-of-war-animal-ocean-science-pictures/

http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/invertebrates/portuguese-man-of-war/





The Vampire Squid 


The vampire squid gets its name from its blackish color and its webbed cloak-like tentacles. It is not quite a squid or an octopus; in fact it is the last in the vampyromorphida order. The creatures lurk in deep, dark waters, where they utilize their ‘cape’ to capture oxygen, and they release phosphorescent particles to distract predators.  The insides of their tentacles are lined with fleshy spines, and they will turn ‘inside out’ to escape dangerous situations. They have ear-like fins that propel them, and they only reach about 8 inches in length. The creepiest thing about the vampire squid is its photophores. Photophores are light producing organs — a great asset for creatures who live in the deep, dark sea. The vampire squid has a large pair of these behind its fins, which it uses to confuse predators into thinking it has disappeared into the dark. Vanishing eyes, webbed ‘capes’, and luminescent fairy dust — sounds like a creepy creature to me!

 Want to find out more? Look here:
http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/accounts/Vampyroteuthis_infernalis/

or watch this creepy video:











The Deep Sea Anglerfish


Deep sea anglerfish are creatures straight out of a nightmare. They live in the dark black depths of the ocean, and lure their prey with a bioluminescent-bacteria filled, maneuverable appendage that protrudes from their heads. Anglerfish have long sharp teeth that are angled inward to avoid losing any prey. Their large jaws and expandable stomachs allow them to devour enormous meals. The creepiest thing about the anglerfish is the way it reproduces. The female is very large (5 inches long and very round) in comparison to the very small male (the size of a little finger). Once the male finds a female he latches onto her with hooks that protrude from his mouth, and becomes a parasite stealing her nutrients. Dark, clingy male… alluring female — nightmare material for certain.

Learn more about the anglerfish here:
http://www.seasky.org/deep-sea/anglerfish.html

Or watch this disturbing video:






The Goblin Shark


The goblin shark gets its name from its strange and bizarre appearance. Goblin sharks have long, flat, trowel-like noses. Their ‘noses’ have electro sensors, which help them find prey in the inky black depths. When they bite, their jaws expand dramatically down below their ‘nose’. Their teeth are like long curved needles and the goblin shark can use them to make a grasping motion when it bites. The most disturbing thing about the creature is that: combined with all of the rest of these terror-inspiring facts — the creature is thin-skinned and pink, with easily bruised fins that take on a blue hue…. Reminiscent of a certain cave-lurking, movie character — “My Preciousssssss!”

Need more? Look here:
http://scribol.com/environment/goblin-shark-the-most-demonic-shark-on-earth

Or watch:








The Northern Stargazer


Do not let the name fool you; the northern stargazer is a disturbing creature that gazes eerily skyward to find its next victim. The northern stargazer buries itself beneath the sand in record time. Its face is on the top of its head, and that is all you see after it hides in the sand. The creature’s face (when buried) resembles an eerie human skull with bulging, rolling, staring eyes. After it buries itself it just waits… staring, and waiting for some unsuspecting little fish to swim over its strange face. Then it vacuum sucks its prey into its mouth. If that is not enough it also has the ability to deliver an electric shock to stun and confuse its prey. To a fish, the stargazer is the monster under the bed — waiting quietly to feed.

Can’t get enough of the stargazer? Check out this website:
http://www.fiboni.com/2013/08/stargazer-fish-buries-with-a-preying-gaze/

Or watch it in action:



Do you have a disturbingly favorite creepy creature of the sea? Share the creature in the comments below, and tell us why it’s your favorite. Don’t forget: subscribe to our blog and receive weekly stories, images, and fun facts!

Happy Halloween!