Cookie Monster sea sponge
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Weird sea creatures and strange fish

Mauricio Handler / ">Cookie Monster sea sponge
A trio of purple sea sponges (Alpysina archeri) fused together form a strong resemblance to Cookie Monster. Photographer Mauricio Handler came across this surprise while on a diving trip to Curacao in the Caribbean.  ( Mauricio Handler / )
Axolotl ... or Pokemon?
The axolotl is also known as the Mexican salamander, which remains in its larval stage throughout its life.  (DanielleB2013 / Flickr)
UC sea slug
The sea slug Felimare californiensis, which bears the blue and gold of the University of California in Berkeley, was named universitas in 1901 in honor of that university. This endangered Southern California sea slug seems to be making a comeback. (Kenneth Kopp)
Sea pig
The deep-ocean sea cucumber (Scotoplanes globosa), or “sea pig,” eats sea floor mud and small animals and microbes that live in the mud. Research by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute suggests its population can change dramatically depending on how much food sinks to the sea floor.  (2005 MBARI)
Giant spiders on the ocean floor
A giant sea spider (pycnogonid) and a pom-pom anemone -- each about a foot across -- were photographed nearly 10,000 feet below the surface of California’s Monterey Bay. The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute videotaped the spiders sucking the juices out of deep-sea anemones.  ( 2002 MBARI)
Blob sculpin
This blob sculpin (Psychrolutes phrictus) was photographed off Big Sur. Blob sculpin grow to about 2 feet long and are shaped like large, flabby tadpoles. Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute researchers have seen groups of them brooding eggs in undersea ridges off Northern California. (2001 MBARI)
Monster goldfish
Huge goldfish weighing more than 4 pounds -- dwarfing their finger-length, aquarium-bound counterparts -- have caused problems in California’s Lake Tahoe. (Heather Segale / University of Nevada-Reno)
Snakehead fish
The snakehead fish, illegal in most U.S. states because of its danger as an invasive predator, is able to live outside water for days. (Ed Wray / Associated Press)
Fangtooth moray eel
The fangtooth moray eel has an elongated jaw and glass-like teeth. (Phillippe Guillame)
Barreleye fish
The deep-ocean barreleye fish has a transparent dome-like head and tubular eyes that gaze upward as well as forward.  (Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute)
Ancient shark-like animal helicoprion
The helicoprion was a giant shark-like animal from roughly 270 million years ago. Fossils show that the helicoprion had up to 150 sharp, serrated teeth that spiraled around each other. The smallest teeth are in the middle of the spiral, which looks a bit like a buzz saw. (Ray Troll)
Sea slug disposes of its penis
The sea slug Chromodoris reticulata has a disposable penis that it sheds after sexual intercourse.  ()