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Harsh Underwater Environments and the Odd Creatures that Live There
Wikimedia Commons

21. Crown Jellyfish

This unusual jellyfish is likely part of a genus of jellyfish called Atolla, which can only survive at high depths in the ocean. It has long tentacles that it drags behind itself in order to catch small prey swimming around in the waters. They mostly feed on zooplankton, which are microscopic animals.

Crown jellyfish are capable of bioluminescence and are lit up when they’re touched. Left undisturbed, they’re quite transparent. If they’re attacked, they can use their light to startle and mislead predators as to what’s going on, causing confusion. Otherwise, the light is used to attract prey.

Harsh Underwater Environments and the Odd Creatures that Live There
Wikipedia Commons

22. Black Dragonfish

These small fishes look terrifying, but they’re actually pretty little. There are fierce predators when it comes to hunting small fish, but only the females are capable of it. The males actually have no teeth or even functional stomachs, so many scientists believe that their only purpose is for breeding.

Black dragonfish are very sexually dimorphic, with the females being black with stripes and the males being dull brown. The males are also lacking in sharp teeth and pelvic fins, so that don’t swim around a lot. The females are known to migrate to find a mate and to lay their eggs.

Harsh Underwater Environments and the Odd Creatures that Live There
Flickr

23. Tonguefish

The tonguefish is pretty strange to look at, with its eyes on one side of its head. That’s so that they can move near the seafloor while still keeping an eye on predators. While swimming, they graze on the bacterial mats that are near nutrient flows, absorbing and converting it all into useful nutrients.

Tonguefish are absolutely in love with sulfur and congregate around hydrothermal vents on the seafloor. It’s the only flatfish to actually be found in these areas, so it’s quite a unique species.

Harsh Underwater Environments and the Odd Creatures that Live There
schmidtocean.org

24. Human Waste

Even this far down, scientists are still finding pieces of human garbage on the ocean floor. It’s a demonstration that our influence has been nothing but negative for the planet. There should be no reason we can’t use biodegradable products, recycle more, and simply not throw trash in the ocean.

Who knows what our presence on this planet could do to these creatures that have been alive for millions of years? Sure, they can live in scorching underwater temperatures filled with unique minerals. That doesn’t mean these adaptable creatures can live eating plastic. Hopefully, being aware of our actions as human beings and taking the initiative to be more careful with our disposal of materials can help these aquatic animals to thrive. After all, they are quite majestic!

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