3 min read

8 Underwater Creatures Who Blew Our Minds This Year

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1. A colony of thousands of little critters form into a stunning, otherworldly siphonophore drifting along the bottom of the sea. Zooids, assemble!(Nautilus Live/YouTube)

2. The tiny, delicate snailfish was found at a record-breaking 26,700 feet below the surface and swam right into our hearts.(The Conversationvia io9)

3. This adorably animated dumbo octopus propels himself through the water using little ear-like flaps.(YouTube: EVNautilus)

4. This Phronima is a drifting parasite who was found in the Gulf of Mexico - and strongly resembles a creature from "Alien."(YouTube: EVNautilus)

5. This leisurely fellow is also a dumbo octopus (see No. 3), but at 3 feet long, he's elephantine compared with his smaller kin.(Nautilus Live/YouTube)

6. Is that a highlighter smudge on the ocean floor? Nope! It's just a wriggly Terebellid polychaete worm who buries himself in the sand and uses his tentacles to collect bits of food.(YouTube: EVNautilus)

7. The spookily majestic "ghost shark," or Chimaera, is an ancient fish who lives in the depths of the ocean and has super-cool milky white eyes - as well as some parasites who decided to hitch a ride!(YouTube: EVNautilus)

8. The black seadevil may have been called "terrifying" and "nightmare fuel," but we think she's just a misunderstood 3.5-inch-long fish.(YouTube/MBARI)