Strange Sea Creatures, by Erich Hoyt, published September 2020 by Firefly Books

Signed copies available from Erich Hoyt Books.

First hardcover edition, November 2020

First edition, hardcover, 112 pages, More than 90 photos, bibliography, index, 10 x 10 inches (25.4 cm square)

£19.95 / $24.95 [ISBN: 978-0228102977]

Published by Firefly (US, UK and Canada) with distribution in Australia-New Zealand and Europe.

For adult and young adult, and suitable for children.

Best Children’s/Young Adult Nonfiction BookASJA AWARD

American Society of Journalists & Authors, Inc., New York, Honorable Mention 2021


Marine researchers are discovering new ocean creatures every day, especially at its deepest depths. From the author of Creatures of the DeepEncyclopedia of Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises and other books about the ocean and the animals that live there, comes a new title about some of the most unusual marine life forms. 

The book organizes the creatures into three parts based on where they live in the ocean. Each part has representatives from the various marine animal classes (e.g., fish, crustaceans, jellyfish and siphonophores, squids, tunicates and other invertebrates). Informative captions accompany the 90 gorgeous photographs of otherworldly creatures. 

Part 1: Surface Waters of the Ocean at Night: The Blackwater Vertical Migrators

In images taken by dedicated blackwater photographers Linda Ianniello and Susan Mears, these mostly larval creatures haunt the near-surface waters making vertical migrations every night to feed. 

Part 2: Middle to Deep Dark Waters: Masters of the Language of Light

In this perpetual night, survival is a matter of being able to understand and process light signals, some in different colors, some flashing, some faint — the most sophisticated use of bioluminescence on Earth. The sea creatures here are small with big eyes and even larger mouths with extraordinarily sharp teeth. Photographer David Shale traveled with BBC Blue Planet and other expeditions to photograph these deep sea creatures, while photographers Solvin Zankl, Alexander Semenov and others brought their own dedication to expeditions in the Pacific, Indian, Atlantic and Arctic oceans. 

Part 3. The Continental Shelf to the Abyssal Plain: The Bottom Dwellers

This bottom of the sea has fewer fish, and is populated by such alien-like creatures as no-eyed or tripod fish, sea cucumbers, as well as basket stars, crabs, and worms with species varying by depth and location. 

The introduction to each part of the book describes what makes the ocean waters at that depth unique, and why it is home to specific types of sea life. The photographs were taken in the ocean by expert divers and submariners, most of whom are both scientists and underwater photographers. The images display the creatures vividly against a background as black as the ocean depths.