Strangest Creatures on the Planet

Nature can produce some incredibly complex creatures. These creatures can defy the human imagination and are often unique to the species of animals that we know of today. While not all of these may be big and scary, we are going to talk about the top 10 fantastically strange animals in the world.

Most of us have heard of the octopus, but how many of us have heard of the “Blanket Octopus”? This sea-based creature is awkward to say the least and contains three hearts, a parrot-like beak, and venomous saliva. It also has the ability to change color on a whim so that it can adapt to its surroundings. A lot of people refer to their tentacles as “intelligent arms” as they don’t necessarily need the brain to perform specific actions like catching prey. All in all, this is a very strange animal that is rarely seen and resides in the depths of the ocean.

The blanket octopus is #9 on this list – and a personal favorite. Click the link above and wander through one editor’s choices.

8 thoughts on “Strangest Creatures on the Planet

  1. Puzzling Evidence says:

    “A controversial study has a new spin on the otherworldliness of the octopus” https://qz.com/1281064/a-controversial-study-has-a-new-spin-on-the-otherworldliness-of-the-octopus/
    “…A second focus is the remarkable evolution of intelligent complexity (Cephalopods) culminating in the emergence of the Octopus. A third focus concerns the micro-organism fossil evidence contained within meteorites as well as the detection in the upper atmosphere of apparent incoming life-bearing particles from space. In our view the totality of the multifactorial data and critical analyses assembled by Fred Hoyle, Chandra Wickramasinghe and their many colleagues since the 1960s leads to a very plausible conclusion – life may have been seeded here on Earth by life-bearing comets as soon as conditions on Earth allowed it to flourish (about or just before 4.1 Billion years ago); and living organisms such as space-resistant and space-hardy bacteria, viruses, more complex eukaryotic cells, fertilised ova and seeds have been continuously delivered ever since to Earth so being one important driver of further terrestrial evolution which has resulted in considerable genetic diversity and which has led to the emergence of mankind.” (Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology March 13, 2018) https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0079610718300798?via%3Dihub
    Panspermia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panspermia

  2. Malacologist says:

    “Scientists Gave MDMA to Octopuses—and What Happened Was Profound” https://gizmodo.com/scientists-gave-mdma-to-octopuses-and-what-happened-was-1829191638
    See also: “A Conserved Role for Serotonergic Neurotransmission in Mediating Social Behavior in Octopus” (Current Biology September 20, 2018) https://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(18)30991-6?_returnURL=https%3A%2F%2Flinkinghub.elsevier.com%2Fretrieve%2Fpii%2FS0960982218309916%3Fshowall%3Dtrue

  3. Memento mori says:

    “The final days of a female octopus after it reproduces are quite grim, at least to human eyes. Octopuses are semelparous animals, which means they reproduce once and then they die. After a female octopus lays a clutch of eggs, she quits eating and wastes away; by the time the eggs hatch, she dies. …The scientific jury is still out as to why these clever, resourceful creatures meet such an ignominious end, but there are several theories. Octopuses are serious cannibals, so a biologically programmed death spiral may be a way to keep mothers from eating their young.” (UChicago Medicine) https://www.uchicagomedicine.org/biological-sciences-articles/the-grim-final-days-of-a-mother-octopus

  4. Mike says:

    Joan, the giant Pacific octopus at the Central Coast Aquarium in Avila Beach California was found in a crab trap by a local fisherman who donated her to the aquarium last October. She has grown too large for her enclosure and is now scheduled to be released in the same location where she was found to live the rest of her life in the open ocean. https://www.sanluisobispo.com/news/weather/weather-watch/article219989500.html
    Joan has come to recognize different staff members at the Central Coast Aquarium and they have learned just how smart these invertebrates are and the tremendous amount of the work and expertise it takes to keep them intellectually challenged and healthy.
    The largest giant Pacific octopus documented measured 36 feet and was nearly 600 pounds.
    Octopuses have most of their neurons in their eight arms and not their brain; it’s almost like they have nine brains. It’s difficult to determine where their brain ends or begins. Altogether, an octopus has about 2,000 suckers. Each sucker has about 10,000 neurons with the capacity to smell, taste and feel. Their blood is copper-based and blue in color, unlike our iron-based red blood. Copper-based blood tends to cope better with the lower oxygen levels in depths down to 330 feet where these creatures can live.
    See also recent footage of a rarely-seen Grimpoteuthis sp., commonly known as an umbrella octopus, at https://nautiluslive.org/video/2018/10/23/ghostly-grimpoteuthis-octopus-glides-rov-hercules This specimen is approximately 60cm (almost two feet) long.

  5. Ed Ricketts says:

    “Found: The Largest Cluster of Deep-Sea Octopuses Ever Recorded : More than 1,000 were spotted off the coast of Monterey, California.” https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/largest-cluster-of-deep-sea-octopuses “We were really excited,” says Chad King, chief scientist on the Exploration Vessel Nautilus. The research team was looking for deep sea sponges and corals, not the single largest cluster of deep-sea octopuses ever recorded. “What’s really amazing is we never saw an end to them. And we still don’t know the full extent of how many octopuses are down there. We know there are at least a thousand, there could be a lot more.”
    The light purple octopuses, a deep-sea species (Muusoctopus robustus), were almost entirely brooding females, tucked into nooks with outward-facing arms wrapped around their bodies. They take this defensive position to protect each of their dozens of white incubating eggs, says King. Video footage shows them gently cleaning and aerating their clutches among gardens of orange anemones.

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