weirdseacreatures Ever since I watched the IMAX movie, Deep Sea 3D in 2006  have been enamored with the many mysteries of the sea. Weird Sea Creatures ($9.95, FireFly Books, Ages 10 and up) is a magical book, highlighting 50 of the most unique animals living in the deepest parts of the sea where there is total darkness.

Author Eric Hoyt offers a most informative introduction to his book discussing the fascinating elements of the deepest parts of the sea (Pacific) and explaining how the sea creatures in the book were captured in nets and placed in aquariums in temperature controlled laboratories aboard the sea vessels used in the expedition. The sea animals were photographed against black backgrounds inside these aquariums using specially timed flashes to illuminate the subjects in order to capture them in the most ideal ways. You will be overwhelmed by these extraordinary photos taken by David Shale, Solvin Zanki and Jeff Rotman, (whose names are listed only in the author’s note.) The incredible detail of these photos is like that of no animal photo I’ve ever seen before.

Each of the 50 photos is accompanied by a paragraph explaining where the animal was found, how it lives, what it eats and any unusual facts about it that may interest the reader. I was fascinated by every creature, but was most in awe of the Yeti Crab, Hydromedusan Jellyfish, Naked Sea Butterfly, Northern Stoplight Loosejaw, Acorn Worm and Sea Spider. It’s hard to believe that animals this exotic live lower in the depths of the sea than Mount Everest is high in the sky!

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If it were not for the expeditions into the deep and the efforts of scientists like Eric Hoyt as well as the photographers who shoot pictures of the sea creatures living too deep for us to ever see, the great mysteries of the ocean would remain undiscovered. It is so wonderful that children (and their parents) can enjoy learning about the exotic fauna in Weird Sea Creatures. It is such an intriguing read and visual wonderland that this book is sure to inspire young, curious minds to want to learn more about sea life and perhaps even be scientists themselves one day.

– Reviewed by Debbie Glade

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