The ocean is a pretty mysterious place for us land dwellers. It is said we know more about the surface of the moon than we do some of the more remote places of the sea. Sounds outrageous, doesn’t it? However, consider that we are constantly discovering new species of sea animals and plants. Consider also that we are discovering things that we have never seen before, and possibly may never see again. Whenever a strange creature arises from the depths it makes news, and for good reason. Let’s take a look at a few recent examples…
New Giant, Air-Breathing Fish Discovered
A fish that breathes air? You bet. Science has known about Arapaimas, also known as paiche or pirarucu, large Amazonian fish that use a primitive lung to take in dry air for its oxygen needs. Now new species are being discovered in the Amazon River. The fish are particularly difficult to study due to their habitat in remote areas of South America, and at one time were thought to all belong to the same species. Now scientists know there are many distinct species of Arapaimas, and that knowledge is important in the process of protecting the endangered fish.
Mystery of deep-sea ‘purple sock’ solved
If you are ever diving in the ocean and come across what looks eerily like a purple sock—don’t pick it up. You won’t be doing anyone a favor, no matter who you think may have lost their hosiery. Xenoturbella is its name, and baffling scientists for 60 years is its game. Now, though, researchers think they have cracked the code on this odd-looking critter. For the longest time, taxonomists thought the animal was a sort of mollusk. But tests determined that the mollusk DNA actually was from something the animal ate. And then a breakthrough came when other Xenoturbella species were found, allowing scientists to determine that the Xenoturbella actually belongs to one of the earliest branches of life.
Mysterious jelly creatures invade Huntington Beach shores
In November of 2016, California beachgoers got a big surprise. People who frequent the coast are used to strange things washing up on the shore, but these new visitors really got people talking. Scattered all about the beach, wriggling in the sand, were countless little flesh-colored creatures about the size of an adult’s thumb. Some people believed the little beings to be sea cucumbers while others thought they were baby jellyfish. Marine biologists say they’ve seen the creatures only once before, and they do not pose a threat to humans.
Gigantic, Mystery Sea-Creature Lands On a Mexican Beach
When I first heard the story about a mysterious sea creature with flabby skin washing up on an Acapulco beach, I immediately thought it was an American tourist who had drank too many margaritas. But upon seeing the picture, I can tell this is no laughing matter. Exactly what is this 13 foot beast? A dead whale? An alien? Cthulhu? The world may never know.
Sources: news.nationalgeographic.com | bbc.com | abc7.com | maxim.com