Bizarre Marine Life Mating Rituals

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If you take a look back in time, odds are you’ll come across some strange mating rituals.

We’d even venture to say that some of our modern mating rituals are a bit odd. However, they pale in comparison to the downright bizarre mating rituals of some of the couples inhabiting the earth’s oceans.

The following are a few of the particularly strange underwater mating rituals that stick out.

Sea Hare

Sea hares, which are a type of sea slug, are hermaphrodites. So how do they mate? Well, first of all, they mate in groups by creating a mating chain. The one in front acts as a female to the one behind it. So yes, their mating ritual consists of a giant sea slug orgy. We don’t want to think about it anymore either, but feel free to watch and learn via the below Nat Geo Wild video.

Seahorse

Seahorse are often considered some of the daintiest sea creatures around, even if they are somewhat odd-looking as well. We’re not sure that we would call their mating ritual cute, but it certainly shows dedication. Seahorses will dance with one another, holding tails and swimming snout-to-snout while changing colors. That’s adorable, right? Except they do this for eight hours, until the male becomes pregnant. You read that right.

Puffer Fish

Male puffer fish build underwater crop circles on the sandy ocean floor to attract female puffer fish. It takes the males hours to create these intricate designs using their fins. Once they mate, the female lays her eggs in the center of the circle.

Anglerfish

This might be one of the weirdest ones yet. For some period, scientists were unable to find male anglerfish. The males went unnoticed because they physically attach themselves to the females! What happens is that male anglerfish are born without digestive systems. This means that newly born male anglerfish will die unless they quickly find a female anglerfish to physically fuse to, which is both horrifying and oddly romantic (together forever!). The male ends up wasting away while still being attached to the female, and when the female is ready to reproduce, she uses the male appendage that’s still stuck to her body (gross!) to fertilize her eggs.

If you thought human mating rituals were odd, think again. Check out our ScubaEarth Critter Finder for more information about unusual animal behaviour.