There are thousands of unique creatures lurking in the ocean. But only a few types of these sea creatures have the capabilities to camouflage to their environment so well that even the most experienced diver can easily pass by them.
These specific creatures can not only perfectly hide from predators, they can be deadly if they feel threatened. There are certain underwater creatures that should be avoided if divers value their lives.
For example, while a lionfish is known for its beautiful colors and stripes, its distinct spine can deliver a venomous sting. Stonefish and flatfish, on the other hand, change colors to resemble the seafloor and are extremely hard to spot if a diver is unaware of this species. And, if accidentally stepped on, a stonefish can easily inject divers with its venom.
Here is a list of 20 sea creatures to avoid (that you can't even see) if you value your life!
20 Cuttlefish Are Known As "The Chameleon Of The Sea"
According to PBS Nova, the Cuttlefish has baffled researchers with its ability to change its appearance at will and allowing itself to mimic floating vegetation or rocks on the seafloor. When this fish does feel threatened, not only can it get away at fast speeds, it also shoots out a smoke screen of ink.
19 Moray Eel's Powerful Jaws Can Lock Onto Divers
These eels go hunting mostly at night and launch themselves from a burrow and clasp their prey with their powerful jaws at lightning speed, according to Dive The World. This may just scare some divers who were not prepared to see a moray eel quietly waiting for its next meal.
18 Divers Stay Away From A Lionfish's Venomous Spiky Fin Rays
According to Ocean Service, the Lionfish is native to warm, tropical waters of the South Pacific and Indian Oceans and are recognized by brown or maroon and white stripes covering the head and body. However, divers should stay away from this fish's spine, which can deliver a venomous sting that can cause extreme pain and even paralysis.
17 Tasseled Anglerfish Remain Motionless Between Sponges And Algae
A tasseled anglerfish is extremely hard to spot thanks to its ability to camouflage in its habitat with its fleshy tentacles, according to Australian Museum. The fish is brown to red above and can resemble the algae or sponges he is hidden in so well, a diver can easily swim by it.
16 A Robust Ghost Pipefish Can Perfectly Mimic Seaweed
Divers unfamiliar with the robust ghost pipefish would think that these sea creatures are just seaweed getting swept away by the currents. According to Spot My Dive, the pipefish perfectly mimics the shape and color of seaweed, hiding in grass beds, sea fans, and other crinoids so that predators won't spot them.
15 Flatfish Bury Themselves To Catch Prey
A flatfish is hard to recognize as they can change color depending on what environment they are in, which are often made up of sand and pebbles. These fish also have the ability to hide from predators or use it to their advantage to catch their next meal passing by, according to Spot My Dive.
14 Sea Snakes Bite If They Feel Threatened
Sea snakes have the capabilities of staying underwater for up to an hour, but since they need to come up for air, divers can usually spot them in shallow waters. According to Kid Zone, these creatures are very poisonous with the Beaked Sea Snake being the most venomous. Just three drops of venom from this particular sea snake can kill around eight people.
13 Box Fish Aren't To Be Messed With
While these boxfish look cute because of their shape and size, these small sea creatures shouldn't be messed with. According to Live Aquaria, if this fish is feeling stressed, it lets out a poisonous substance, called ostracitoxin, from its mucous glands which can easily kill other fish around it.
12 A Trunkfish Under Stress Will Release Poison
Divers can spot the trunkfish in the reefs around Bermuda, and while its colors and spots are beautiful, divers should proceed with caution. According to Bermuda Biology, this fish is extremely toxic, and like the boxfish, produces a toxin called ostracitoxin that can kill all other fish surrounding it.
11 A Pygmy Seahorse Is Extremely Difficult To Spot
The pygmy seahorse is so small, it is very difficult for divers to spot, only reaching a length of 1.4-2.7 centimeters between the tip of the tail to end of their snout, reports Ocean Realm Images. These sea creatures live on gorgonians where they take on the plant's color and appearance, making it easy for them to camouflage and hide from predators.
10 Leopard Flounders Disappear Quickly In The Sand
Leopard flounders are found living on the bottom of the sea, inhabiting sandy or silty sand. The fish is hard to spot because it uses the colors of the sand to camouflage itself. According to Revolvy, this sea creature takes on a dull, spotted coloring to blend in with the rocky seafloor and waits for its prey to swim by.
9 Leaf Scorpionfish Rock Back And Forth With The Current To Resemble Drifting Seaweed
Leaf scorpionfish are hard to spot because not only do they resemble a leaf, they take on the behavior as well, rocking back and forth with the currents. According to Spot My Dive, this fish's ability to look and act like a leaf or drifting seaweed allows it to grab its prey very quickly and unsuspectingly.
8 Stonefish Are Rarely Seen By Their Prey Or Scuba Divers
Like the flatfish, the stonefish is hard to spot because it blends so well on the seafloor. According to Gizmodo.com, the stonefish is the most poisonous fish in the sea and one of the most dangerous if divers don't spot it. It can hurt or even kill anyone if it gets stepped on, injecting divers with its venom.
7 The Blue Ringed Octopus' Small And Cute Appearance Can Fool Anyone
This blue-ringed octopus looks more cute than vicious, but according to Ocean Conservancy, this tiny octopus has the abilities to kill anyone in its way. Hiding in small cervices and even shells, when it feels threatened, bright blue rings will appear all over its body as a warning. Its venom is 1,000 times more powerful than cyanide.
6 The Box Jellyfish Is The Most Venomous Creature On Earth
The box jellyfish is found in warm coastal waters of Australia and its 15 or so tentacles hold about 5,000 stinging cells that are known to attack the skin cells, nervous system and heart of any human or animal that it gets into contact with, according to The Culture Trip. The box jellyfish is known as the deadliest marine animal in the world.
5 Crocodile Fish Are Named For Their Patient And Predatory Behavior
A crocodile fish is named after its head resembling that of a crocodile. According to Leisure Pro, this fish is a bottom-dweller with mottled brown or green and grey coloring, which is perfect for it to camouflage with its environment. However, unlike actual crocodiles, divers shouldn't be as worried about these fish since they often remain still.
4 Frogfish Lie Still And Move Slow, But Strike Fast
According to Sport Diver, the frogfish is considered "one of the most complicated, efficient examples of aggressive mimicry." These fish usually mimic algae or soft corals, but can also mimic venomous black urchins. When prey does lurk near, the frogfish easily goes for the ambush and quickly captures its meal.
3 Decorator Crabs Stick Other Animals Or Plants In Their Bodies To Blend Into The Surroundings
According to New Scientist, divers will find decorator crabs in shallow waters worldwide and are known to decorate themselves, grabbing items like seaweed, coral and sponges and sticking them onto their shells. This allows the crab to blend into its habitat, confusing predators like fish and even octopus.
2 A Mimic Octopus Is An Expert In Shapeshifting
The mimic octopus has earned the nickname, "master of disguise" because of its ability to look like other fish. Spot My Dive states that the mimic octopus is a professional in shapeshifting, which means it has the capabilities to mimic the look and movement of more than fifteen species, including a sea snake, flatfish and even giant crabs.
1 A Leafy Seadragon Can Camouflage Itself So Well, No Prey Can Recognize Them As A Fish
In Australian coastal waters, divers can try and spot the leafy seadragon, which can closely resemble seaweed or kelp. Not only can these fish resemble seaweed, but they can also imitate the tufts of grass drifting in the ocean's currents, making it a challenge for predators to locate them.