Strange Sea Creatures of Santa Barbara

The Pacific Ocean is home to a whole different universe of creatures. Even if you just look at Santa Barbara’s little slice of this vast ocean, you’ll find a number of interesting creatures dwelling there. We actually looked into it and were shocked by what we found. We’ve listed our favorite strange sea creatures of Santa Barbara below so you can see for yourself.

California Sheephead

This is an odd species that can actually live up to 20 years when in the right conditions. They can be up to three feet in length and can weight up to nearly 40 lbs! Here’s the really strange part, though. All of them are born female, but some morph into males later on. They literally go through metamorphosis. They’re also pretty creepy looking with that weird underbite and sharp teeth.


Lingcod are bottom dwellers found off the coast of California. They don’t migrate, so you’ll only really find them here. They can grow up 2.5 feet in length and are serious predators. They’re also pretty freaky looking.


Sculpins are also bottom dwellers. They’re known for their flaps, as well as their spine, which is located in the gill cover. These are some eerie looking creatures!

Pacific Hagfish

As their name suggests, these fish are pretty scary. They look like snakes and can be up to a couple feet in length. They’re known for producing copious amounts of slime, making them occasionally fatally to predators who choke on the slime.

Sarcastic Fringehead

This terrifying fish has been nicknamed a “Vampire Reaper,” for its sharp teeth and voracious predatory instinct. They can grow to be up to a foot long and  have no problem attacking any creatures, even ones bigger than they are, like humans.

If you’re not thoroughly weirded out by these strange sea creatures of Santa Barbara, you’re braver than we are! If you want to learn more, we recommend checking out the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center during your next stay at Marina beach Motel!