October 15, 2019
Ahead of our spooktacular Pumpkins and Predators event this October half term, we’ve put together this list featuring some of our favourite frights from under the sea.
Black Tip Reef Sharks
What blog about underwater predators would be complete without a mention of sharks? We’ve got two of our own at Bluereef Hastings, Razor (scary name) and Elsa (less scary), which you can find in our Ocean Tank. Out in the wild, black tip reef sharks live in the tropical coral reefs of the Indian and Pacific oceans and can grow up to seven feet in length and weigh up to 30 pounds.
Did you know the Stonefish is the most venomous fish species to swim in our oceans? Better not get too close – it has 13 dorsal fin spines that release deadly toxins when the fish gets into threatening situations. And how about these for some Halloween-appropriate nicknames? As well the Stonefish, this deadly creature also goes by the names Goblinfish and Warty-ghoul!
Another toxic terror with the power to dish out debilitating venom from its fin spines – although without any nicknames as cool as Goblinfish and Warty-ghoul – the Lionfish if probably left well alone. When threatened, it will spin upside down and reveal its spines in an effort to intimidate enemies. Little wonder you can find this feisty fighter in our Toxic Tank.
Don’t be put off by the basic name (surely they could have come up with something cooler than ‘box’?), this is one of the most deadly creatures in all of the oceans. The Box Jellyfish is responsible for more human fatalities on the Australian continent than sharks are, and lures its prey with tentacles before delivering a deadly sting.
These were thought only to be a myth until recent years, and still no one has managed to capture one alive (although one scientist in New Zealand has dedicated years of his life to the pursuit). As the name suggests, the giant squid is like a normal squid but… giant – it’s eyeballs are the size of human heads!
Disclaimer: this squid is actually quite harmless and nowhere near as terrifying as its giant cousin – but a) it’s Halloween and b) this squid is named after a vampire, so we’re putting it in the list. It basically looks a bit like Dracula’s cape, if Dracula’s cape floated around the ocean and had tentacles. OK maybe it is a little bit scary.
That’s the real name of a real fish, but do yourself a favour and don’t Google it to check – especially if you want a nightmare-free sleep tonight. This deepsea ghoul looks normal enough when it is not in a fight (OK, it never looks normal) but things really take a turn when the Sarcastic Fringehead is riled up – it will open its huge mouth, which is several times wider than its body and try to wrestle you with it.
One of the classic apex predators of the ocean, the Great Barracuda is not a fish you’d like to encounter while out paddling (not that you would round here, since they live mainly in subtropical parts of the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic oceans. These aggressive predators hunt by ambush, sneaking up on and decimating shoals of smaller fish. They’ve even been known to nibble to occasional snorkeler!
Is this the scariest of the whales? It literally has the word ‘killer’ in its name, so we think it’s a good bet. It’s certainly scarier than the Painter Whale, Baker Whale or Accountant Whale, isn’t it. In the wild, these guys have very few predators of their own – they’re even capable of taking out a Great White Shark, which is the sort of skirmish you wouldn’t want to get accidentally caught up in.
OK, this last one is not actually something terrifying from the deep, but we’ve popped it in because we wanted to tell you about our Pumpkins and Predators event taking place this October half term at the aquarium. As well as the chance to come face-to-face with some deadly marine predators, there will be a pumpkin trail, spooky colouring in and loads more fun for all the family – whatever the weather. Book now!