Scientists believe that there are as many as 1 million different kinds of species living in the ocean, with anywhere from one-third to two-thirds of them still yet to be named.
Some are fierce, with gaping mouths and razor-sharp teeth. Others are strange and otherworldly—indeed, some seem almost angelic.
The sea angel is certainly one of those creatures. Not to be confused with an angelfish or angel shark, the sea angel gets its name, quite literally, from its angel-like appearance and “wings” that propel it through the ocean.
With a harmless appearance and glowing, gelatinous body, the sea angel looks like a biblical messenger—but despite the heavenly appearance, everything about the sea angel is designed to help it survive in large bodies of water across the world.
The “wings” on either side of the sea angel are actually feet of sorts. They help to propel the diminutive creature through the water at a speed of about .22 miles per hour—which seems slow, but actually far outpaces the sea butterfly, which serves as its primary source of food.
Despite its angelic appearance, the sea angel is an aggressive predator, launching tentacles to catch prey and often hunting in an ambush style.
Despite this, they remain some of the more beautiful deep-water sea creatures out there; not only do they glow, but their translucent skin enables onlookers to catch a glimpse of their red hearts.
They can cluster in groups of nearly 300 in around 1 cubic meter (approx. 35 cubic feet) of water. Catching sight of them may be difficult unless you’re headed for cold waters—they’ll live anywhere, but prefer Arctic temps—but for those who do manage to experience the angels out in the waters, they’re certainly a sight to see.
Take a look at the gorgeous creatures out for a swim, and tell me they don’t absolutely capture your attention.