Blog Tags: Halloween
Happy Halloween, ocean lovers! Today, many people are delighting in the one day of the year where they can dress up to be any figure that these please. But in the vast ocean, many species are in costume all year—dazzling bright photophores to trick prey, or changing their skin tone to blend in with their environments. The deep-sea anglerfish, for example, flashes it lure covered in light-producing cells to attract and trick prey in the cold, dark waters, while species like the firefly squid emits bioluminescent ink to also confuse predators.
Ghosts, zombies, and witches are the typical frightening Halloween characters, but the oceans have some fantastic and ghoulish creatures of their own. To celebrate Halloween, here are three of our favorite spooky sea creatures!
Happy Halloween, ocean lovers! Today’s featured marine animal is one of the spookiest in the sea: the vampire squid.
This deep-sea cephalopod’s nickname comes from its dark color and red eyes. Although it’s only the size of a football, the vampire squid is a deadly predator – it catches food by drifting until it senses prey nearby.
Like many other deep-sea creatures, vampire squid can produce light, called bioluminescence, to avoid predators. They use a technique called “arm-writhing” to disorient predators, which have trouble following all the lights on their arms.
If a vampire squid is threatened, it can curl its webbed arms around its head to protect its most vulnerable parts and reveal the darker parts of its body. And here’s the kicker -- if the vampire squid does decide to flee, it can release a cloud of mucus that can glow for almost 10 minutes. Then, it uses a twisted escape route to confuse the predator even further.
The vampire squid has proportionally the largest eyes of any species—a six-inch squid’s eye is about an inch in diameter – the better to see you with, my dear. (Its relative, the giant squid, is the animal with the largest eyes of all, about the size of basketballs.)
Learn more about the vampire squid and other fascinating (and freaky) ocean animals at Oceana’s marine encyclopedia.
What ocean animal do you think is the spookiest? Tell us in the comments!
Halloween is just around the corner, so you know what that means -- time to vote for your favorite freaky fish! While we may only spend one day a year donning frightening costumes, these creatures are terrifying all year long.
And for more check out some tips to green up a typically orange and black holiday.
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