10 incredible sea creatures to get to know this Halloween
Who needs make-believe monsters this Halloween when we have our real life scary sea creatures? Read on for the Marine Conservation Society’s top 10 things that go bump in the night… or splash!
1 Angler fish
The charming good looks of the anglerfish remain hidden in the dark, as it uses a bright lure to bring unassuming prey up close to its sharp teeth. The male black devil anglers have a strange clingy side - after finding a female, they latch on and don’t let go!
Photo: James van den Broek/Shutterstock
Watch your step! This beauty sits just beneath the sand with only its eyes and sharp teeth poking out ready to ambush its prey. This guy packs a punch with venomous spines and gives electric shocks to unwary prey.
3 Vampire squid
In the dark depths of the sea, this red eyed squid has webbed arms that look like the jet black cape of a vampire when raised in defence! Using jet propulsion to ‘fly’ through the water, it expels a sticky cloud of bioluminescent mucus from the tips of its arms.
4 Viper fish
Photo: Gavin Mills/freeimages.com
These deep sea fish remain still in the water, and attract their prey using a natural light at the end of their long dorsal spine that flashes on and off above their head. With teeth so big, the viperfish can’t even close its mouth!
Photo: Gena Melendrez/Shutterstock
This prehistoric, parasitic fish detects vibrations in the water and latches onto its prey - feeding on flesh or sucking blood. This is a protected species and their return to UK rivers is a symbol of better water quality.
Photo: Ethan Daniels/Shutterstock
This camouflage expert has skin flaps that help it blend perfectly with its surroundings, aiding its strategy as a ‘sit and wait’ predator. It’s one of the most poisonous fish in the world, and their large mouth allows them to swallow their prey whole.
7 Red-toothed triggerfish
This cute little fish looks like he’s dressed up for a Halloween party with those bright red ‘fangs’. Feeding on plankton and sponges this peaceful fish is all bark and no bite. We survey this and other reef fish on our Reef Check expeditions - find out how you can get involved.
8 Bobbit worm
Photo: Sarawut Kundej/Shutterstock
This worm may look fairly harmless whilst it waits in the sand with only a small amount of its body on show, but hidden beneath it can grow up to 10 feet long! The speed at which this guy attacks, and the power of its mouth can snap is prey clean in two. It then injects a toxin to stun or kill its prey.
9 The wet wipe monster!
We’ve recorded a 700% increase in wet wipes on our beaches, and they are impacting our marine life. The labelling on wet wipes is misleading, so they end up getting flushed down the loo. Then, they team up with fats, oils and greases to make giant ‘fatbergs’. Some are as big as a double decker bus, blocking our sewers. After heavy rain, raw sewage then has nowhere to go so can end up in our seas and on our beaches.
Photo: Rich Carey/Shutterstock
Plastic is one of the deadliest items in our seas. It chokes and strangles our wonderful marine life, and is eaten blocking their digestive systems. It is now in our food chain, and we don’t yet know what affect this will have on us. It’s been predicted there could be more plastic than fish in our seas by 2050!
Actions you can take
- Download our 'Living without single-use Plastic' guide
- Join the Plastic Challenge
- Report your wildlife sightings
Did you know?…
Every day millions of microplastics enter the sea from personal care products such as scrubs and toothpastes
To the shelf limits, Scotland has 61% of UK waters, of which 23% are now in existing or new ‘marine protected areas’
Since the carrier bag charge came in across the UK, the Great British Beach Clean has recorded almost 50% fewer bags on beaches