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The cornucopia of different life found under the sea is so much weirder than the animals found on our plane of air and gravity. Deep into the crushing depths there can be found Lovecraftian horrors and luminescent wonders- creatures that live in a black world of predatory and sensory abstractness, the cycle of life through the lens of a psychedelic drug. These are the strange and cruel denizens of a cyclopean realm- the weirdest sea creatures of the deep.
The Vampire Squid is Cthulhu’s little cousin- they are the voodoo shamans of the sea who trap their prey in a drape of photophores- their own private hypnotizing light show with no escape, only chaos and psychedelic claustrophobia await the victim before being eaten by the Vampire Squid. It has control over the duration, strength, and modulation of it’s light emitting regions and it can also excrete a glowing billow of phosphorescence to confuse predators. It lives in the most lightless regions of the sea, surrounded by pitch black pressure, which is why it’s manipulation of light is so essential. Such an innovative way of surviving in this harsh environment is astounding, and these squids must have a firm grasp on the tactics that their bodies allow to use the suffocating deep to their advantage.
2. Swimming Sea Cucumber:
You’ve heard of sea cucumbers, the aptly-named ocean dwellers with long bodies who float along the bottom of the sea. While interesting, they aren’t nearly as intriguing as their cousins the Swimming Sea Cucumbers. These weird looking creatures are transparent, their digestive system can be clearly seen through the membrane of their bodies. It’s a remarkably simple form of life, but its elegance lies in simplicity. It’s an abstraction, a strange ballet of energy.
Remember when I used the word ‘Lovecraftian horror’ to describe certain denizens of the deep? Take a look at this thing, the Viperfish. Look at that face. It’s the sort of thing you’d expect to see in hell, such a menacing and evil-looking creature. It’s aesthetics are unreal to the point of being absurdly cool, I for one would love to have one of these as a pet (I’d like to see my cat try to eat this one). It’s teeth are so huge that if they didn’t bulge out of their faces, they wouldn’t be able to close their mouths. Their bodies are long and snake-like (hence Viperfish), and they certainly carry on the tradition of the fearsome serpents.
This squid most commonly found in Asian waters is quite small at about 3 inches, but it’s size is not the most prominent feature. These squids, like several species of marine life found around the world, have light-emitting organs called photophores all over their bodies that they have acute control over. In the dark they put on a breathtaking light show- deep blue fluorescence dancing in the water elegantly. This display is used for communicating with other squids, especially in the mating season (pictured to the left). They also use their lights in a blinking pattern to attract small fish, who they pounce on and devour. This is a tactic often used by predators in the sea, but seldom does such an event surpass the elegance of the Firefly Squid’s display.
The Blob Fish is a bottom feeder who drifts just above the ground, feeding on any small edible matter that comes his way like crabs and sea pens. They appear to be gluttonous masses of flesh, they expend almost no energy and they have very little muscle. They are rarely ever seen by humans and there are few left due to over-fishing, but perhaps they are better off that way. They just look so unhappy, like vacant ‘blobs’ drifting through an otherwise fascinating seascape, the epitome of the shameful and purposeless life of the bottom feeder.
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