Skip to main content

In Photos: The Stunning Sea Life 'Stars' of 'Big Pacific'

Firefly squid

Big Pacific Images

(Image credit: Big Pacific)

Superlatives are often used to describe the Pacific Ocean — deepest, widest, and biggest of all the oceans in the world. Pictured here are bioluminescent firefly squid, which live in the western Pacific depths, between 600 and 1,200 feet (180 to 366 meters) below the surface.

Read the full story about the sea life featured in the book and television series, "Big Pacific."

Frogfish

Big Pacific Images

(Image credit: Big Pacific)

"Big Pacific," the companion book to a new five-part television series presented by PBS, offers a glimpse of the unusual and diverse creatures that live in a variety of Pacific Ocean habitats.

Frogfish are part of the anglerfish family and live in warm Pacific waters near coral reefs.

Galapagos finches

Big Pacific Images

(Image credit: Big Pacific)

The Pacific Ocean covers more surface area on Earth than all the land masses combined.

In the eastern Pacific are the Galápagos Islands, the only place in the world that hosts Galápagos finches.

Galapagos tortoise

Big Pacific Images

(Image credit: Big Pacific)

On the Galápagos Islands in the eastern Pacific Ocean, Galápagos tortoises can live up to a century in the wild. Some individuals in captivity have lived to be 170 years old.

Guadalupe fur seal

Big Pacific Images

(Image credit: Big Pacific)

The Pacific Ocean covers 64 million square miles (166 million square kilometers) which is a third of Earth's surface area. Pacific waters around Mexico's Guadalupe Island host the Guadalupe fur seal; this population has recently recovered from a population decimated by sealers in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Lord Howe stick insect

Big Pacific Images

(Image credit: Big Pacific)

Rare and unique creatures live in, on and around the Pacific Ocean. The Lord Howe stick insect, the rarest insect in the world, lives on a specific type of bush that grows on Ball's Pyramid, the mostly barren remains of an ancient shield volcano in Pacific waters near Australia. The only known population consists of around 20 individuals.

Marine iguana

Big Pacific Images

(Image credit: Big Pacific)

The marine iguana lives on the rocky shores of the Galápagos Islands, an archipelago of volcanic islands near the equator in the Pacific Ocean, close to Ecuador.

Marine iguana

Big Pacific Images

(Image credit: Big Pacific)

Male marine iguanas in the Galápagos Islands dive in Pacific waters to find algae, the species' main food source.

Nomura's jellyfish

Big Pacific Images

(Image credit: Big Pacific)

The total water volume of the Pacific Ocean is around 168 million cubic miles (700 million cubic kilometers), and is home to possibly millions of species of fish, mammals, invertebrates and microbes.

Nomura's jellyfish, mostly found in Pacific waters near Japan, China and Korea, is the largest known jellyfish in the world.

Peppered moray eel

Big Pacific Images

(Image credit: Big Pacific)

Extending from the North Pole to the South Pole and covering some of the deepest points in any of Earth's oceans, the Pacific Ocean touches almost every continent. This large peppered moray — a type of eel that lives in the eastern Pacific near reef flats — has made his way onto shore to hunt for food.

Pot-bellied seahorse

Big Pacific Images

(Image credit: Big Pacific)

Pot-bellied seahorses live in Pacific waters around Australia and are the largest seahorses, growing up to 14 inches (35 centimeters) in length.