Creature Feature: Halloween edition

The Ocean is an incredible place and harbors some of the most fascinating and recognizable animals in the world. However, there are many living things in the ocean that are reminiscent of aliens, mythological monsters, and other frightening creatures. With Halloween approaching there is no better time to shine a spotlight on some of these spooky yet captivating creatures.

Photo of a giant isopod
Giant isopod, photo by FMM staff

Giant Isopod

To begin this list let’s take a look at the giant isopod. This unique creature may look like an extremely large insect but it is actually a crustacean. The giant isopod can grow to over a foot in length making them one of the largest crustaceans and the largest known isopod. While this species may look intimidating, they are not dangerous to humans. In fact, humans are unlikely to cross paths with a giant isopod in the wild because this animal primarily lives at depths greater than 500 ft. When threatened, this species will curl into a ball, similar to pill bugs, in an effort to protect themselves from harm.

Photo of a bobbit worm
Bobbit worm, photo © anemone,

Bobbit Worm

One of the more frightening ocean dwellers isn’t a shark or another species of fish, but rather a species of marine worm. Found living in the sea floor at a depth of 30-130 ft., the bobbit worm uses its 5 antennae to sense potential prey. When prey is sensed the worm will lash out with mandibles so strong and sharp, they sometimes cut their prey completely in half. Once prey is captured the bobbit worm will store the remains in its burrow for future feeding. In addition to their frightening mandibles, the size of the bobbit worm can be incredibly intimidating. While we typically think of worms rarely growing to sizes greater than several inches, bobbit worms often grow to sizes around 4-5 ft. with the largest individuals reaching over 9 ft. in length.