Weird Sea Creatures Found Around the World

Fish and other ocean animals are free to move around the ocean as they please. Take the frilled shark, for example. This shark has been spotted in a number of locations throughout the Atlantic and Pacific oceans—from northern Norway, Scotland, and western Ireland to France and Morocco. And those are only the Eastern Atlantic locations frequented by the frilled shark. It’s also been spotted in the waters of Hawaii and California, along with northern Chile in the Pacific Ocean.

However, while sea creatures do move around quite a bit, we can still make educated guesses about their primary locations thanks to documented sightings. And for these extremely rare and weird sea creatures found around the world, a map documented sightings like the one below may be the closest we’ll ever get to them.

View Weird Sea Creatures Found Around the World in a full screen map

We gathered and mapped data from Popular Mechanics and then assigned each creature a type. The map is sortable by those types for easy exploration. You can also find a summary of where to find the most weird sea creatures, the different types of marine life, and how to make a map of your own below.

Where to Find the Most Weird Sea Creatures

All sea creatures have the option to go wherever they desire, assuming sea temperatures and other factors support them. However, we noticed a few areas with more of these weird sea creatures.

  • Lizard Island, Australia
  • Monterey Bay, California
  • The Gulf of Mexico
  • Japan

You can see these groupings on the map, or read on to see what we found in each place.

Lizard Island & Other Underwater Destinations on the Australian Coast

Photo of Lizard Island by Caroline R on Unsplash

Lizard Island is home to three weird sea creatures on our map: the Christmas tree worm, aptly named Lizard Island octopus, and the recently discovered delicate claw crustacean. Weird sea creature discoveries aren’t rare on Lizard Island. In fact, a research station set up on the island in 1973 has resulted in nearly 1,000 scientific publications. Lizard Island is located just off of northeastern Australia. While it’s the only weird sea creature hub to the northeast of the continent, the coast surrounding other parts of Australia also experience activity from unique marine life.

Off of mainland Australia, you can often find a blobfish (also known as fathead) or two. Blobfish may also be found in the waters between Australia, New Zealand, and Tasmania. The leafy seadragon, cousin to the sea horse, can only be spotted along the southwestern coast of Australia. Towards northwestern Australia, you may discover a gulper eel (which can grow to be six feet long!) You might recognize the name as a one was spotted ballooning its massive jaws in a viral video. While the Australian coast is certainly rich with unique marine life, it’s not the only body of water weird animals frequent.

Monterey Bay

Photo of Monterey Bay by Guillaume Merle on Unsplash

Monterey Bay, California, has two weird creatures on the map. What’s notable is how small a body of water is compared to other creature hot spots. Both vampire squid and sea nettles are native to this area. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they’re both on display at the famed Monterey Bay Aquarium. In 2014, the sea museum became the first to house a vampire squid in captivity.

In addition to being such a small body of water to house two rare sea creatures, Monterey Bay and the Gulf of Mexico are the only US bodies of water with weird sea creatures on our map.

Gulf of Mexico & Japan

As we mentioned, the Gulf of Mexico is another location to find much unique marine life. While it’s less shocking to find three rare animals in a large gulf when compared to a small island or bay, it’s still worth noting. The giant isopod, black swallower, and venus flytrap anemone each often reside here.

Additionally, the ocean waters around the island country of Japan are frequented by five weird sea creatures including Japanese spider crabs, vigtorniella worm, hydrothermal vent snail, and two sharks: the frilled shark and the goblin shark.

Types of Weird Sea Creatures

While both of the sharks on our map are most likely to be found in Japan, there are plenty of other types of weird creatures out there; we included eight total on our map:

  • Crabs, lobsters, or other crustaceans
  • Eels or fish
  • Jellyfish
  • Snails or slugs
  • Octopuses or squid
  • Worms
  • Sharks
  • Sea cucumber

Snails or Slugs


Of the five fascinating snails or slugs on the map, one stands out. While the sea angel looks and sounds nothing like your typical snail or slug, it really is just a predatory, and slightly cannibalistic sea snail. The sea angel’s diet? Other snails. We’re sure those other snails refer to the sea angel by a similarly biblical yet otherwise very different name.

Lobsters, Crabs, & Other Crustaceans


While each of the nine crabs, lobsters, and other crustaceans on the map are pretty weird-looking, none look anything like Kiwa, the God of Shellfish Crab. Named after the mythological Polynesian goddess of shellfish, Kiwa crabs are extremely unusual with their furry claws and lack of sight. However, there is no dispute over their classification: they’re crabs, a specific type of crustacean.

The pycnogonid sea spider, on the other hand, may or may not be a crustacean. Currently, it’s considered a different type of sea creature, grouped together with the likes of other seemingly crustacean-esque sea creatures such as horseshoe crabs. However, some believe sea spiders should be included with crustaceans like Kiwa, the lysianassoid amphipod, the delicate claw crustacean, giant isopod, Japanese spider crabs, terrible claw lobster, Metapseudes, and the munnopis isopod.



Jellyfish can also look fairly odd. Included on the map is the arctic hydromedusa, nicknamed the Darth Vader jellyfish thanks to its helmet-like form. While it’s quite common at about 3,300 feet deep in the waters of the Arctic, no one knew it existed until robot submarines investigated the strange blob squeaking “Luke, I am your jelly.” Other unique jellyfish include the crossota norvegica jellyfish, sea nettles, and marrus orthocanna. You could make a whole map dedicated to all the different types of jellyfish and where to find them.

Make Your Own Map Today

Plotting vague ocean points can be challenging. For example, to make this map, we had data points like “Indian Ocean” and “Mid-Atlantic Ridge.” However, since BatchGeo uses the Google Maps Geocoding API to allow users to map their own data, there are accurate results for most reasonable searches. This includes common landmarks and business names; even larger geographic areas (like entire oceans) typically return the center point of the location. Read more about our geocoding process here or make your own map today.

Microsoft MapPoint Alternative

Those who plot their location data on a map find it useful for both business and personal reasons. Doing so provides new insights you can only get from visualizing your data geographically. For example, you could create a proposal tracking map to see where your proposals are most accepted. Then you’ll know to concentrate your efforts there or increase your marketing in the other areas.

There are many uses for maps in daily life and there are just as many mapping software options. There’s ArcGIS and other desktop geographic information systems software, the Google Maps API, and web-based mapping tools that don’t require a software download nor coding experience. Yet even with all the software and web mapping options available today, avid map makers still reminisce about the days of Microsoft MapPoint. Whether you were a fan of Microsoft MapPoint or not, MapPoint inspired today’s mapping tools, including BatchGeo, which allows you to create custom maps like the one below.

View Household income, average clustering in a full screen map

Let’s go over what Microsoft MapPoint is, what happened to it, and what it did so that we can identify the best alternative to this pioneering mapping software.

What Is Microsoft MapPoint?

Microsoft MapPoint is a discontinued mapping software released in 1999 by Microsoft. A desktop application, Microsoft MapPoint allowed users to analyze data—custom or included—on a map. The Microsoft MapPoint graphics and draggable maps were an exciting first for the market and the software also supported integrations between its maps and Microsoft’s other products. However, Microsoft MapPoint is no longer readily available.

What Happened to Microsoft MapPoint?

Though popular in both the U.S. and Europe, Microsoft MapPoint was discontinued at the end of 2014, after 15 years on the market. By that point, users had access to web-based mapping tools that didn’t require a download. Microsoft continued to provide online support for Microsoft MapPoint until the summer of 2015, but then users needed to find a custom mapping alternative that offered similar features.

What a Microsoft MapPoint Alternative Needs

Any Microsoft MapPoint alternative should offer users the ability to do the things they loved to do with Microsoft MapPoint. These include:

  • Find addresses/Geocoding
  • Save/share work with other users
  • Data mapping (manipulation of pushpin colors, visibility, highlighting)
  • Points of interest

Because users could do all of the above with Microsoft MapPoint, an alternative must allow much of the same—though it wouldn’t be crazy for users to expect even more from a mapping tool so many years after the prime of Microsoft MapPoint.

How BatchGeo Compares to Microsoft MapPoint

Just as with Microsoft MapPoint, users of BatchGeo can find and geocode addresses, easily save and share work with others (they don’t even have to be BatchGeo users), and map and manipulate data and points of interest. BatchGeo is clearly a great Microsoft MapPoint alternative, though you can do even more with BatchGeo than you could with Microsoft MapPoint.

Feature Microsoft MapPoint BatchGeo
Find addresses/Geocoding
Save/share work with other users
Data mapping
GPS guidance (Turn by turn)
Points of interest
No software download
Map grouping
Heat view
Advanced or simple printing styles
Embed on a website

As an online mapping tool, creating maps with BatchGeo is done on your web browser; there’s no need to go through the hassle of downloading and installing any software. In addition to being easily accessible online, BatchGeo offers users ways to gain insight into their maps that even Microsoft MapPoint didn’t have. This includes clustering and heat view, among others.


Map marker clustering is essential for users looking to avoid marker overload. Without the ability to cluster dense areas of markers together on a map, your maps can end up like this:

While colorful, this map offers almost no insight into data trends due to the hundreds of overlapping markers. Clustering solves this problem with larger summary markers to give you an idea of what’s “below” at closer zoom levels.

With Microsoft MapPoint, users could cluster their maps with additional paid add-ons such as MPCluster. However, BatchGeo’s online mapping tool offers users the ability to auto-cluster map markers for free. You can change your maps from overwhelming to useful with the click of a button:

View Household income, average clustering in a full screen map

Heat View

In addition to clustering, BatchGeo users can also analyze their data via a map with heat view. Heat view is another way to identify areas with large amounts of markers on your map, like so:

Find out more about how heat view can turn up the heat on your data insights here. Before getting started with clustering and heat view, you must first create a custom map with BatchGeo.

Create Custom Maps With BatchGeo

To create custom maps that offer even more insight than Microsoft MapPoint did, follow the steps below.

  1. Open your spreadsheet
  2. Select (Ctrl+A or Cmd+A) and copy (Ctrl+C or Cmd+C) all your data
  3. Open your web browser and go to
  4. Click on the location data box with the example data in it, then paste (Ctrl+V or Cmd+V) your own data
  5. Check to make sure you have the proper location data columns available by clicking “Validate and Set Options”
  6. Select the proper location column from each drop-down
  7. Click “Make Map” and watch as the geocoder performs its process

When you use BatchGeo to create your custom maps, you have access to the same mapping capabilities as Microsoft MapPoint—without the need to download software. Plus, map clustering and heat view help you to uncover even more insights into your data. And it’s all free for up to 250 locations per map. Explore how BatchGeo can improve your data mapping experience when you make your first map at

Which State Has the Most State Parks? 2,280 Parks Mapped

When the weather is nice (and sometimes even when it’s not), nature-lovers break out their hiking sticks to take trips to the best state parks in the US. States offer protected state park status to places with picturesque beauty, historical importance, or recreational potential, so each and every state park is bound to impress. Depending on where you live, you could visit more than 160 different state parks and still not have seen them all. So, which state has the most state parks, and which state has the least? Where are the largest state parks in the US or the oldest state parks located? The map below contains information about Michigan state parks, Texas state parks, and all the state parks in between.

View State Parks in a full screen map

We gathered the data for this map of US state parks from Wikipedia. A note: some of the state park systems include beaches, state fish and wildlife areas, forests, historic parks, recreation areas, reservations, and other state-protected areas. However, we only included places with “state park” in the name, of which there were 2,280. Unfortunately, that doesn’t include the state parks in Alaska, Hawaii, and Montana, as the data was unavailable. That said, once you discover which state has the most state parks and exactly how many there are, it’ll take years to visit them all.

Which State Has the Most State Parks?

All 50 US. states have at least one state park. However, it’s to be expected that some states have more state parks than others. Whether motivated by larger populations or just a higher priority for natural spaces, the following list taken from the map answers the question of which state has the most state parks?

  1. New York
  2. Florida
  3. Washington
  4. Pennsylvania
  5. Connecticut
  6. California
  7. Texas
  8. Michigan
  9. Ohio
  10. Minnesota

Keeping in mind that due to lack of easily accessible data, those in Alaska, Hawaii, and Montana aren’t on the map, New York has the most state parks of any US state: 178. Of the 51 counties in New York with state parks, Suffolk County is the location of the highest amount of New York’s state parks (23). Jefferson County and Niagara County are also home to over 10 of New York’s state parks as well. When combined with Suffolk County, these three NY counties account for over 27% of the state’s state parks.

Florida has the second-most state parks (148) while Washington has just seven state park less than Florida at 141. Florida has more counties with state parks (55) than New York but of them, Monroe County is the most concentrated with state parks: 10 are located there. There are 35 counties that house Washington’s state parks. San Juan County, King County, Jefferson County (a seemingly popular county name), and Mason County all hold 10 or more state parks.

Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and California own 110, 99, 90 state parks, respectively while Texas state parks add up to 78. Michigan state parks aren’t too far behind Texas state parks: Michigan has 77. To see how many state parks the rest of the top 10 states hold, check out the map. Otherwise, stay tuned for the states with the least state parks.

States With the Least State Parks

Just as some states are bound to have more state parks than others, the opposite must also be true. Several US states have very few state parks and the following are the 10 with the least.

  1. Nebraska
  2. Wyoming
  3. Nevada
  4. North Dakota
  5. South Dakota
  6. Rhode Island
  7. Alabama
  8. Delaware
  9. Arizona
  10. Kentucky

It appears Nebraska has the least state parks of the states on the map: just 8, though it’s worth noting it could be because Nebraska isn’t a very populous state. Following Nebraska’s low numbers are those in Wyoming, another state with a lower population. The state has just 11 state parks. Although is it any wonder? What state park can compete with Yellowstone National Park? Look here to see a map of other major US national parks.

Nevada, North Dakota, and South Dakota each have just 13 state parks, while Rhode Island has 14. The rest of the states on the list are home to 15 parks or more. To count them for yourself, use the map. Otherwise, stay tuned to learn the massive acreage of the largest state parks in the US.

Largest State Parks in the US

Sometimes bigger is better. If you’re planning a two-hour drive to a state park, it would be nice to have plenty of hiking trail options and views for days instead of just a small acreage. The following are the largest state parks in the US.

Park name County or city State Size (acres) Year established
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park San Diego California 585,930 1933
Big Bend Ranch State Park Presidio, Brewster Texas 311,000 1988
Baxter State Park Piscataquis Maine 209,501 1931
Henry W. Coe State Park Santa Clara California 89,164 1959
Falcon State Park Zapata, Starr Texas 83,654 1965
Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park Collier Florida 75,000 1975
Custer State Park Custer South Dakota 71,000 1919
State Forest State Park Jackson Colorado 70,838 1970
Allegany State Park Cattaraugus New York 64,800 1921
Hennepin Canal Parkway State Park Bureau Illinois 60,314 1970

One of the largest state parks in the US is the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park located across the three counties of San Diego, Imperial, and Riverside, California. At nearly 600,000 acres, this state park is the size of over 440,000 football fields. Another of the largest state parks in the US is the Big Bend Ranch State Park of Presidio and Brewster, Texas. Like the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, this 311,000-acre state park is so large it takes up more than one county. The last state park over 100,000 acres on the map is Piscataquis, Maine’s Baxter State Park. It’s 209,501 acres large.

The saying “everything is bigger in Texas” is true for Texas state parks. With both Big Bend and Falcon State Park, Texas state parks are certainly some of the largest state parks in the US; some might even say they’re the best state parks in the US. Now, several of the largest state parks in the US are quite old. For example, Allegany State Park was established way back in 1921. But that isn’t even the oldest state park on the map.

Oldest State Parks

More than just the size of state parks, you can also sort the map by the years the parks were established. The years of establishment range from 1777 all the way up to 2019.

One of the oldest state parks on the map, the Princeton Battlefield State Park in Princeton, New Jersey, was technically established in 1777. As the site of an American Revolution battle between George Washington’s troops and British forces on January 3, 1777, it’s been around for a while. However, it seems this state park was officially deemed as such at a later date because New York’s Niagara Falls State Park is actually considered the oldest state park in the US. When you think of Niagara Falls, you’re probably unknowingly picturing the view from the Observation Tower at Prospect Point in the Niagara Falls State Park. Established in 1845, the state park offers a coveted view of all three waterfalls.

Photo of Niagara Falls State Park by Vinayak Sharma on Unsplash

More state parks that have been around for some time include the Putnam Memorial State Park in Fairfield, Connecticut, Itasca State Park in Hubbard, Minnesota, and the Interstate State Park Chisago, Minnesota, among others.

More Grouping Options with BatchGeo

To view even more state parks over a century old, change the grouping option on the map to “Year established.” Since your data often contains more than just location, with BatchGeo, you can group your map by the extra data for even more insights. It’s helpful to be able to view the map grouped by different data, in this case, by both state park size and year established. When making your own maps, you can add and group by even more data, all with