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The Largest Creatures of the Deep

Tue, Feb 09, 2016 at 9:20AM

The world’s largest sea creatures may not all be scary—but they do set the standard for size in the deep blue sea. In today’s blog, we will be looking at a few of the largest creatures you can expect to find on your next ocean excursion.

The invasive giant prawn

The Gulf of Mexico is currently seeing growing numbers of the Asian Tiger Prawn, an invasive giant prawn that preys on smaller shrimp… and grows to be as long as a man’s arm! This species is creating a problem for those in the shrimp industry, who depend on healthy levels of smaller shrimp to make a living.

Giant Pacific octopus

When it comes to octopuses, the giant Pacific octopus takes the cake in terms of size. This species of octopus, which lives in temperate Pacific Ocean waters, can grow to enormous sizes—while the record for size in this type of octopus is a whopping 30 feet long and 600 pounds, the average size (16 feet and 110 pounds) is still impressive. The giant Pacific octopus is the largest and longest-living octopus, and is known to be incredibly intelligent.

The world’s largest lobsters

Maine may be famous for its lobsters, but you won’t be able to feast on the largest one ever found there! This record belongs to a 27-pound lobster found off the coast of Maine in 2012. The lobster—which was about as large as a young child—was eventually released back into the wild, but not before researchers at the Maine State Aquarium got to examine it. Its weighty claws were said to be strong enough to be able to break your arm!

While this may be the largest lobster ever caught in Maine, it wasn’t quite the largest in the world. That would be a 44-pound lobster found off the coast of Nova Scotia in 1977.

Leatherback sea turtle

The majestic leatherback sea turtle is the largest in the world, with fins that span across at almost nine feet and an average weight of between 500 and 1500 pounds. Named for their leathery (as opposed to bony) shells, leatherback sea turtles have the largest range among sea turtles, and can be found throughout much of the world’s oceans. Keep an eye out for a leatherback sea turtle the next time you take out your Monterey—with their sheer size, these turtles can’t be missed.

Blue whale

The blue whale is the largest and heaviest animal we know to exist—and its size is comparable to some of the largest dinosaurs we’ve ever known to exist, too! Numbers of these spectacular creatures are said to be anywhere between 5,000 and 12,000 worldwide, though pinning an exact estimate can be difficult.

Despite their enormous size, blue whales have a surprisingly simple diet! Though large, blue whales eat krill—tiny crustaceans—almost exclusively.

Have you ever spotted any of these creatures of the deep? Share your experiences and photos with us here!

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