The sea is home to one of the most significant parts of the animal kingdom anywhere on Earth. Even though there are numerous creatures that can eat you with ease, there are equally as many creatures that are ready to swim and play with you. Many of the animals that call the ocean their home are incredibly intelligent, playful, and are some of the friendliest creatures anywhere.
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3. Jellyfish in Jellyfish Lake
You should avoid most jellyfish from around the world due to their toxic stingers that can cause significant pain to humans. However, a small lake in Palau is home to a unique species of jellyfish that are missing these poisonous stingers. Thanks to the lack of stingers, these jellyfish make for one of the most peaceful creatures in the sea.
The jellyfish that have survived in this lake has done so thanks to a unique metabolic process. By feeding on fast-growing algae, the jellyfish in this lake are capable of surviving on little food with no predators. As the sun moves across the lake growing natural algae, the jellyfish migrate from one end of the lake to another. These migrations when seen from above looks impressive and brings in many tourists.
A trip to Jellyfish lake has been a fantastic trip many tourists have embarked on for many years. Recently, the government has temporarily shut down the ability to snorkel with these sea creatures due to a sudden drop in the population of jellyfish in the lake. Between the extreme drought and El Nino weather pattern in the area, the jellyfish population has dwindled to alarmingly low numbers. Hopefully, with increased rain and better climate conditions, these amazing creatures will flourish again.
2. Beluga Whale
As with the Humpback Whale, the Beluga whale makes our list as one of the friendliest sea creatures. These massive white whales are beautiful creatures that are found in arctic to sub-arctic ocean temperatures. Due to their nature to travel in groups of 10 or more, these whales make for majestic animals that are friendly to all humans.
Measuring in over 18 feet long, and over 3000 pounds, the Beluga whale is a fantastic sight to see. Thanks to its high pitched tweets, the Beluga whale is sometimes referred to as the sea canary. The Beluga whale also has the unique ability to mimic human speech through its high pitched sounds. In the wild, the cry of a Beluga whale has even been compared to the shouting of children. The first Beluga whale was brought into captivity in 1861, marking the first time a whale was kept in captivity.
As with Humpbacks, it is best to experience Beluga whales from a distance to their large size. One of the most well-known places to view the Beluga whale is in the Northern Hudson Bay coastline. During June to mid-September, this bay becomes home to over 50,000 beluga whales. Local tourist companies offer small boats that can be taken out to the bay to view the whales up close. Even from the distance of a boat, these creatures can be seen in all their beauty as they breach the ocean’s surface and playfully swim beneath your boat.
1. Sea Otters
Between their cute fur covered body, to their ability to play and problem solve, the Sea Otter is one of the friendliest creatures living in the ocean. Similar to Humpback whales, the Sea Otter was hunted for hundreds of years. It wasn’t until the 20th century that Sea Otters saw a massive spike in their population. After Zoos started to bring Sea Otters in for exhibits, the public fell in love with these friendly animals.
Sea Otters are one of the smallest marine mammals, measuring about 4 feet long. While they are descendants of the weasel family, they are the heaviest members weighing in from 50 to 100 pounds.
As with some sea creatures, Sea Otters are intelligent. Many Otters love to dine on clams and other shelled animals of the ocean. Since they do not have the strength to break the shells, many otters will store rocks under their arms as they hunt to help break the shells open.
The best way to experience a sea otter is in a zoo or other aquarium. Many zoos offer dedicated exhibits that allow guests to experience first hand the friendly Sea Otter. These exhibits usually include allowing the guest to feed the sea otter and participate in a training session alongside professional animal trainers. A handful of zoos even offer guests the ability to swim with the sea otters for a short period, giving them the opportunity to play with these friendly creatures.