granrojo jellyfish

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“Big Red” (Tiburonia granrojo)

…a species of Ulmarid jellyfish that is the sole member of the subfamily Tiburoniinae. Tiburonia granrojo has been observed in deep waters (around 600 to 1,500 meters) across the Pacific Ocean, including in the Sea of Cortez, Monterey Bay, Hawaii, and Japan. Tiburonia granrojo can grow up to 75 centimeters (30 in) in diameter and in place of the long tentacles found in most other jellyfish it has thick oral arms. Only 23 specimens of Tiburonia granrojo have ever been observed, and only one has been collected (a small [15 cm] specimen) for study. 

Classification

Animalia-Cnidaria-Scyphozoa-Semaeostomeae-Ulmaridae-Tiburoniinae-Tiburonia-T. granrojo

Image(s): NOAA/Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

HALLOWEEN SPECIAL: 10 Spooky & Scary Freaks From Beneath the Waves

Let me tell you folks, I’m in a real pinch here. Since all I do here is review some of the most terrifying shit the seething depths of the oceans can offer, I’m in a bit of trouble sorting out the best material for this article. But what the hell, that’s not for you guys to worry about, happy Halloween!

The day of irrationally giggling gourds and children running around in ridiculous costumes has finally arrived! And for this day, I’ll compile ten Halloween-themed monstrosities of the water world! Brace thyselves, folks, and let the madness begin!

10.: Night of the Evil Crabs

First in line is the aptly-named Halloween crab (Gecarcinus quadratus). Not only does it look like a Jack’o’Lantern on spider legs and huge hooked claws, it’s also decked out in festive colors (black, orange, purple). Even better, they live on land, and sleep in the woods near the seashore during the day in groups of hundreds, but during the night, they emerge and swarm out of the forest to feed on the shore, no doubt scaring the shit out of people happening upon the scuttling army of tiny death crabs sporting macabre facelike prints on their shells.

Boo!

9.: The Tiny Ghost That’s Actually an Octopus

No, this is not a bedsheet ghost, however may it look like one. This is the flapjack octopus (family  Opisthoteuthidae), a deep-sea ball of tentacles and adorable little fins. Despite its cuteness, it’s not to be underestimated, though - it lives in the soul-crushing depth of the deep deep down, with immense pressure, ass-freezing cold and absolute darkness surrounding it for basically all its life. To survive in these horrid conditions, its body is practically made of jelly - it’s so stretchy that when it descends, it’s flattened into a pancake. An adorable, spooky pancake.

8.: The Vampire Fish

Hailing from the Amazon River, the candirú (Vandellia cirrhosa) is one of the most dreaded Amazonian fish, even trumping the infamous piranha, despite the fact that it’s only a few centimeters long. That’s because this thing sucks blood after anchoring itself onto its prey using a pair of oversized vampire fangs. It can suck more blood than its own blood volume, which causes its belly to swell out like some weird fish mosquito. It’s so scary that there’s a myth of it riding up the piss stream of men taking a leak, wedging itself into their urethra, and sucking blood directly from their dicks. That’s seriously fucked up.

Thankfully, this rumor proved to be false… because candirús prefer to attack women.

7.: The Werewolf Frog

Continuing with yet another surprisingly appropriate animal for this holiday, the male of the horror frog (Trichobatrachus robustus) grows hairs in mating season, which are packed with arteries to help it breathe underwater while guarding its eggs. This also means that if you cut its fur, it bleeds. What’s even better is the fact that it has retractable claws, Wolverine style. But the way it uses them is probably even more badass. Namely, it breaks its own toe bones and forces them through its own skin. Yikes. They don’t know whether it uses them to fight or to climb surfaces, but either way, it’s scary as shit.

6.: The Big Red Metroid

Really, it’s a Metroid. Look at it and say in my face that it isn’t.

This is the very descriptively named big red jellyfish (Tiburonia granrojo). The dude who discovered it originally intended to name it Big Ugly Jellyfish, which would also be very descriptive.

This thing is mysterious as all hell. What they do know is that it’s predatory (of fucking course) and that weirdly, it has no tentacles. It uses its bizarre, stubby oral arms to hunt. Weirdly, their number differs from jellyfish to jellyfish. I have no friggin’ idea man, the ocean is strange as hell.

5.: The Living Jack’o’Lantern

Boy, it sure is a wonderful day at the beach today! Let’s go swimming! The water is clear, the sand feels great under my legs, I look down and OH MY GOD WHAT THE FUCK THE SEAFLOOR GREW A FACE.

Seriously, wouldn’t you freak out if this thing winked at you from the bottom of the sea?

What we have here is the northern stargazer (Astroscopus guttatus). It spends its entire life buried into the seafloor, peeking upwards like a big screwed-up pumpkin in the sea. If something swims by, it jumps out, shocks it dead with its electrical organs and swallows it whole. It’s like Pikachu, if Pikachu was an ungodly Jack’o’Lantern-faced abomination and preyed on innocent fish instead of journeying with Ash Ketchum.

But if you dig it out of the sand, you’ll find a funny little detail.

It’s not tailfirst in the sand. Its entire face is on the top of its body. It looks like a floating pancake with a face ate a random fish’s face off and latched onto its back. This is ridiculous, I quit.

4.: Watch Out for the Yeti

This is the yeti crab (Kiwa hirsuta), a species of lobster about as ordinary as Clark Kent in Smallville. Discovered only recently, not much is known about it, except that it lives on hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor. For the newcomers here who haven’t read my review on the iron snail, that means that it survives on an opening into the Earth’s mantle constantly erupting with scalding hot, toxic water which is so packed with poisonous sulphuric chemicals that it could possibly kill Rasputin himself in mere seconds if he wasn’t already rotting in his grave since 1916. It lives there… blind. That’s badass.

There’s a little culture of bacteria living amongst the hairs on its arms. They thrive on the aforementioned poisonous chemicals, and in turn the crab likely eats them for sustenance. Not only does it look like a yeti, it walks around with a veritable stash of unicellular candy between its arm hairs. ISn’t this the most Halloweeny monster around?

3.: Your Prayers are In Vain

Um, excuse me? May I kindly inquire as to what in the nine names of hell I’m seeing on my screen?

This is the giant siphonophore (Praya dubia). If you don’t know what siphonophores are, I would like to kindly direct you to this post.

Seriously though, they are colonial creatures consisting of tiny-ass hive-minded Cnidarian polyps held together by a hydrostatic skeleton. In other words, they’re more or less the Borg crossed over with a balloon animal.

This guy right here is the second longest animal on Earth. It’s longer than a blue whale and it wants you fucking dead. Nothing good can come out of this.

Its “head” is a glowing sac of air it uses to float and trails the rest of its body after itself. The body, in turn, is a curtain of draping, venomous battle-tentacles it uses to snare prey and then stuff it into the insatiable gaping mouths of its feeding polyps. Basically, beneath the ‘phore it’s death zone.

It gets better! Since it lives in the deep abyss its hydrostatic skeleton is hyper-pressurized to withstand the immense water pressure down where even the flabby whalefish calls it quits. This means that if it’s brought up to our surface, it bursts.

This guy is a mixture of a ghost, a tentacle monster and festive light strands and it’s glorious. Oh and it’s name mans “doubted prayer”. You can pray for it to spare you, but it’s in vain.

2.: The Electric Lich

This thing right here? It’s called the black ghost knifefish (Apteronotus albifrons). If you say that’s not the most metal name in the history of ever, you’re lying.

This guy lounges around in fast-moving rivers, which means it always has to be moving to not get washed away. It’s more or less doing the aquatic equivalent of running upwards on a downwards-moving escalator for its entire life.

It navigates and locates its prey with fine-tuned electric shockwaves, and is known to use its electricity as an FM radio to communicate. Radio fish, how awesome is that.

What’s even more, South American natives believe that these fish hold the souls of the dead. It’s a soul jar that’s also an FM radio.

And number 1…











Is…













BOO!

This has been the obligatory jumpscare. We shall now continue to number 1.

1.: The Blob Monster

This guy, ladies and gentlemen, is one of the most well-known fish in the world. Thousands of fanart of it, a mascot of a nature preservation foundation, a song… you don’t know which fish I’m talking about do you?

Maybe you’d recognize it if it wasn’t in a depth of 1200 meters under extreme pressure?

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is the blobfish we’re talking about. Its scientific name is frankly unpronouncable. Seriously, I think it causes multiple deaths every year due to idiots trying to pronounce Psychrolutes marcidus having their throats explode.

While it looks comical and inept on land, in the deep sea it’s not to be fucked with. It can withstand immense pressure since it has practically no muscles and its flesh is more or less gelatinous. The only thing keeping it in shape is the brutal water pressure breathing down its nonexistent neck. This also means it’s incapacitated in lower pressures. While other animals barely survive in high pressures out of bare necessity, the blobfish thrives in it.

Despite possessing practically no muscle mass, it’s a fearsome warrior. It has practically no predators, and after mating season, if anyone tries to start shit with the eggs will be just flat-out devoured whole by the male. It doesn’t screw around.

In other words, it’s fucking Hedorah.

Thus concludes my Halloween Special. Happy Halloween, folks, and remember: stay spoopy.

Granrojo Jellyfish or Tiburonia granrojo, live at ocean depths of between 600 and 1500 metres and have been found across the Pacific Ocean. They can grow up to 75cm in diameter, according to the California Academy of Sciences, and have thick fleshy oral arms in place of the long tentacles found in most jellies. The entire jellyfish is deep red in color, granrojo means ‘Big Red’ in Spanish.