Under the Sea — June 23, 2016 at 11:00 am

Supersized Squids and Other Enormous Ocean Dwellers

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From 40 foot cephalopods to 200 ton whales, the ocean is home to a lot of massive forms of life. Read on to learn about some of the world’s most spectacular megafauna (Moby Dick has nothing on these creatures!)

Cyanea_capillata_no

© wikimedia commons

Lion’s Mane Jellyfish
Not only are these behemoth creatures the largest of all jellyfish, they’re also one of the most potent. That’s right, they’re big and ferocious. Measuring up to 7 ft 6 in across with tentacles stretching an impressive 121 ft long, this somewhat blob-like ocean dweller has been known to sting even after going through the proverbial wringer. People have reported being stung by washed up remnants of a Lion’s Mane Jellyfish. Not exactly comforting, is it?

blue whale

© wikimedia commons

Blue Whale
What’s 98 ft long and weighs in at a whopping 170 tonnes? Why, it’s the blue whale of course. This aquatic marvel is considered to be the heaviest to have ever existed, which is kind of surprising considering its diet consists mainly of tiny crustaceans. Despite their incredible size, blue whales are considered an endangered species. It wasn’t until 1966 that they were protected from the whalers that nearly drove them to extinction. Nowadays, populations are steadily growing, thanks to the strict laws and regulations.

Bootlace Worm
Just what everyone wants to imagine: an impossibly long, skinny worm that calls shallow waters of seabeds home. Reports of a bootlace worm measuring over 180 ft have been reported but never verified but confirmation of specimens at least 98 ft long have been confirmed. Since these critters prefer to hang out all tangled up, it can be hard to properly gauge their true size. They also have the ability to produce a mucus that can be harmful to humans if ingested, just adding to the list of reasons you probably want to stay away from them.

Giant Pacific Octopus
The Giant Pacific Octopus gets up to around 16 ft long and weighs up to 110 lbs. This not-so-cuddly creature mainly feasts on lobsters, clams, fish, and other ocean-dwellers, but has been known to nibble on sharks and birds if given the opportunity. They’re quite clever and have demonstrated the ability to perform impressive tasks like open jars and figure out mazes. All that talent and they’ve got 8 arms!

©istockphoto/Kondratuk

©istockphoto/Kondratuk

whale shark

© wikimedia commons

Whale Shark
Despite their size (up to 40 ft long and 47,000 lbs) and the bad reputation that their fellow species-mates have managed to acquire, whale sharks are actually pretty chill. Unlike their more aggressive counterparts, these guys prefer the taste of plankton over larger animals. They’re the largest known fish species out there and prefer swimming in warm, tropical water. Really, who can blame them?

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