The depths of the ocean are festooned with the most nightmarish creatures imaginable. You might think you're safe, because these critters live thousands of metres down in a cold dark abyss, but the vampire squid, which looks like a nightmare umbrella, and the frilled shark — a literal living fossil — will live on in the recesses of your mind long after you've clicked away. Enjoy these deep sea horrors and try to have a relaxing day afterwards.
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Guppies might look like mindless, mouth-breathing little bastards, but it turns out some of them make better dating decisions than we do. No, really — these tiny fish, with their infinitesimal brains, are somehow more discerning with their mates than us, and we literally invented rockets. And Doritos.
We already knew the deep ocean is full of nightmare creatures — twisted amalgams of tooth, jaw and fin sprung to life from some tortured corner of the multiverse. But good news — it gets even weirder! Scientists have just learned that one deep sea predator has a flexible attachment between its head and its skull that allows it to snap its jaws open like a Pez dispenser.
As currents shift in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, they bring an abundance of nutrients and plankton to the region, luring predators of all sizes. Swarms of anchoveta arrive first for an easy meal, but soon find themselves having to come up with unique ways to fend off larger predators like sharks and tuna. The result should be familiar to fans of the popular B-movie Sharknado.
Animals, like humans, communicate in lots of different ways. One of those ways, in animals as in humans, involves urinating on one another.
Video: Damn, the ocean isn't here to play around. This worm, known as a sand striker, buries itself in the ground and can grow up to twice the length of a human. It has no eyes and no brain and yet it can snatch the body and soul (and everything else) of a fish from right out of the ground. It's like a terrifying death trap, shooting itself out from the floor and making the fish disappear in an instant. Damn.
Saving seaside real estate isn't the only business benefit of fighting climate change. Scientists think that adhering to the Paris Agreement could be crucial to the success of the commercial fishing industry.
Researchers have discovered that Atlantic killifish are now 8000 times more resilient to high levels of toxic waste than other fish, allowing them to survive extreme levels of pollution that would normally be deadly. It sounds like an evolutionary success story, but examples like this are exceptionally rare in the animal kingdom.
Way back in 2014, Rachel Ciavarella created an unusual plush toy called Morris that could be turned inside out, revealing the fish's inner biology. The stuffed animal was actually just an experiment in textures and materials, but so many people reached out wanting to buy one that Rachel is finally making the toy available for sale in limited numbers.
Most of us, when we picture life beneath the sea, tend to focus our imaginations on the sights — shimmering schools of fish, predatory sharks, luminous reefs. We seem far less concerned with what it sounds like beneath the waves — which is why you may be surprised to learn that marine life has a lot to say.
A new study has found that "schooling" is a horrendous process in which an individual's unique personality is unceremoniously supplanted by group-think and the notion of bravery is cast aside when a danger to the overall status quo is presented. School, in this case, is the group that fish swim in. What did you think we were talking about?