The Most Beautiful Animal in the Sea: A Ranking of Nature's Underwater Gems

Choose the animal you think is the most beautiful!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Apr 16, 2024 06:20
Dive into the mesmerizing world of marine life as we embark on a captivating journey to discover the most beautiful animal in the sea! At StrawPoll, we are hosting an awe-inspiring ranking where you, our esteemed participants, get to vote for your favorite aquatic marvels and help us crown the ultimate underwater beauty. From the ethereal elegance of the jellyfish to the vibrant colors of the coral reef, the choices are boundless! Can't find your beloved marine creature on our list? Fret not; you can suggest a missing option, and let others share your admiration for the hidden gems of the ocean. So, come along and immerse yourself in this enchanting underwater experience, as we celebrate the breathtaking wonders of our planet's aquatic realm. Cast your vote and let the waves of curiosity guide you further into the depths of this fascinating exploration!

What Is the Most Beautiful Animal in the Sea?

  1. 1
    Their unique and delicate appearance make them a popular choice for many people. They are also known for their monogamous behavior and the male's ability to carry and give birth to their young.
    The seahorse is a small marine fish characterized by its unique appearance and behavior. It belongs to the family Syngnathidae and is found in various coastal and reef habitats around the world. Seahorses have a horse-like head, a long snout, and a curled tail, which they use to hold onto underwater vegetation. They possess a bony armor-like exoskeleton instead of scales, and their skin may feature vibrant colors and intricate patterns, allowing them to blend in with their surroundings.
    • Size: Varies, typically between 0.6 to 14 inches
    • Diet: Carnivorous – feed on small crustaceans and plankton
    • Reproduction: Unique among fish species as males carry eggs in a specialized pouch until they hatch
    • Habitat: Coastal waters, coral reefs, seagrass beds, and mangrove forests
    • Swimming: They swim upright and use a small dorsal fin to propel themselves
  2. 2
    Their translucent bodies and vibrant colors make them a mesmerizing sight to behold. They also have a graceful swimming motion that is almost hypnotic to watch.
    The jellyfish is a mesmerizing creature found in the ocean. It is composed of a translucent gelatinous body that pulsates gracefully, with long tentacles trailing behind. This ethereal sea creature comes in various sizes and colors, ranging from vibrant blues and purples to more subtle pastel hues.
    • Scientific name: Medusozoa
    • Body composition: Gelatinous
    • Movement: Pulsation and drifting
    • Tentacles: Long and trailing
    • Bioluminescence: Some species exhibit bioluminescent capabilities
  3. 3
    Made famous by the movie Finding Nemo, clownfish are known for their bright orange and white coloring and playful personalities. They also have a symbiotic relationship with anemones, making them both fascinating and unique.
    The clownfish, also known as anemonefish, is a small and colorful marine fish found in the warm waters of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. It is renowned for its vibrant colors and unique symbiotic relationship with sea anemones.
    • Size: Clownfish range from 2.3 to 4 inches (6 to 10 cm) in length.
    • Coloration: They have bright orange or yellow bodies with distinctive white stripes outlined in black.
    • Habitat: Clownfish are primarily found near coral reefs and in shallow lagoons.
    • Symbiotic Relationship: They have a mutualistic relationship with sea anemones, living among their tentacles for protection.
    • Immunity to Anemone's Stinging Cells: Clownfish have a mucus layer that protects them from the anemone's stinging cells.
  4. 4
    Their enormous size and graceful movements make them a true wonder of the sea. They are also known for their intelligence and social behavior.
    The Manta Ray is a large and graceful marine creature known for its impressive size and distinct appearance. It belongs to the family Mobulidae, consisting of two species: the Giant Manta Ray (Manta birostris) and the Reef Manta Ray (Manta alfredi). These magnificent animals are closely related to sharks and are found in oceans all around the world.
    • Size: Giant Manta Rays can reach a wingspan of up to 29 feet (8.8 meters), while Reef Manta Rays generally have a wingspan of around 18 feet (5.5 meters).
    • Appearance: Manta Rays have a flat, diamond-shaped body with wide pectoral fins resembling wings. They lack a tail and have a prominent cephalic fin, which gives them a unique appearance.
    • Weight: Giant Manta Rays can weigh up to 3,000 pounds (1,360 kilograms), whereas Reef Manta Rays typically weigh around 1,400 pounds (635 kilograms).
    • Coloration: Manta Rays have a dark black or deep blue coloration on the top side of their bodies, while their underside is usually white or pale in color.
    • Feeding Habits: They are filter feeders, primarily consuming plankton by swimming with their mouths open to trap tiny organisms. Occasionally, they may also consume small fish and squid.
    Manta Ray in other rankings
  5. 5
    Sea Turtle
    Brocken Inaglory · CC BY-SA 3.0
    These gentle giants are loved for their slow, peaceful movements and their unique shell patterns. They are also an important symbol of conservation efforts for many people.
    The sea turtle is a graceful marine reptile that captivates people with its elegance and beauty. It is known for its distinctive appearance and fascinating life cycle. With its sleek shell and flippers, it glides through the ocean effortlessly. Sea turtles are ancient creatures that have been swimming in the Earth's oceans for millions of years.
    • Length: 2-6 feet
    • Weight: 80-1,500 pounds
    • Speed: 0.5-35 miles per hour
    • Lifespan: 80-100 years
    • Shell: Hard and bony, composed of the carapace and plastron
  6. 6
    With eight arms and a constantly changing color and texture, octopuses are truly fascinating creatures. They are also known for their intelligence and problem-solving abilities.
    The octopus is a highly intelligent and adaptable mollusk characterized by its soft body, eight flexible arms, and large head. It belongs to the order Octopoda and is known for its remarkable ability to camouflage, change shape, and solve complex problems.
    • Size: Varies depending on the species; can range from a few centimeters to several meters
    • Weight: Ranges from a few grams to over 70 kilograms
    • Lifespan: Varies, usually between 1 to 5 years
    • Habitat: Found in oceans worldwide, ranging from shallow coastal waters to depths of over 4,000 meters
    • Intelligence: Highly intelligent with problem-solving abilities comparable to some vertebrates
  7. 7
    Blue Whale
    Skottniss · CC0
    The largest animal on the planet, the blue whale is a majestic sight to behold. Their enormous size and gentle nature make them a favorite of many people.
    The Blue Whale is an enormous marine mammal known for being the largest animal on Earth. Its scientific name is Balaenoptera musculus. This majestic creature is characterized by its massive size, streamlined body, and distinct blue-gray coloration. With a maximum length of about 98 feet and weighing up to 200 tons, the Blue Whale surpasses all other animals in terms of size. Its mouth alone can hold up to 100 tons of food and water, and its heart is roughly the size of a small car. Blue Whales are found in oceans worldwide, mainly in cold and temperate waters. They are gentle giants that feed primarily on tiny shrimp-like animals called krill, which they filter out of the water using specialized baleen plates. Despite their massive size, they mostly subsist on this tiny prey. Blue Whales have a lifespan of about 70-90 years and are known for their long migrations, often covering thousands of miles each year. Unfortunately, due to years of whaling, the Blue Whale population has drastically declined, and they are now classified as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
    • Scientific Name: Balaenoptera musculus
    • Size: Up to 98 feet in length
    • Weight: Up to 200 tons
    • Color: Blue-gray
    • Mouth Capacity: Up to 100 tons
    Blue Whale in other rankings
  8. 8
    Known for their intelligence and playful behavior, dolphins are a popular choice for many people. They are also known for their close relationships with humans and their ability to communicate with each other.
    Dolphins are highly intelligent marine mammals known for their playful and social behavior. They have sleek bodies, with a curved dorsal fin on their back, and are usually gray in color, although they can also be white or black. Dolphins have streamlined bodies, allowing them to swim swiftly through the water. They communicate using a complex system of clicks, whistles, and body movements.
    • Common Name: Dolphin
    • Scientific Name: Delphinidae
    • Size: Varies depending on the species, ranging from 4 to 30 feet (1.2 to 9 meters)
    • Weight: Ranges from 90 pounds (40 kg) to over 11,000 pounds (5,000 kg)
    • Habitat: Found in oceans and seas worldwide, preferring warmer waters
  9. 9
    With their unique head shape and impressive size, hammerhead sharks are a fearsome but beautiful sight to behold. They are also known for their social behavior and hunting skills.
    The Hammerhead Shark is a fascinating creature with its distinct hammer-shaped head. It belongs to the family Sphyrnidae and is known for its unique appearance and behavior. The head, called a cephalofoil, has outward-facing eyes on each end, enabling the shark to have a wider field of vision.
    • Size: Can grow up to 20 feet long
    • Weight: Typically weighs between 500 to 1,000 pounds
    • Color: Grey with a white underbelly
    • Habitat: Found in tropical and temperate waters worldwide
    • Diet: Mainly feeds on fish and cephalopods
    Hammerhead Shark in other rankings
  10. 10
    Although not an animal, coral reefs are some of the most beautiful and diverse ecosystems in the world. They are home to a vast array of marine life and are essential to the health of the ocean.
    Coral is a marine animal that belongs to the class Anthozoa and forms the foundation of coral reefs. It is characterized by its vibrant colors and unique structures, often resembling intricate underwater gardens. Corals are composed of numerous tiny polyps, which are soft-bodied organisms related to sea anemones and jellyfish. The polyps secrete a calcium carbonate exoskeleton that provides structure and support to the coral colony.
    • Colors: Various vibrant colors such as blue, green, purple, pink, and yellow.
    • Shape and Structure: Complex branching, encrusting, or massive structures with intricate patterns.
    • Habitat: Found in tropical and subtropical oceans, primarily in shallow and clear waters.
    • Biodiversity: Supports a vast range of marine life by providing food, shelter, and breeding grounds.
    • Reproduction: Corals reproduce both sexually and asexually, with different methods such as spawning and budding.

Missing your favorite animal?


Ranking factors for beautiful animal

  1. Coloration
    Vibrant and vivid colors often contribute to an animal's beauty, making it more visually appealing. The variety and contrast of colors can also play a significant role in enhancing an animal's attractiveness.
  2. Patterns and markings
    Unique and intricate patterns on an animal's body can add to its beauty. These markings can often be symmetrical or asymmetrical, but either way, they enhance the overall appearance of the animal.
  3. Shape and form
    The overall shape and form of an animal can influence its beauty as well. Sleek, streamlined, and elegant body shapes tend to be more visually appealing than bulky or awkwardly shaped animals.
  4. Grace and movement
    The way an animal moves through the water can also contribute to its beauty. Animals that swim gracefully and effortlessly are often considered more beautiful than those that have slow or clumsy movements.
  5. Rarity
    The rarity of a species can add to its allure and beauty. Rare and unique animals often have a greater appeal because of their exclusivity and the sense of wonder they evoke.
  6. Bioluminescence
    Some marine animals have the ability to produce light through bioluminescence, which adds a magical and mesmerizing quality to their appearance.
  7. Symbiotic relationships
    Some aquatic animals engage in symbiotic relationships with other species, which can contribute to their beauty. The harmonious relationship between the two species can elevate the beauty of the individual animal.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most beautiful animal in the sea. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or animal is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 156 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Movers & Shakers

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each animal once every 24 hours. The rank of each animal is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most beautiful animal in the sea

The ocean is home to some of the most stunning creatures on the planet, and the beauty of these animals is truly awe-inspiring. Whether it's the vibrant colors of a tropical fish or the graceful movements of a dolphin, there is no shortage of breathtaking marine life to admire. With so many incredible animals to choose from, it's no wonder that people are often curious about which one is the most beautiful. In this poll, we'll be exploring some of the most striking creatures in the sea and asking you to choose which one you find the most gorgeous. So, let's dive in and see which animal comes out on top!

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