The Earth is at most 70% water. In the history of mankind, only a certain percentage of the Earth’s oceans have been studied. That’s why we still don’t know what is out there, deep down — and although many have tried before, our knowledge of ocean life can still be considered surface-deep. In this article, we’ve collated nine mind-blowing facts about ocean life:
Among animals, dolphins have the longest memory
Since childhood, we were subjected to the fact that dolphins are one of the ocean’s friendliest animals. Dolphins are extensively researched, are immortalized in movies and TV shows, even in books, and have been part of the human experience in zoos and leisure parks. But one of the more interesting Dolphin facts is that they have the longest memory among animals! And that’s including humans! Wild, huh?
Jellyfishes have been around longer than dinosaurs
If you think jellyfishes are odd creatures, that’s because they have had to survive five mass extinctions! So suffice it to say, they are one of the oldest creatures on the planet. They’ve been around longer than dinosaurs, estimated to be at least 700,000 years old! In some cultures, certain species of jellyfish are considered a delicacy!
An octopus has three hearts
An octopus has some of the more bizarre set up of organs in the animal world. It has three hearts, nine brains, and blood the color of the ocean. Scientists aren’t sure why, but the widely-believed theory why octopuses have three hearts is because of the unique nature of their blood.
Compared to humans with iron-rich blood, octopuses’ blood is rich in copper, hence the blue coloring. Two out of the three hearts pump blood to the gills, and the remaining one is tasked to circulate that blue blood to the body. The only animals with a similar blood color are horseshoe crabs, scorpions, and tarantulas!
Oysters can change genders
Oysters are protandric. That means they have male organs while young and develop female organs later in life. Most oysters reach maturity in less than a year. In that duration, oysters will release sperm into the water. As they mature into their second and third years, they gain more energy and begin releasing eggs.
In the entire animal kingdom, only male seahorses get pregnant
The majority of the animal kingdom assigns females to nurture young spawns. The female gender is also the one that gets pregnant. But that is not the case at all with seahorses. 46 discovered species of seahorses, and every single species have been recorded to have the males become pregnant. And even more amazing is that the males are also expected to raise the newly-born seahorses!
There are turtles in every continent except Antarctica
Turtles are quite common in every continent. But the one place that you wouldn’t spot a turtle is Antarctica. Sea turtles usually swim their whole lives across oceans, and once or twice in their lives, they will return to the shore that they’ve been born. There are at least 365 species of turtles, both living in land and water.
The reason why there are no turtles in Antarctica is maybe because of its climate. Recent developments and the discovery of ancient turtle bones in Antarctica hints that the continent was once a rainforest.
At night, parrotfish surround themselves with mucus to help ward off predators
Parrotfish are brightly-colored fish that have 95 species. They are herbivores, meaning that they only eat plants, mainly algae. Because of their colorful exterior, parrotfish surround themselves with their own mucus at night. This is to protect themselves from predators. Another interesting thing to know about these fishes is that they help keep coral reef systems healthy!
Manatees are related to elephants
Manatees are not just cute; they’re also fun to swim with! In fact, in Florida, there is an area where people are allowed to swim with manatees! But a word of caution – manatees can be stressed when you make sudden movements swimming with them! Although manatees are sea creatures, their closest relative is elephants! They evolve from the same animal that elephants evolved from over 50 million years ago.
Many species of fish are hermaphrodites
It may come as a shock to people, but many species of fish are hermaphrodites. That means they both have full or partial male and female reproductive organs. Most fish start their lives as a female; then when the time comes that a male is needed, they’ll turn into one!
The ocean has a diverse series of facts, too!
Marine life is as diverse and odd as our human societies, and that’s considering the fact that we still don’t have a full grasp of how most ocean animals behave. In the deepest parts of the oceans, bizarre sea creatures have acclimated to their environment by being resourceful. As we learn about these new creatures, we understand the oceans more.