Deep Ocean Diversity Slideshow

Deep sea animals have to live in a very cold, dark, and high-pressure environment where they can't see a thing! To survive there, they've evolved some very strange adapations. Some make their own light, an ability called bioluminescence, while others are totally blind. Some are terrifying looking, like anglerfish, while others are quite beautiful—even if there is no one to appreciate it except us people looking at photos. See some of the remarkable adaptations that deep-sea animals have evolved in this slideshow. Learn more about the deep sea and deep-sea corals at their overview pages, and see photos of other bioluminescent animals.

This new species of lobster (Dinochelus ausubeli) is blind and has bizarre claws. It was discovered about 300 meters (984 feet) deep in the Philippine Sea by a Census of Marine Life expedition.
These are the first zoanthids (relatives of coral) recorded at a hydrothermal vent.This recently discovered hairy crab species (Kiwa hirsuta) has no eyes.Photograph of a transparent comb jelly against a dark sea.A fringe of tentacles surrounds the bell of this jellyfish (Halicreas minimum).Photograph of a transparent polka-dotted squid in the dark ocean.Photograph of a translucent red-orange comb jelly against a black sea.This jelly’s red color provides camouflage in the ocean depths.This jewel squid (Histioteuthis bonnellii) lives above the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.A red deep-sea fish specimen. A sea star brought up from a benthic ROV dive.Big Red Deep Sea JellyfishThe pink strands of this coral harbor a variety of organisms. Sea whips are gorgonian corals, with flexible skeletons. This aptly named fish has two long fangs.Venus fly-trap anemone in the Gulf of MexicoThis crab was collected on a NOAA/MAR-ECO cruise to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge in 2009.Riftia tubeworm (Riftia pachyptila) colonies near hot spring.This lizardfish rests on the bottom, waiting to snatch prey.Giant eyes spot prey. Huge claws grab the prey, and a tiny mouth rips it to shreds.This bubblegum coral has a fanlike shape. It is growing 1,310 m (4,298 ft) deep on the Davidson Seamount.Photograph of the underside of a gelatinous octopus with a bright yellow bioluminescent ring around her mouth.A red and white colored bristle worm swims in the water column.