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Ocean Currents

Do Ocean Animals Dance?

The answer may surprise you

Paul Krawczuk
© Paul Krawczuk

Are you ready for this?

Yes, some ocean animals dance!

You read that right, friend. And I’m here to bring you some absolutely astounding levels of ocean joy, courtesy of eight ocean animals who have no fear when it comes to bustin’ a move. Some have dance rituals that are critical to their survival, some just appear to like to get groovy … and some honestly probably aren’t dancing on purpose, but they sure look like they’d be good at it if they were! Dive on in and check out these spectacular waltzers, twisters and tango-ers that are sure to leave you feeling fin-credibly impressed.

Spanish Dancer

Untitled design

This show-stopping creature, reminiscent of a fabulous flamenco dancer, is a type of nudibranch (aka: a sea slug). It twists and twirls through the sea with such grace, it’s sure to hold the attention of anyone who has the opportunity to witness its moves.

Blue-footed Booby

Source: GIPHY

You may feel like you’re watching a tap dance right now, but this is actually a mating ritual for these seabirds. After a male blue-footed booby garners a female’s attention, he’ll put on an elaborate performance for her, placing particular focus on his fabulous blue feet in an effort to impress his hopeful mate.

Laysan Albatross

giphy
© U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/GIPHY

Oh, and by the way … blue-footed boobies aren’t the only seabirds to engage incredibly complex courtship dances! Laysan albatross engage in a similar performance … and in case you didn’t notice yet, it’s pretty hilarious to watch. A quick summary: they look like they both just heard their favorite song, started bouncing their heads to it, then dove in for a smooch. Nice, albatross duo. Nice.

Sea Angel

Source: GIPHY

These pteropods, dubbed “sea angels” for their humanoid-like shape and delicate transparency, also engage in graceful dances when fielding a potential mate. They may be sheer and appear slightly flimsy, but their level of underwater elegance is truly a spectacle to behold.

Pom-pom crab

Source: GIPHY

Behold: the most cheerful-looking crustacean you will probably ever lay eyes upon. Alright, I’ll admit it … I’m not really sure if this counts as a “dance,” but I certainly love the fact that this little one looks like it’s ready to cheer on any other marine specimen that dares take on the dance floor. How could I bear to not include it? Keep up that positivity, non-crabby crab!

Humpback whale

humpback gif
Source: GIPHY

Remember when I mentioned those tiny pteropods that were ridiculously elegant? Well, that elegance isn’t limited to just the smaller creatures of our ocean, and humpback whales are living proof. Whether a female humpback is waltzing with a mate or twirling through the water with its young calf, these massive marine mammals boast grace-filled dance moves that will surely leave anyone mesmerized.

Feather star

Source: GIPHY

Say hello to one of the most fantastically fabulous echinoderms in the sea! These feathery sea stars are really just swimming, not purposefully dancing, but watch them for more than a few seconds and you’ll see why I included them. No matter how or where feather stars are floating through the water, they’re utterly reminiscent of an energetic twirler in an elaborate ball gown, showing off her style and threads in an impressive constant flutter through the sea.

Pygmy seahorse

Source: GIPHY

Source: GIPHY

Last but most certainly not least on the list of our ocean’s most talented dancers: seahorses! When it comes to finding a partner during mating season, the horses of the sea are yet another species group that could probably conquer many of us if it came down to a rumba or foxtrot show-down. In an adorable display of commitment, seahorse pairs will attach themselves to their mates during morning courtship dances by interlocking their tails, and the visual this makes for is not only fascinating but also insanely adorable. This tiny pygmy seahorse couple, in particular, is here to steal both your heart and the dancefloor!

And there you go, friends: eight marine wildlife species that are truly gifted dancers. No matter where on our blue planet you look, these creatures certainly prove that there’s no shortage of spectacular talent gallivanting throughout our seas at all times!

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