Dreaming of visiting penguins and seals in Antarctica? We at Brain Berries think that is a swell idea! But how about giving the sea pig or scale worm some love while you’re there? What are sea pigs and scale worms, you ask? Just a few of the odd sea creatures discovered not too long ago in the chilly waters of the Antarctic Ocean. Not much is known about a lot of the animals that live under there, but we will try our best to fill you in. When you visit Antarctica, here are 10 fascinating creatures you might just discover!
1. The Hoff Crab
The Hoff crab (Kiwa tyleri if you want to be boring) gets its name due to having a “hairy” chest that reminds everybody of David Hasselhoff’s own hairy chest. Jealous not to have a crab named after you? Then grow a hairy chest next time, okay? Anyway, this crab hangs out in water temperatures of 32 °F (0 °C), which gets a bit too cold for their tastes, so they huddle down near hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor so that they feel nice and toasty. Consequently, their chest hair is actually bacteria, which they love to scrap off and munch on. Yum?
2. Antarcturus sp.
The Antarcturus (sp?) holds the distinction of being the only creature on this list without a fun and exciting name. Little is known about these guys (fun fact: Wikipedia articles have been written about them in Dutch and Vietnamese, but not in English as of yet, so get to work one of you pedia-types!) For the record they are isopods that live deep in the ocean and fancy a delicious sponge or coral branch as part of their diet.
3. The Sandhopper
The sandhopper sounds like something out of Star Wars, but it’s not as impressive as it sounds. If disturbed, it hops away like a coward, basically. It is also interesting to note that this crustacean does double duty: sometimes it likes to hang out in the water, but is totally down with living on the land just like you and me. It’s related to the crab, lobster and shrimp. So if you see one, feel free to dunk it in hot butter, we guess.
4. The Scale Worm
There’s no getting around it, friends. The scale worm (Eulagisca gigantea if you’re nasty) is hideous looking, even with their Hollywood smiles. They live on the ocean floor and can grow up to 8 inches (20 centimeters) long and 4 inches (10 centimeters) wide. It’s got this retractable mouthpart that can be turned inside out and folded into its body. A neat trick, yeah? Okay, we’re going to slowly back away. RUN!!!