The world of science had made tremendous amount of progress in the past decades. We have sent man to the moon. We are exploring other planets and stars, which are millions and millions of miles away. Though this might be the case, it is surprising that we know very little about the ocean depths of planet earth. We know more about the surface of the moon than we know about the deep oceans of the world. More than 90% of the deep oceans are still unexplored and waiting to be discovered.
The depths of the oceans are filled with strange-looking creatures, which we humans have never laid our eyes upon. These creatures can be huge and can be described as creatures from a nightmare. They can be as small as tiny worms and with fascinating colours. All of these things are just waiting to be unveiled and we humans are now only beginning to explore this new and alien world.
The focus of this article is five strange fishes of the oceans.
Lumpsuckers otherwise known as lumpfish are small marine fishes that range in size from 2 to 50 cm. They prefer cold environment so they are mostly found in North Atlantic, North Pacific and Arctic oceans. Lumpsuckers have almost a spherical body with dull colours. The fish’s pelvic fins are modified to form adhesive discs, which are used to adhere to hard surfaces. Being poor swimmers, they are found in the bottom or near the bottom of the ocean floor. They also use this to their advantage, as their colouration is dull and muddy, allowing the fish to camouflage easily. They are found in depths ranging from 100 m to 1700 m. Lumpsuckers feed on worms, crustaceans and soft-bodied organisms (molluscs). Pacific cods and sable fish are known to predate on lumpsuckers.
In the gourmet kitchen, the eggs from lumpfish, which comes in attractive red or black colours, are served as beautiful, world-renowned caviar.
If you are a fan of Disney cartoons, then you will know who Dumbo is; an elephant with very large ears. Dumbo octopus is a living creature in very deep parts of the ocean, usually up to 3 to 4 km deep and sometimes can be sighted as deep as 7 km. The largest specimen ever found weighed 5.9 kg, although the normal size is thought to be smaller. They can grow up to 6 feet long. Dumbo octopus belongs to the same family as other octopus but its features and behaviour is very different from the normal octopus, which make them special. The most peculiar behaviour of the Dumbo octopus is that it swallows its prey whole. It feeds mainly on crustaceans, worms and bivalves. Those that hover at the bottom prefer to hunt cephalopods. These octopuses move around by pulsating their arms/tentacles or by blowing water or by flipping their ear-like fins or by the combination of all the above.
A variety of the boxfish, growing up to 20 inches long, longhorn cowfish is a weird-looking fish with a triangular box-like body. If you have seen a bull then it will not be that hard to imagine how longhorn cowfish looks like. You can compare the horns of a longhorn cowfish to that of a bull. It is easily identified by the long horns that protrude from the front of its head. Another weird feature of the longhorn cowfish is its missing gill slits. Instead of slits, it has a hole. They are found in the Indo Pacific region. These creatures live a solitary life and live in reefs where sand or rubble is present. Longhorn cowfish eat almost anything because they are omnivores. One of the most interesting features of this fish is the unusual way in which it finds its food buried under the seabed. It blows a jet of water in to the sandy bottom to expose hidden creatures.