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April 15, 2016

Top Ten Longest Animals in the Ocean

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Giant Manta Ray (Manta birostris) Frontal portrait of Giant Manta Ray filter feeding. These huge animals (with a wingspan of up to 7 meters) staged an incredible ballet around us, slowly flapping their wings with amazing majestuosity. Waigeo, Raja Ampat, West Papua, Indonesia.


What are the longest animals in the ocean? Most people would guess whales, and while whales are the heavyweights, there are a lot of other big species like jellyfish, sharks and even squid.  A paper published last year called “Sizing ocean giants: patterns of intraspecific size variation in marine megafauna” by McClain et al. looked at the longest species in the ocean, and here’s their countdown. 

1) Lion’s Mane Jellyfish

Tentacle length: 36.6m (120 ft.)

Description: These long jellyfish can be found in the cooler regions of the Atlantic, Pacific, North Sea and Baltic. They are made up of 94 per cent water! 

Lion's mane jellyfish

2) Blue whale

Length: 33 m. (108.27 ft.)

Description: Blue whales may not be the longest, but they are the largest animal to ever live on Earth. They weigh in at an astounding 208 tonnes.

3) Sperm Whale

Length: 24 m (78.74 ft.)

Description: Sperm whales are the largest toothed whale and they are active predators, specializing in eating large squid, big bony fish and sharks.

4) Whale shark

Length: 18.8 m. (61.68 ft.)

Description: Whale sharks are big, yet they eat the tiniest creatures. They feed on little plankton and fish eggs, which they filter feed as they swim along with their giant mouths open.

5) Basking shark

Length: 12.27 m. (40.24 ft)

Description: Just like the whale shark, basking sharks are filter feeders, eating tiny planktonic prey. These incredible sharks live both north and south of the equator, but not between the two zones in the tropics.

6) Giant squid

Length: 12 m (39.37 ft.)

Description: Giant squid can be found across the world’s oceans. One spot known to have more of them is off the coast of Newfoundland.

7) Giant octopus

Length: 9.8 m (32.15 ft.)

Description: The giant pacific octopus is larger than other octopus species. They usually appear reddish, but can change colour and even texture when threatened in order to camouflage themselves.

8) Oarfish

Length: 8 m. (26.25 ft.)

Description: Oarfish are very long and extremely thin. Their maximum weight is around 272 kg. (600 pounds).

9) Great white shark

Length: 7 m. (22.96 ft.)

Description: Great white sharks are big predators, capable of eating marine mammals that weigh several hundred pounds.

10) Giant ocean manta ray

Length: 7 m. (22.96 ft.)

Description: The giant ocean manta ray is not only the biggest species of ray, it also has the largest brain of all the world’s fish.

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