Support Us
Follow Us

8 Completely Ridiculous Sea Creature Names You Won’t Believe Are Real

What's in a name? We bet these little guys would like to know. Here are the eight most ridiculous sea creature names to ever exist.

What's in a name? We bet these little guys would like to know. Here are the TK most ridiculous sea creature names ...


1. Donkey Dung Sea Cucumber

This poo lookalike is also known in Latin as Holothuria mexicana because its superpower is making itself hollow. When some sea cucumbers feel threatened, they turn themselves inside out, forcing their toxic respiratory and digestive organs through their anuses to warn off would-be diners.

Don't worry. The organs grow back!


2. Pig Butt Worm

Discovered by researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, the pig butt worm looks like ... a pig's butt. See for yourself:



This little guy (10 to 20 millimeters long) is a segmented worm that remains neutrally buoyant between 3,000 and 4,000 feet, and scientists think its shape has a lot to do with that. It floats around in what's called the oxygen minimum zone, where it uses the cloud of mucus around its mouth to eat marine snow — which is appropriate since marine snow is pretty much pieces of poo.

The pig butt worm also bioluminescent. Yep, "glowing," mucus-spewing, poo-eating, floating butts really do exist.


3. Bobbit Worm


Back in 1993, Lorena Bobbit made headlines when she "Bobbitized" her husband's penis. Around the same time, researchers discovered and named the bobbit worm after the incident in question.

Growing up to 10 feet long beneath the sand, the blind bobbit senses prey with its antennae and sucks unsuspecting fish into its mouth with its grappling hooks.



However, rumors of attacks on male swimmers have been totally exaggerated.


4. Slippery Dick

As long as we're on the subject, this little fish is a rascally wrasse. It gets its name because of its ability to slip away. It's known to wriggle free of nets and even tightly closed hands.

Dick, a nickname for Richard, was used at the time of the slippery dick's discovery in place of casually affectionate terms like "lad" and "fellow" — as in, "He's a slippery fellow!"


5. Pseudusa bostigrinus

Translated from the Latin, the name Pseudusa bostigrinus means the cow that turns into a tiger. Resembling neither a cow nor a tiger, this doliolid is closely related to the sea squirt.

Named because it's a predator in a family of grazers, this tiger of the sea uses its bell-shaped body to propel it through the water on its mission to devour zooplankton.


6. Sarcastic Fringehead

The sarcastic fringehead is your worst neighbor. EVER. Instead of harassing you on the sidewalk in a misguided attempt to impress you with his over-the-top and rather uninventive, lowbrow sarcasm, this foot-long fish uses his big mouth to clear the 'hood altogether.



If anyone else tries to move in, or even drops by for a visit, the sarcastic fringehead engages in a battle of competitive kissing.



The fish with the biggest mouth wins!


7. Monkeyface Prickleback


Monkeyface prickleback sounds like a nickname the other fish made up on the playground of the ocean floor. Unfortunately for this resident of the North American Pacific, it's as ugly as its name implies.

It has a long, skinny body, slithers like an eel and — unlike the other fish in the schoolyard — it can breathe air. This trick enables it to hide in the rocks at the shoreline, where it can survive for up to 36 hours. This is also where fishermen and women in the know (and with a Pacific Ocean fishing permit) look for their catch.

Because what the monkeyface prickleback lacks in looks, it makes up for in taste. It's apparently so delicious that world-famous Chez Panisse founder and chef Alice Waters' preparation inspired citywide demand for the fish across San Francisco. This ugly duckling is now a star — on the dinner plate!

Ultimately, the names of these fishes say as much about us as they do about them.


Think about it. If you name something after a pig's butt, that probably means you have a pretty quick recall for what a pig's butt looks like.


Perhaps we should encourage scientists to go to work thinking about butterflies instead.


8. The lauwiliwilinukunuku'oi'oi, a Hawaiian butterfly fish, is beautiful.


They mate for life, which is really sweet.

And the Hawaiian words for "long-snouted fish shaped like a wiliwili leaf" is really fun to say. Listen here, and then try for yourself!


Show Comments ()

5 Times Dolphins Were Way More Violent Than Sharks

They're not always so sweet and friendly.

Keep Reading Show less

Sign Up For Our Newsletter Subscribe Shark

Sign Up For Our Newsletter Subscribe Shark