4 Antarctic Sea Animals That Are Just Plain Strange

by Robert Cheney on May 18, 2012

in news, Sea Life, Southern Ocean

The Southern Ocean

The Southern Ocean Surrounds Antarctica

The Southern (Antarctic) Ocean is too inhospitable even for Eskimos but funky looking  critters do call it home:

Here’s a list of 4 of these  strange looking creatures that call the Southern Ocean home:

  • Hoff Crab
  • Glass Sponge
  • Antarctic Icefish
  • Sea Spiders
Hoff Crab

A cluster of Hoff crabs. Up close, you can see their hairy appendages , which they use to cultivate bacteria, which is their primary food sou

Yeti Crab- Hairy bugger isn't it?

Yeti crab – Hairy like a Yeti or Abominable Snowman would be?

The Hoff Crab is a type of Yeti crab that was, upon its initial discovery back in 2010, was found to resemble Mr. Hairy Chest himself,  “David Hasselhoff” and thus named the Hoff crab short for ‘Hasselhoff crab’. Though, not an official name it has stuck and even met the approval of ‘the Hoff’ himself. On Twitter, he created the hashtag “GotHoffCrabs”.
Hoff crabs are a type of Yeti crab that have exceptionally hairy ‘arms’  which they use to farm bacteria to eat. Strange diet for a rather ferocious looking critter but in the deep ocean, nothing is surprising.
Glass Sponge

Glass Sponge (U.S. Species) Photograph courtesy Bruce Moravchik, NOAA

The Glass Sponge – These delicate creatures are found in all waters though not with near the abundance as they are in Antarctica. They reside in waters of a quarter to half a mile deep. Known for their intricate lattice work they are also quite long-lived at 15,000+ years, though this is in dispute.

Antarctic Icefish

The Antartic icefish has no red blod cells to carry oxygen, so its blood is clear causing it to be nearly transparent.

The Antarctic Icefish has no red blood cells which along with its see-thru skin makes it transparent. It also contains a type of antifreeze that keeps it blood from freezing up. There are over a 100 species of these unique fish.
Antartic Sea Spider

Similar to land spiders without their web-spinning capabilities

Sea Spiders can grow to a foot in diameter in Antarctica due to the abundance of oxygen there. Though not considered in the arachnid family, they are close. They don’t spin webs but otherwise they do and act like spiders. They are found all over the world but those in Antarctica are the largest.
That’s a list of 4 of the most unusual sea animals in the Southern (Antarctic) Ocean.
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