16 of the Weirdest Animals You Might See While Scuba Diving | Sport Diver

16 of the Weirdest Animals You Might See While Scuba Diving

The ocean is full of crazy-looking creatures. Here are 16 weird animals you could encounter on your next dive:

1. Red-lipped batfish

Not only do red-lipped batfish have a unique look, but they also have a unique behavior, using their pectoral fins to “walk” across the seafloor.

2. Atlantic wolffish


The wolffish is related to the blennie.

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With large, canine-like teeth, the Atlantic wolffish is one of the ocean’s spookier creatures. But, in actuality, they’re docile and slow-moving, pose little to no threat to divers.

3. Leafy sea dragon

Leafy Sea Dragon Australia

Leafy sea dragon at Rapid Jetty in South Australia.

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Beautiful as they are elusive, leafy sea dragons are only found along the southern and western coasts of Australia. Their plantlike looks help them blend in with seaweed.

4. Wobbegong shark

Wobbegong Shark

Wobbegong shark in action.

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They may look quite different from their sleek grey relatives, but rest assured wobbegongs are indeed sharks. They belong to a group called carpet sharks.

5. Mantis shrimp

Mantis Shrimp

A mantis shrimp on a coral reef in the Philippines.

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A colorful critter that can pack a punch. The mantis shrimp’s naturally spring-loaded arms allow them to hit prey with the force of a .22-caliber bullet.

6. Unicornfish

Spotted Unicornfish

A spotted unicornfish.

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Although unicornfish are named for the bony “horn” that protrudes from their foreheads, scientists actually haven’t found a function for the appendage.

7. Lizardfish


A sand diver lizardfish underwater in Bonaire.


What do you get when you cross a lizard and a fish? These reptile-resemblers are also known as “grinners” because of their mouths full of teeth — which they even have on their tongues.

8. Velella velella

These free-floating hydrozoan float on the surface of the water, traversing the open ocean as wind catches their “sails.”

9. Red Indianfish

With a dorsal fin stretching the entire length of its body, Red Indianfish are unmistakable. These fish also have skin instead of scales, and they periodically shed their skin in one complete piece.

10. Weedy scorpionfish

Weedy Scorpionfish

Rare purple weedy scorpionfish spotted on a muck dive in Ambon, Indonesia.


Weedy scorpionfish are masters of disguise, developing elaborate appendages to mimic their reef surroundings. They’re amazing creatures to see on a dive — if you can spot them.

11. Ornate ghost pipefish

Their elongated snouts, slender bodies, and small filaments that resemble spikes give ornate ghost pipefish a signature look.

12. Shaun the sheep nudibranch

It doesn’t get much more adorable than this tiny nudibranch, which was named for its resemblance to a sheep.

13. Port Jackson Shark

Port Jackson Shark

Port Jackson shark.

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Another odd shark to see on a dive is the Port Jackson. These southern-Australia dwellers have crushing plates and molar-like teeth instead of rows of sharp choppers.

14. Common marbled shrimp

Mixing patterns may be a fashion faux pas for humans, but the common marbled shrimp isn’t afraid to sport both stripes and spots.

15. Mola mola

Mola Mola

An ocean sunfish (mola mola) amongst scuba divers.


With their nearly flat bodies, massive fins, and enormous size — they can weigh more than two tons — the mola mola is undoubtedly one of the oceans most interesting fish.

16. Flamingo tongue snail

The markings on these unusual-looking snails aren’t actually on their shells. The pattern is on the snail’s soft tissue, which is almost always wrapped around the outside of the shell.


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