The Beautiful Creatures That Live In Our Oceans
While we have always known about the beautiful creatures that inhabit our oceans, they have usually been seen only by divers and marine scientists brave enough to venture into the deep seas. However, now thanks to advanced cameras, they are able to share their discoveries with the rest of the world
These pictures were taken by scientists, working on the study of biodiversity in the Bellinghausen Sea in West Antarctica. Some of the discoveries are new, while others have been spotted before - But all of them, are truly stunning!
This is the first time the marine team has seen this beautiful soft coral, even though they have explored the area many many times. They are currently in the process of identifying the species.
The Antarctic Ice Fish who seems to thrive in waters of between -2 to 4 degrees Celsius have a built-in anti-freeze and no red blood cells in their bodies.
This bloodless creature that weighs about eleven pounds stretches out its 'arms' and filter feeds on little creatures that are floating by, in the seabed. In the wild, it can live for up to 35 years.
The Sea Pig also known as Sea Cucumber, is one of the most common creatures found in the depths of our oceans. However, thanks to over-fishing, their numbers are being diminished quite rapidly. Similar to earthworms, they help process the sediment of our ocean beds.
While normal sand hoppers are tiny flea-like creatures that can be usually found on ocean beaches, these Amphipods, grow to gigantic sizes, thanks to the high oxygen levels in the Antarctic waters.
The Scale Worm is one of the most abundant creatures found on the continental shelf. While it may look exotic, it is similar to an ordinary worm, except for its scales, which are an adaptation to the chilly environment it thrives in.
The Feather Star is one of the oldest creatures found in our oceans, dating back 300 million years. It is very mobile and follows its food source - marine algae, around. Their movements are therefore a good way for scientists to track the changing distribution of marine algae, which together with sea ice melt, are the two biggest ways to measure the effects of global warming in the Antarctic waters.
Skates are a rare sight in the chilly waters of the Antarctica. The creatures, which feed on shellfish off the ocean's seabed, started to disappear from the area as the waters near the Antarctica became cooler. However, as the temperatures get warmer, scientists are expecting to see them become a more common site in the region.
While a lot of the marine life is in danger of disappearing forever, thanks to the warming temperatures and the rising Carbon Dioxide levels, the Jellyfish is thriving - and expected to rapidly increase in numbers as years go by.