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Some pretty crazy-looking critters inhabit the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Queensland, Australia.

ON MY WEEK-LONG TRIP to northeastern Australia, courtesy of Tourism Queensland, I tried to track some of them down. I’d heard descriptions of worms with spaghetti-shaped tentacles, cuddle-hungry giant cod, and a mysterious white humpback whale. I was thrilled at the thought of coming face to face with any of these oddballs. However, while I did spot turtles, starfish, and an array of candy-colored fish, the more unusual creatures were elusive.

Instead, I Googled them upon my return, chatted with scientists at the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, and came up with lots of tidbits about these 11. Here are some photos and details to keep in mind.

All images courtesy of Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, unless otherwise noted.



About The Author

Sarah Sekula

When Sarah's not zigzagging around the planet – coming face to face with whitetip reef sharks in the Galapagos, spending time with tribes in Papua New Guinea or roaming the remote jungles of India – she’s writing about her adventures. In turn, her writing assignments have taken her to 21 different countries on six continents. As a journalist, she’s written for USA Today, ISLANDS, CNN Travel,, Cayman Airways Skies, American Eagle Latitudes, and the Orlando Sentinel, among others. She’s also appeared as a travel expert on The Daily Buzz and Daytime TV, both nationally syndicated morning shows. To keep up with her adventures, visit and follow her on Twitter @wordzilla.

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