Of all the ocean’s wonders, deep sea creatures are some of the most fascinating. These species are special because they have adapted to survive and thrive in environments that are bitterly cold, nearly pitch black, and under crushing pressure – environments we have likely never seen.
They come in all shapes and sizes, from small invertebrates to large fish, and many creatures of the deep look like they originated on a different planet or in a different dimension. Despite how odd they might look, these amazing animals are vital to keeping our ocean in balance by maintaining a healthy carbon cycle, whether by decomposing fallen whales, feces from above, or fertilizing marine plants through their own waste.
As many as 100 million species or more may call the deep sea home, many of which we have never laid eyes on due to the darkness of deep sea environments and the challenges of seafloor exploration. Here are some of the amazing animals that live miles beneath the ocean’s surface: