Unless you literally live underwater, chances are you’ve heard about the new Aquaman movie, premiering in North America on December 21st. The film stars Jason Momoa as the titular half man, half Atlantean whose powers include superhuman strength, extraordinary swimming skills and the ability to telepathically communicate with ocean animals.
Personally, I’m psyched to see it. I’ve spent most of the week watching trailers and diving deep into the Aquaman universe and everything I’ve found so far is absolutely delightful. Jason Momoa tackles a submarine? Amber Heard sky dives without a parachute? Willem Dafoe rides a hammerhead shark? Nicole Kidman fights with a trident?! Look out, landlubbers.
The upcoming flick is the first standalone film for Aquaman, and it’s about time that our favorite aquatic Super Hero finally gets the respect he deserves. In the past, his ability to communicate with ocean animals has been unfairly maligned by those who suggested that it was a somewhat lame power compared to, you know, whatever Superman does.
Now, I would LOVE to be able to telepathically communicate with all undersea animals. If I had a dollar for every time I wondered what a blowfish was thinking… well, I wouldn’t be writing this blog. And of course, I wouldn’t turn down superhuman strength or swimming abilities. But thinking about Aquaman’s superpowers got me thinking about all of the ocean creatures with their own superpowers. Here are six ocean superpowers that I wish Aquaman had:
Though the ability to regenerate limbs is more common among amphibians and lizards, some species of sea stars have the ability to regrow their limbs. Sometimes, they’ll even choose to shed their arms as a defense mechanism. I understand that the visual of Aquaman literally shedding and growing back an arm might not be particularly appealing, but it cannot be denied that it would be useful in a scuffle.
From cuttlefish to flounder to the leafy sea dragon, dozens of ocean creatures have incredible camouflage abilities. My personal favorite is the Mimic Octopus, which, rather than blending in with the seafloor, changes its skin color and how it moves its tentacles to take on the shape of other sea creatures. It has been known to impersonate more than 15 different marine species, including flounders, lionfish and sea snakes. Though camouflage would certainly be useful for Aquaman’s ocean heroics, it would also deprive me of Jason Momoa screen time, so I’ll forgive the filmmakers for forgoing this particular ocean power.
While flying fish don’t technically “fly”, they can still propel themselves out of the water at speeds of more than 35 miles an hour! Their torpedo-like shape helps them gather enough speed to break the surface, and their large, wing-like fins get them airborne. And of course, we can still count many seabirds as ocean dwellers. As half human and half-Atlantean, Aquaman has one foot on land and another in the sea—but can you imagine if he had a third foot in the skies?!
Eating Things Twice Their Size
The black swallower is truly the stuff of nightmares. These deep sea dwellers are capable of swallowing animals twice their length and ten times their mass, and sometimes they’ll still try to eat more. Jason Momoa is 6’4” and about 235 pounds, meaning that Aquaman would need to be able to eat something approximately 12 feet long and over 2,300 pounds to match up with the black swallowers abilities. To put that in perspective, a narwhal is about 12 feet and 2,100 pounds, so Aquaman would need to be able to eat a chubbier than average narwhal to have the same impact as these monsters of the deep. I’m not sure when that would come in handy in the quest to save the world, but at least it would be intimidating.
Stonefish are one of the most venomous fish in the sea, which is a serious superpower on its own. But these bad boys also have an extra trick up their sleeve—or, more accurately, their skull. Scientists have found that stonefish have a hidden switchblade on their face that they can flick out whenever they feel like they’re in danger. If that doesn’t sound like something straight out of a comic book, then I don’t know what does.
Look, superpowers come in all shapes and sizes, okay? Though most ocean animals don’t mate for life, seahorse couples are essentially serial monogamists, sticking with one partner for long periods of time to maximize their likelihood of successful procreation. And as anyone who’s married will tell you, that’s hard work! While I don’t pretend to be an expert on Aquaman’s dating life (I wish I was, because I have questions, primarily: is he single, and if so, can I have his number?) I imagine that the power of monogamy and a stable home life would be a positive.
Hopefully, the good people at Warner Bros. will take notice of these ocean superpowers and incorporate them into the sea-quel!
Aquaman premieres in North America on December 21st, 2018.