Bizarre Ocean Creatures: The Goblin Shark
Deemed by some scientists as a “living fossil” and tragically overshadowed in pop culture by its flashier shark counterparts, the goblin shark leads a relatively mysterious existence deep below the ocean blue. The only extant survivor of a 125 million-year old family of sharks, the goblin is truly unique…and ugly. But apart from its most salient features (re: its long, flattened snout, protruding jaws and claw-like teeth), the goblin is relatively unremarkable.
Most scientists speculate that in the underwater world, the goblin shark plays the role of elderly next-door neighbor. Why? Just like your elderly neighbor, the goblin shark’s general flabbiness conveys the fact that it’s not exactly moving around that much, and further, that it doesn’t even need to in order to survive.
Unlike your elderly next-door neighbor, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll ever see a goblin shark in your lifetime. While they were discovered in the 19th century, goblin sharks are incredibly rare and prefer to confine themselves to the ocean’s lower depths–not the public eye. In fact, when one was brought to an aquarium in Japan a few years ago, it died soon after.
Videos Of The Goblin Shark In Action
The Flamingo Tongue Snail
Shell collectors of the world, be warned. Though the saturated snail you see above bears a visually striking “shell”, the vibrant patterns aren’t part of the shell itself but rather the mollusk’s living mantle tissue.
Located in the waters of the Atlantic and Caribbean, the flamingo tongue snail feeds on toxic sea fans and yet, much like Bruce Willis in “Unbreakable”, suffers no harm. In fact, the snail only benefits from doing so. While chewing on sea fans, the cunning snail absorbs their venom and–to the chagrin of its potential predators–becomes toxic itself.
While the flamingo tongue snail used to be a relatively common sight, its unique exterior has rendered it a popular underwater “souvenir” for scuba divers, which has contributed even more to its novelty status.