April 26, 2023
Eight weird and wonderful animals in Canada’s deep sea
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BY: Jennifer Whyte
The deep sea is far below the ocean’s surface and is defined by extremes. Intense darkness, high pressure and low temperatures. These conditions aren’t suitable for all sea creatures, it takes special adaptations for animals to thrive in the deep. That’s why it’s one of the places in the ocean where some of the most otherworldly species can be found. Take a dive with us deep into the Atlantic, Arctic and Pacific Oceans off the coast of Canada to meet a few weird and wonderful animals that can be found in the ocean’s depths.
Location: These sharks love the cold, deep waters of the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans. Get more Greenland shark facts on the Marine Life Encyclopedia.
Location: Crinoids, which are relatives of sea stars, can be found across the ocean in the deep sea. The crinoids seen here live on the seafloor of Okak Bay and were spotted during the Imappivut Expedition. Check out this blog to see what else lives on the seafloor in Arctic waters of Nunatsiavut, Northern Labrador.
Location: This octopus lives in the Pacific Ocean far off the coast of British Columbia deep on seamounts, or underwater mountains. It was filmed during the Northeast Pacific Seamounts Expedition. Find out more about the expedition to the seamounts and how you can help protect them.
Location: Rattail fish live across the ocean and are among the most abundant of the fish species that live in the deep sea. Pictured here is a Pacific rattail, also called a Pacific grenadier.
Location: There are many species of nudibranchs that live throughout the ocean, including in the deep water off all three Canadian coasts. This polka dot wonder was seen off British Columbia near Pender Island.
Location: Sea pens live in shallow and deep water throughout a range of marine environments, from Arctic to tropical waters. The sea pens pictured here, that resemble question marks, live in the Gulf of St. Lawrence where they provide habitat for other species including redfish. Learn more about these colonial corals on the Marine Life Encyclopedia.
Location: Sea anemones can live in shallow and deep water across the oceans of the world. These white, tubular anemones live on seamounts, or underwater mountains, far off the coast of British Columbia.
Help protect these anemones by calling for a Marine Protected Area.
Location: Glass sponges were once thought to be extinct. The glass sponge reefs pictured here, live in the Pacific Northwest. They are thought to be the only living such reefs left in the world. Help protect these glass sponges and other creatures that live deep in the ocean off the coast of British Columbia.