Spooky Seas

25 October 2021 | Posted in Ella Garrud , Marine
Spooky Seas
Octopus pumpkin © Sanibel Sea School

By Ella Garrud

Living Seas Officer

Halloween season is upon us, so here’s a roundup of some spooky creatures found under the waves in Sussex.

Devil Crab (Necora puba)

Crab © Paul Naylor

Devil crabs (also known as Velvet Swimming Crabs) are named for their bright red devil-like eyes. They are also quite feisty and get very defensive when disturbed – be careful, they can give a painful nip with their claws!

Spiny Spider Crab (Maja brachydactyla)

Spider Crab © Francis Jeffcock

As their name suggests, these crabs have spiky, spiny shells and look like spiders thanks to their long spindly legs. They can grow quite large – up to 20 cm long – and their shells can often be found washed up on our beaches.

Snakelocks Anemone (Anemonia viridis)

Snakelocks Anemone © Olle Akesson

Snakelocks anemone tentacles are bright green with purple tips, making them look a bit like a mass of snakes. They have stinging cells in their tentacles which they use to catch their prey. Be careful – they can even sting humans! They also have a special protein in their tissues which make them glow an eerie fluorescent green under UV light.

Ghost Fishing Gear

Ghost Gear

Although these marine species may look spooky, they’re just living their best ocean lives. A very real and scary thing to be found in the ocean is ghost fishing gear. That’s fishing gear that has been lost, abandoned or discarded at sea. While it is left in the ocean, it continues to indiscriminately catch and kill marine life. Our Lottery funded project Wild Coast Sussex has teamed up with the charity Ghost Fishing UK to help remove this damaging gear from Sussex seas to protect our marine wildlife.

Watch this video to learn more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPSEUvyiH_I

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