Heroes

13 bizarre creatures prove there's plenty we don't know about Earth.

The world is full of fascinating creatures, but there's so much left to learn.

13 bizarre creatures prove there's plenty we don't know about Earth.
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Earth Day

Did you know that more than 95% of Earth's oceans remain unexplored?

It's a pretty startling figure, but it's absolutely true. Oceans cover more than 70% of the planet's surface, and yet the overwhelming majority of them remain untouched and unseen by human eyes.


Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images.

There are two fairly massive challenges to exploring the depths of the ocean: pressure and light (or rather, the lack of light). At its deepest, the ocean goes 36,200 feet (6.85 miles) below the surface.

Thanks to ever-evolving technology, we're increasingly able to learn more about what kind of life is capable of existing so far away from the surface of the sea.

Mostly we've learned two things: There are some pretty weird creatures living in our oceans, and we aren't even close to having found them all.

Which is kind of incredible when you think about it.

Here are 13 bizarre deep sea creatures that prove just how much we have yet to discover about this planet:

1. Narrownose chimaera

Discovered in the late 19th century, the narrownose chimaera can be found in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans at depths between 1,245 and 8,530 feet. It's like a tiny swordfish but cuter.

Image by NOAA Photo Library/Flickr.

2. Goosefish

Weighing up to 50 pounds, goosefish typically grow to be between two and four feet long. The goosefish is known for its front and back "arms." Arms! Guys, a fish wish ARMS!

Arms!!! Image by NOAA Photo Library/Flickr.

3. Deepsea Skate

The deepsea skate is, as its name would suggest, a fish found in especially deep waters (duh, obviously). It's fairly rare, leaving a lot to mystery when it comes to how it lives — so let's just assume it spends its weekends working on its stamp collection or something. Because, hey, probably, right?

Image by NOAA Photo Library/Flickr.

4. Tripod fish

Tripod fish live on the sea floor, "walking" on three fins. They're typically found at depths between 2,950 and 15,400 feet. I don't have it in me to break it to this guy that he's supposed to use fins to swim instead of walk, so I'll just sit back and let this dude waddle across the ocean floor and stuff.

Image by NOAA Photo Library/Flickr.

5. Redeye gaper

Growing to just under a foot in length, the redeye gaper is typically found at depths between 300 and 2,400 feet in the Atlantic Ocean along the New England region. It's adorable! And it looks like a bird and/or some sort of tiny pink dinosaur!


Image by NOAA Photo Library/Flickr.

6. Toadfish

"Toadfish" is actually the common name given to a wide range of fish species known for — YOU GUESSED IT — their toad-like appearance. In this case, we have a deep sea toadfish, a member of the predator batrachoididae family. This dude doesn't seem like the type of guy you want to mess with.

Image by NOAA Photo Library/Flickr.

7. Venus flytrap anemone

Named after its similarity in appearance and action to the venus flytrap, the venus flytrap anemone is a deep sea anemone ranging in size from just a few inches tall up to around a foot high. It lives between 1,500 and 5,000 feet deep in the ocean. Sadly, though, it doesn't actually trap flies.

Image by NOAA Photo Library/Flickr.

8. Spotted turbot

Found off the California coast, the spotted turbot, which looks like some sort of sparkly talisman you'd have to collect in a video game and trade for 30 silver coins or something, is found between the surface and 320 feet deep. Occasionally caught in shrimp hauls, the spotted turbot doesn't have much value to fishermen and is usually released.

Image by NOAA Photo Library/Flickr.

9. Catshark

The catshark is a family of sharks that get their name from the cat-like eyes. Known for having a short, narrow body, these sharks live in warmer waters. Disappointingly, it does not meow, won't lay across your keyboard, and is probably pretty indifferent to cardboard boxes.

Image by NOAA Photo Library/Flickr.

10. Pyrosome

Pyrosomes are actually made up of a collection of individuals that move through the ocean in unison. They can grow to be up to 60 feet long and are sometimes referred to as "unicorns of the sea," though if you ask me, it kind of looks like it's just the horn without the horse.


Image by NOAA Photo Library/Flickr.

11. Ctenophore

Also known as "comb jellies" (as they are a type of jelly fish), ctenophora use sticky cells called colloblasts (seen extended here on the ctenophore's extended tentacles) to capture prey. It's pretty, but kind of a (total) jerk.

Image by NOAA Photo Library/Flickr.

12. Dandelion siphonophore

The dandelion siphonophore, also known as the ocean dandelion, has been described as "an ant colony on steroids." Little is known about how it reproduces or feeds, but the ocean dandelion is actually hundreds of animals working together towards a common goal: survival.

Image by NOAA Photo Library/Flickr.

13. Blackbelly rosefish

Also known as the bluemouth rockfish (c'mon, guys — pick one, blue mouth or a black belly), this is what's called a "sit-and-wait" predator — which immediately makes me wish I'd have Photoshopped in a small knife or something into the picture.

Image by NOAA Photo Library/Flickr.

Knowing how many creatures we still don't know live in the depths of the oceans only helps us appreciate some of the stranger creatures we have come across.

After all, if this is what we've found in the less than 5% we've explored, what more is out there?

Images courtesy of Mark Storhaug & Kaiya Bates

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The experiences we have at school tend to stay with us throughout our lives. It's an impactful time where small acts of kindness, encouragement, and inspiration go a long way.

Schools, classrooms, and teachers that are welcoming and inclusive support students' development and help set them up for a positive and engaging path in life.

Here are three of our favorite everyday actions that are spreading kindness on campus in a big way:

Image courtesy of Mark Storhaug

1. Pickleball to Get Fifth Graders Moving

Mark Storhaug is a 5th grade teacher at Kingsley Elementary in Los Angeles, who wants to use pickleball to get his students "moving on the playground again after 15 months of being Zombies learning at home."

Pickleball is a paddle ball sport that mixes elements of badminton, table tennis, and tennis, where two or four players use solid paddles to hit a perforated plastic ball over a net. It's as simple as that.

Kingsley Elementary is in a low-income neighborhood where outdoor spaces where kids can move around are minimal. Mark's goal is to get two or three pickleball courts set up in the schoolyard and have kids join in on what's quickly becoming a national craze. Mark hopes that pickleball will promote movement and teamwork for all his students. He aims to take advantage of the 20-minute physical education time allotted each day to introduce the game to his students.

Help Mark get his students outside, exercising, learning to cooperate, and having fun by donating to his GoFundMe.

Image courtesy of Kaiya Bates

2. Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids

According to the WHO around 280 million people worldwide suffer from depression. In the US, 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness and 1 in 20 experience severe mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Kaiya Bates, who was recently crowned Miss Tri-Cities Outstanding Teen for 2022, is one of those people, and has endured severe anxiety, depression, and selective mutism for most of her life.

Through her GoFundMe, Kaiya aims to use her "knowledge to inspire and help others through their mental health journey and to spread positive and factual awareness."

She's put together regulation kits (that she's used herself) for teachers to use with students who are experiencing stress and anxiety. Each "CALM-ing" kit includes a two-minute timer, fidget toolboxes, storage crates, breathing spheres, art supplies and more.

Kaiya's GoFundMe goal is to send a kit to every teacher in every school in the Pasco School District in Washington where she lives.

To help Kaiya achieve her goal, visit Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids.

Image courtesy of Julie Tarman

3. Library for a high school heritage Spanish class

Julie Tarman is a high school Spanish teacher in Sacramento, California, who hopes to raise enough money to create a Spanish language class library.

The school is in a low-income area, and although her students come from Spanish-speaking homes, they need help building their fluency, confidence, and vocabulary through reading Spanish language books that will actually interest them.

Julie believes that creating a library that affirms her students' cultural heritage will allow them to discover the joy of reading, learn new things about the world, and be supported in their academic futures.

To support Julie's GoFundMe, visit Library for a high school heritage Spanish class.

Do YOU have an idea for a fundraiser that could make a difference? Upworthy and GoFundMe are celebrating ideas that make the world a better, kinder place. Visit upworthy.com/kindness to join the largest collaboration for human kindness in history and start your own GoFundMe.

Officer Stagg meeting Sherry Smith on WISH-TV.

Indianapolis Police Officer Jeff Stagg selflessly maintained the roadside memorial of Shelby Smith, who had been killed by a drunk driver. He picked up trash and placed little plastic flowers, figurines and rocks around it to keep it presentable. Though Shelby died nearly 22 years ago, Officer Stagg didn't want her to be forgotten. And now, his act of kindness won't be forgotten either.

Passerby Kaleb Hall (@kalebhall00 on TikTok) noticed the officer cleaning up the site and asked him what he was doing here. Kaleb had already thought the behavior a little uncharacteristic, "a cop cleaning up trash in the hood," so he went over to inquire.

After explaining that Shelby's memorial was in his patrol area and that he guessed her family had moved away, Officer Stagg told Kaleb, "no one's keeping it up anymore, so I just wanna make sure it stays kept up."

Stagg had noticed the memorial had become surrounded by overgrown grass, weeds and trash. After driving past it every day, Officer Stagg thought enough was enough.


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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."