Sea Squirts: Unexpectedly Cute Undersea Creatures

These bizarre-looking undersea creatures even have an adorable name to match their comical faces: sea squirts. However, while these sea squirts may appear to have two eyes and a mouth in that photo, they don’t technically have eyes or mouths at all. They live on the ocean floor, and feed on plankton and other organic matter, which they strain from water pumped through their bodies. Sea squirts are basically a big stomach inside a sack that looks like a permanently surprised blob.

Sea squirts.

Sea squirts.

In addition to posing for viral Internet photos, sea squirts are also well known for “eating their own organs”. Although, this is much less disgusting and dramatic than it may sound. When the fertilized eggs develop into larvae, they’re able to swim around freely. However, they’re unable to feed at this stage. In order to eat, they must find a place on the ocean floor, where they’ll spend the rest of their lives. Once they’ve settled, the sea squirts absorb all the parts of their body they no longer need – their gills, their tails, and even their brains.

Sea squirts.

Sea squirts.

Although these strangely cute creatures may not seem like much, they’re actually highly evolved for invertebrates, and they contain many potentially useful compounds that show promise in treating diseases like melanoma and breast cancer… so they’re our friends.

Sea squirts.

Sea squirts.

Just like humans, cats, dogs, etc., sea squirts reach the peak cuteness in their juvenile form, but to be fair, there are thousands of species of sea squirts, and not all of them look this adorable. If you enjoy weird and funny-looking sea creatures, check out or post about baby stingrays that look like tiny raviolis with damned souls trapped inside them.

3 thoughts on “Sea Squirts: Unexpectedly Cute Undersea Creatures”

  1. Lovely indeed, but the third is a sponge colony, not a Tunicate (“sea squirts”). Completely different Phyla. By the way, sea squirts are Chordates, like we are, jut not vertebrates. But we are not cute.

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