▶ Do Giant Cookiecutter Sharks Exist?
There are two known species of cookiecutter sharks: the cookiecutter shark (Isistius brasiliensis) and the largetooth cookiecutter shark (Isistius plutodus). Both are about the same size—reaching lengths of around 50 cm—and both belong to a family of deep water squaloid (Squaliformes—the dogfish sharks) sharks: Dalatiidae (the sleeper sharks belong to this family as well). The two Isistius species are epi- to mesopelagic creatures; it is thought that during the day they remain in the mesopelagic zone (from 200 m to 1000 m below sea level) and then at night they venture nearer to the surface. This behaviour is known as diel (influenced by day-night changes) vertical migration, and many other mesopelagic creatures, from fishes to shrimps, perform this behaviour.
▶ Gulper Eel
The Gulper Eel or also called “Eurypharynx pelecanoides ” is a strange looking creature with a big snout, that can reach a size of 2 to 6 feet. It seems to be an Eel with a big Pelican shaped mouth. However these fishes have big jaws and can consume bigger fishes then their own body size, because of the special mouth that is loosely hinged.
If it can open its mouth enough to eat bigger fishes then it will need to have a special stomach. He does have a special stomach that can stretch itself to fit for the big meal and because of its special mouth it has another name the ”Umbrella Mouth Gulper Eel”. The Gulper Eel also has a very special thin tail like whip. They appear everywhere over the world and can go to depths of 3000 m into the Aphotic zone. Just very few creatures can live here like for example the Vampire Squid.
▶ Vampire squid
The vampire squid, known to scientists as Vampyroteuthis infernalis, looks more like something that swam out of a late-night science fiction movie. The squid has large fins at the to of its body that resemble large ears. It is very gelatinous in form, resembling a jellyfish more than the common squid. The vampire squid has the largest eyes of any animal. It is a small animal, growing to a length of about six inches, bit it has globular eyeballs as large as the eyes of a large dog. The vampire squid’s body is covered with light-producing organs called photophores. This gives the squid the unique ability to “turn itself on or off” at will. When the photophores are off, the squid is completely invisible in the dark waters where it lives. These squid live as deep as 3000 feet. Unlike other squid and octopi, the vampire squid has no ink sack. The vampire squid’s arms are covered with sharp tooth-like spikes. This gives the animal its name. One pair of arms has been modified into retractile filaments that can extend to twice the body length of the animal. The squid may use these arms to capture its prey. When threatened, the squid can draw its arms up over itself and form a defensive web that covers its body. The vampire squid can swim extremely fast for a gelatinous animal. It can reach a speed of 2 body lengths per second and can accelerate to this speed in only 5 seconds. If danger is present, it can make several quick turns in an attempt to escape its enemies. The vampire squid is found throughout the world in most tropical and temperate regions.
This horrifying image is of a a worm found in a hydrothermal vent at the bottom of the ocean. The photo was captured by a Quanta Scanning Electron Microscope, which can magnify things up to one million times.