Support Us

Follow Us

This Feather Starfish Looks Too Magical to Be Real

Check out this beautiful feather starfish and gif collection with fun facts! With their magical appearance, these animals look like creatures from sci-fi.

The ocean is full of creatures that seem too bizarre to be real. A perfect example is the strange sea animal featured in the video below, called a feather starfish.

As you might guess from its name, the feather star looks like a starfish that has legs made of feathers. With its graceful movements and magical appearance, it looks more like a creature from a sci-fi movie than the Earth's actual ocean.

Despite it's name, the feathery animal is not a type of sea star: It is actually a type of creature called a crinoid.

There are two types of crinoids, one of which is the free-floating feather stars, like the one above. The other type, known as the "sea lily," has a stalk that keeps it attached to the sea floor.

There are 600 species of crinoid, and many different types of feather stars.


Though feather stars are not starfish, they are related to them.

Photo source: Flickr/Elias Levy


Sea stars and feather stars both belong to the phylum Echinodermata.


Sea cucumbers and sea urchins are echinoderms, too.

Like their relatives, feathers stars have radial symmetry. But no other echinoderm looks quite as fantastical swimming around the ocean.


Feather stars can swim freely, but they also have a small set of legs that allows them to attach to objects.

Photo source: Flickr/NOAA Ocean Explorere

Meanwhile, their feather-like appendages help them catch plankton drifting through the water.

Though they may look fragile, some feather starfish can live in the high-pressure environment of the deep sea. In fact, one crinoid was caught on camera by the 2015 Okeanos Explorer deep-sea expedition.


Show Comments ()

Here's What a Lionfish Sting Feels Like & How Dangerous It Is

Just ... try really hard to avoid getting stung, OK?

Keep Reading Show less

Sign Up For Our Newsletter Subscribe Shark


9 Best Reusable Bags That Save the Ocean While You Shop

Bag the plastic and choose these bags that support ocean conservation instead.

Keep Reading Show less


Researchers Just Stumbled on the First-Ever Baby Manta Ray Nursery

The discovery is a big win for manta ray conservation efforts.

Keep Reading Show less

Sign Up For Our Newsletter Subscribe Shark