Anclote Village Marina

Crazy creatures of the deep

You probably didn’t know that the Gulf of Mexico is home to one of the most diverse collections of marine life on Earth.

Check out some of the most unusual creatures found in the Gulf.

Venus Fly-Trap Anemone

These anemones are named for their resemblance to the carnivorous plant. Found 4,900 feet underwater, the Venus fly-trap anemone feeds on small fish and other organisms that become entangled in their tentacles.

Discovered in 1920, Venus fly-trap anemones are incredibly large – they can grow up to one-foot wide.

(I. MacDonald (in Gulf of Mexico–Origin, Waters, and Biota. Vol. 1. Biodiversity. Felder, D. L. and Camp, D. K. (eds.) 2009. Texas A&M Press.)

Transparent Sea Cucumber

Another spectacular creature of the deep is the transparent sea cucumber. A creature that crawls along slowly – roughly two centimeters per minute. This specimen lives 1.7 miles underwater and feeds on sediment and detritus along the ocean floor.

It was only recently discovered thanks to the Census of Marine Life, and scientists call it the “Pink Sea-Through Fantasia.”

(Laurence Madin, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution/CMarZ, Census of Marine Life)

Giant Oarfish

The giant oarfish was first filmed alive in 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico. Before that, giant oarfish had only been spotted dying near the water’s surface or washed up on shore.

Unique to its species, the Giant Oarfish appear to swim vertically and can wave their long dorsal fins to rapidly propel themselves both forward and backward. The fish can reach up to 17 meters long, and sailors often mistook them for sea serpents.

Flying Gurnard

Despite what the name of this fish may imply, the flying gurnard cannot fly.

Instead, it uses its fins to “walk” along the seabed and to startle potential predators. The flying gurnard can grow to a maximum length of about 50 cm (20 inches) and prowls the ocean floor in search of crabs and other crustaceans.

Learn more from the Anclote Village staff

Anclote Village Marina is your starting point for a memorable birdwatching adventure.

Call us at 727-937-9737 to discuss boat rental options to access and explore the hidden wonders of Florida’s Gulf Coast.