The world's oceans account for somewhere in the region of 70% of the Earth's surface. With such a vast expanse of water, it is no surprise that most of that is virtually unexplored.
For that reason, it is often referred to as the "final frontier" of exploration on Earth. Hidden beneath the depths of the world's great oceans are some very strange and exotic sea creatures, many of which appear to defy all logic.
Here are but some of them.
What are some of the strangest sea creatures ever discovered by fishermen?
So, without further ado, here are some of the strangest creatures that fishermen have ever caught. This list is far from exhaustive and is in no particular order.
1. This Russian fisherman had an interesting catch
A fisherman from Russia recently shared pictures of some strange sea creatures he caught with the world. Many of them were so weird that they could easily pass as alien creatures rather than something native to our planet.
While he normally fishes for cod, haddock, and mackerel using his trawler, he was in for a surprise when he reeled in his nets. One interesting surprise catch was something called a sea pike, and a shrimp that looks like a cross between a tree and a wolfish.
The fisherman, Roman Fedortsov, caught the strange sea creatures while fishing in the Norwegian and Barents Sea.
2. The Coelacanth is an actual living fossil
I have no photos of myself on my phone so instead here's a coelocanth from the Field Museum in Chicago pic.twitter.com/reeOjzHlc7— Joe Alias (@NotJoeAlias) April 11, 2020
One of the strangest sea creatures ever caught is the literal living fossil the Coelacanth. Once thought to have died out with the dinosaurs some 65 million years ago, a living example was actually dragged up from the depths in 1938.
Since that surprising discovery, Coelacanths have been found to have a fairly healthy population, with each individual living up to around 60 years. Healthy adults tend to grow to around 6.5 feet (1.98 m) long and can weigh up to 198 pounds (90 kg) apiece.
Today there are known to be around two species of the coelacanths that live near the Comoros Islands off the east coast of Africa and one found in the waters off Sulawesi, Indonesia. It is widely believed that this fish's characteristics represent some of the earliest steps in the evolution of fish to terrestrial amphibians.
3. This strange sea creature is completely translucent
This strange sea creature certainly isn't something you'd expect to find while fishing. Called a sea salp, this more or less completely translucent marine invertebrate is actually quite common in the Southern Ocean.
These planktonic tunicates tend to be barrel-shaped and can move around by pumping water through their gelatinous bodies. Sea salps feed by filtering out phytoplankton from seawater.
They also tend to form large swarms in deep water and are sometimes found to be more abundant than krill in places.
4. Is this sea creature actually fish?
Another couple of pics of Margined Sea Lizard. One curled up. Another one with outspread arms. pic.twitter.com/YSbfu2V0uB— 🄹🄴🄵🄵 🄰🄳🄳🄸🅂🄾🄽 (@Jeffrey_Addison) February 26, 2017
This next strange sea creature certainly is one of the oddest things you've probably ever seen. Known as a "Margined Sea Lizard," these strange sea animals are actually a species of mollusk.
Common to the sea of New Zealand, this free-floating, small gastropod is pretty common in the Pacific Ocean. They spend their lives upside down hanging from the water's surface and feed on things like jellyfish.
5. This weird fish looks like someone melting
Looking like a blobfish can't help pic.twitter.com/6UPcTvwsIx— Jeremy? (@JeremyTheMVP) April 16, 2020
Called the "Blobfish," this is widely considered one of the ugliest animals alive today. Not only does it look weird, but this deep-sea creature is one of the strangest sea creatures ever discovered by man.
They tend to grow to around 30 cm in length and live at water depths of between 600 and 1,200 meters. Their strange appearance is a result of their bodies consisting mainly of a gelatinous mass that gives the fish a buoyancy of slightly less than that of water.
They are rarely seen but have been found in the seas southeast of Australia and Tasmania. Their populations are thought to be under serious threat from fishing trawlers who, from time to time, accidentally capture them in their nets.
6. This strange sea creature is part-shark and part-eel
This next creature from the deep certainly is very strange indeed. Called a frilled shark, this strange sea creature appears to be part-shark and part-eel.
It is one of two living species of shark from the family Chlamydoselachidae and can be found roaming the seas of the Atlantic and Pacific. Rarely ever seen, this primitive fish is, like the Ceolocanth, considered a genuine living fossil.
These strange creatures capture their prey by bending their bodies and lunging at them, much like a snake does on land. They tend to feed exclusively on mollusks, bony fish, and even other sharks.
7. Could this strange sea creature be a real-life Kraken
Colossal squid https://t.co/JK8HeVbuEd— φεγγάρι 🌙 (@rayeleanda) April 11, 2020
This very weird sea creature could fit the definition of the Kraken from Greek mythology. Called the colossal squid, this giant mollusk is one of the biggest ever dragged out of the sea by a fisherman.
A member of the Cranchiidae family, this squid is thought to be the largest species of squid by mass. Some specimens of this strange creature have been weighed in at around 495 kgs, though larger animals have been extrapolated to exist from remains found in the bellies of sperm whales.
8. This fish really is very strange
This creature is called the flabby whalefish: http://t.co/BQOjXBGx— National Geographic (@NatGeo) July 31, 2012
Called the flabby whalefish, this is probably one of the strangest sea creatures that have ever existed. Vibrantly colored red in life, this fish really is indeed odd.
Among some of the most deep-living fish species in the world, males and females show such extreme sexual dimorphism that they were thought to be different species for many years.
9. This fish really is the thing of nightmares
Watch this mysterious deep-sea anglerfish mate on camera pic.twitter.com/ufr8BxqHlw— ༻⋆≺ Martin 🏳️🌈 ≻⋆༺ (@KlatuBaradaNiko) April 18, 2020
And finally, the anglerfish is probably one of the strangest sea creatures ever discovered. Famed for its bioluminescent lure used to attract its prey, this is both one of the ugliest and most fascinating fish on the planet.
Various species of the fish are known with most living at depth near the seafloor or near the continental shelf. Like the flabby whalefish, angler fish also show extreme sexual dimorphism with the males significantly smaller than their gigantic female counterparts.