Ocean Currents » halloween http://blog.oceanconservancy.org News, opinions, photos and facts from Ocean Conservancy Tue, 25 Apr 2017 13:47:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.2 6 Crabby Pumpkins http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2016/10/31/six-crabby-pumpkins/ http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2016/10/31/six-crabby-pumpkins/#comments Mon, 31 Oct 2016 13:00:52 +0000 Marja Diaz http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=13229

Happy Halloween, ocean lovers!

After our latest Halloween blog, complete with inspiration for a Pinterest-perfect ocean Halloween, we decided to attempt some of the projects for ourselves. Naturally, we settled on pumpkin carving (the mermaid makeup was a tad ambitious for a Thursday at the office). Check out our journey below.

Pinterest-fail worthy pumpkins, or not?

We’ll let you decide.

The team started off strong, following both Coastal Living’s guide to coastal pumpkins and stencils from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

Surprisingly, the pumpkins turned out better than we had expected! We even discovered that sometimes, carved out pieces from a pumpkin can look better than the jack-o-lantern itself.

We’d love to see your ocean-themed Halloween decorations and costumes! Feel free to share on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using #OurOcean.

A special thank you to Coastal Living and Chesapeake Bay Foundation for the pumpkin carving ideas! And be sure to follow us on Pinterest for more daily ocean inspiration.

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5 Tricks for a Fin-tastic Underwater Halloween http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2016/10/25/5-tricks-for-a-fin-tastic-underwater-halloween/ http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2016/10/25/5-tricks-for-a-fin-tastic-underwater-halloween/#comments Tue, 25 Oct 2016 12:30:51 +0000 Marja Diaz http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=13155 Ocean Sunset
It’s that time of year again: jack-o-lanterns are stacking front porches, you’re craving candy a little more than usual and cobwebs are finally fashionable. It’s Halloween.

This year, we’re sharing some inspiration to transform your Halloween into a Pinterest-perfect ocean event. From costumes, to party treats and décor, here are five ideas to get you started. (And be sure to follow us on Pinterest for even more!)

1. Coastal Pumpkin Décor

Let’s start with the basics. Not quite sure how to carve your pumpkins this year? Costal Living has got you covered. Our favorites are the skeleton fish and octopus tentacles. We’ve seen a pretty good Angler fish pumpkin, too.  Check out this link for carving templates and more ideas!

What you’ll need:

  • Pumpkin
  • Zester Scorer or Carving Kit

2. Left Shark

It’s hard to forget the infamous Left Shark who stole the show during Katy Perry’s Super Bowl XLIX halftime show (mostly because the internet won’t let us). So this Halloween, expect to see quite a few Left Shark costumes. We found a good DIY costume on eHow in case you’re willing to jump on the trend.

3. Group Costume

Alternatively, if you’re scrambling for a group costume this Halloween, consider a shark attack. All you’ll need is one person with a shark costume, and the rest can be surfers. This costume is a good excuse to bring out your wetsuit in October, or simply reach for some plaid, pooka shells and surf trunks. To complete the look, throw some fake blood over the surfers from your local drugstore!

4. All Things Food

If you are throwing a Halloween party, chances are food is the number one priority.


This year, our go-to Halloween snacks are these octopus hot dogs. As a great finger-food, they require little work.


Ocean water, also known as blue lemon-lime soda, makes the perfect festive beverage. Serve in a clear cup or mason jar, with a Swedish fish thrown in the top, for the full effect. Check out the recipe here!

What you’ll need:

  • Water
  • Sugar
  • Lemon-lime soda mix
  • Blue food coloring
  • Coconut extract
  • Swedish fish

Healthy Option:

In addition to the mounds of candy you are guaranteed to collect this Halloween, we’re throwing in a simple healthy hack idea for Bell pepper crabs.

5. Mermaid Makeup

Take your mermaid, merman or all-things scaly costume to the next level with this easy makeup hack. We even suggest turning this into an activity station for your next Halloween get-together!

What you’ll need:

  • Blue or green eye shadow
  • Makeup brush
  • Fishnet stockings (can substitute with plastic netting from a bag of potatoes)
  • Suggested: Concealer or primer


Slide a pair of fishnets stockings over the top half of your face – this will be the foundation for the scales.  Spread your concealer or primer over your temples and cheekbones, or any area of skin where you’ll want scales.

Next, paint over the same area with your eyeshadow, and be generous with the spread! For an extra flair, add sparkles or shimmer on top. Carefully remove the fishnets, and voilà – fish scales!

For a more dramatic look, replicate the same process along your neck, shoulders and hands!


Eat, drink and be scary.

Happy Halloween!


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Last Minute Costume Ideas for Ocean Lovers http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2015/10/29/last-minute-costume-ideas-for-ocean-lovers/ http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2015/10/29/last-minute-costume-ideas-for-ocean-lovers/#comments Thu, 29 Oct 2015 13:00:36 +0000 Erin Spencer http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=10966

Once again, October 31st is upon us. Soon your Facebook and Instagram will be flooded with photos of the creative costumes your friends have been concocting for months. And you’ll be left frantically googling “last minute costume ideas.”

If you procrastinated your Halloween costume (again!), have no fear: we’ve got you covered. We pulled together a few easy-to-assemble ocean-themed costumes you can make with everyday objects laying around the house. Remember to reuse as many costume parts as you can and always recycle them afterwards (see more tips for reducing trash this Halloween here).

So grab some candy corn, put on the Monster Mash and get ready to make an epic ocean costume.

Shark (Inspiration: A Little Something About Everything)

What you’ll need:

  • A grey hooded sweatshirt
  • White felt
  • Safety pins


  1. Cut teeth out of a strip of white felt.
  2. Attach teeth around edge of hood using bobby pins.
  3. Congratulate yourself on saving lots of time and money on your Halloween costume.

Jellyfish (Inspiration: Almost the Real Thing)

What you’ll need:

  • Clear umbrella (dome shaped is ideal)
  • LED lights
  • Assorted gift wrapping ribbon
  • Tape


  1. Use tape to attach LED lights to inside of umbrella. Tape battery pack (typically comes in LED light package) inside the umbrella as well.
  2. Cut ribbon in 25-30” strips and attach to perimeter of umbrella so they hang down as tentacles.
  3. Prepare yourself for the compliments you’ll receive for having such a creative costume.

Scuba Diver (Inspiration: Thrifty Ginger)

What you’ll need:

  • 2 two-liter bottles
  • Silver spray paint
  • Goggles
  • Yellow felt
  • Black tubing
  • Black electrical tape


  1. Spray paint the two-liter bottles in a well-ventilated place and let dry (check the spray paint instructions to see how long to wait before handling).
  2. Attach bottles with two strips of electrical tape around the top and bottom section of bottles.
  3. Connect end of black tubing to the opening of one of the bottles. Use electrical tape to secure.
  4. Cut felt into the shape of a circular mouthpiece and attach to the other end of the black tubing.
  5. Attach a strip of felt to the back of the bottles (aka your tank!) to use as a belt.
  6. Strap on your tank, put on your goggles and go impress your friends.

Don’t be modest, once you’ve successfully made your costume – brag and show us your shark, jellyfish or scuba diver costume!! Or, if you have another creative ocean costume this Halloween, just tag your photos on Twitter and Instagram with #OCeancostume, and follow along as we share our favorites. We can’t wait to see all the fin-tastic ocean costumes this Halloween!

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7 Ocean Creatures to Get You in the Halloween Spirit http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2015/10/28/7-ocean-creatures-to-get-you-in-the-halloween-spirit/ http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2015/10/28/7-ocean-creatures-to-get-you-in-the-halloween-spirit/#comments Wed, 28 Oct 2015 13:30:23 +0000 Katie Green http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=10946  

Halloween is the time of year to celebrate all of the interesting, weird and creepy beings from around the world. The ocean is particularly abundant in unique-looking organisms. Ranging from the deep sea to shallow waters, the ocean is full of creepy creatures with some amazing skills – and here at Ocean Conservancy, we love them all. That’s why, this Halloween, we gathered some of our favorite eerie ocean animals to celebrate this spook-tacular holiday.


This frogfish looks a lot like a zombie from The Walking Dead. They may look slightly scary but are accomplished walkers. Frogfish are well known for their use of pelvic and pectoral fins to launch themselves across the ocean floor.

Gulper Eel

This terrifying creature has an overbite even an orca-dontist couldn’t fix! Though its large mouth looks a little off-putting, the enlarged jaw allows the gulper eel to consume a wide-variety of prey ranging in size – from a small snack to a large feast.


Octopuses are notoriously good at hide-and-go-seek. Their camouflage allows them to change color and texture to hide from any impending danger. You may never know if an octopus is lurking in the depths.

Giant Japanese Spider Crab

It’s essentially a giant spider that lives in the ocean, who wouldn’t be afraid?! But all jokes aside, the giant Japanese spider crab is awesome. With a leg span able to reach 15 feet, these crabs are some of the world’s largest crustaceans.

Divided Flatworm

This invertebrate makes our list due to its coloring. Divided flatworms can grow over 2 inches in length! They may be small but the award for greatest Halloween spirit goes to this divided flatworm.


If you are afraid of sharp objects, stay away from the sawfish and its protruding weaponry.  Their saw helps them detect electric pulses produced by their prey. These scary looking rays mainly eat fish and crustaceans – watch out giant Japanese spider crab!

Sarcastic Fringehead Blenny

The bulbous, outward-facing eyes of the sarcastic fringehead blenny make it look like a something out of a scary movie. These fascinating-looking fish are known to participate in some very interesting behavior when defending neighboring territories – I wouldn’t trick-or-treat near their house.

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Mythical Ocean Animals http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2014/10/30/mythical-ocean-animals/ http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2014/10/30/mythical-ocean-animals/#comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 16:00:54 +0000 Jackie Yeary http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=9447

The ocean, in its vastness, is home to some amazing animals—and some amazing myths. The sailors and explorers we studied in history class are famous for more than their voyages and discoveries. Their travels often came with tales of fantastic creatures, too strange to be true. This Halloween, we thought we’d revisit some of the ocean’s most famous mythical creatures. 


Mermaids have a long, complex mythology, appearing in everything from Homer to Hans Christen Anderson. As you’re probably aware, historians believe this legend originated with sailors who had a little too much salty sea air.

Imagine you’ve been at sea for several weeks with a diet consisting solely of hard tack and rum. Suddenly you spot a beautiful mermaid off the starboard bow! Slow down, captain… that’s probably just the rum talking. You’re really just looking at a manatee or a dugong.

Manatees and dugongs make up a group of animals known as the Sirenia, whose name is derived from the mythological women found in Greek mythology. Also known as sea cows, the Sirenia are aquatic mammals that spend their days grazing in seagrass beds. All four species of Sirenia are considered vulnerable under the IUCN Red List.

The Kraken

No creature was more feared by sailors than the kraken—a gigantic mythical beast said to be “round, flat, and full of arms, or branches,” that rises up from the sea to eat fish and fishermen alike. Its massive size is said to cause whirlpools capable of sinking ships, and its spreading muddy cloud to darken the water.

The inspiration behind the legend of the Kraken is most likely the giant squid, the largest of which was nearly 43 feet long. In addition to its eight arms, giant squid have two feeding tentacles tipped with suckers. They use these tentacles to catch prey and bring toward their sharp beaks. Little is known about the behavior of the giant squid, as very few have been seen alive. Most of what scientists know comes from the bodies of giant squid that wash ashore.


When most people think of unicorns, they don’t think of the ocean. However, in medieval times, it was commonly believed that narwhal tusks belonged to the legendary unicorn. Highly prized, these tusks supposedly contained magical powers.

In reality, a narwhal’s tusk is an enlarged tooth, usually found on males. Scientists aren’t positive what it’s used for, but have proposed theories from attracting mates, to more recently sensing the environment.

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What’s Lurking in the Ocean’s Depths? http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2014/10/29/whats-lurking-in-the-oceans-depths/ http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2014/10/29/whats-lurking-in-the-oceans-depths/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 17:00:53 +0000 Brett Nolan http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=9419

Trick or treating in the ocean can be a matter of life or death. Meet four ocean creatures who might just surprise you!

Vampire Squid

You’ve no doubt heard of the famous vampire bat, but did you know that there’s a vampire squid? Don’t worry. It won’t fly out of the ocean to suck your blood. These cephalopods don’t even spray ink like other squids. They produce a bioluminescent mucus cloud that can glow for up to 10 minutes. They were given their names due to their blood red eyes, which can also look blue depending the lighting. Their bodies definitely reflect the gothic nature of vampires by being black or red. A web like material connects their tentacles. They can even envelop their bodies in their tentacles and webbing to shield themselves from predators.

Vampire squids live in really cold depths of the ocean with very little oxygen. This makes them far less threatening to humans than their name suggests. In order to conserve energy, they simply drift along the ocean currents and only eat dead plankton and fecal matter. Instead of fangs, vampire squids eat with their beaks.

Goblin Shark

The goblin shark is an incredibly amazing and terrifying shark. Males can grow up to 8 feet long and females can be up to 11 feet in length. They’re often a pale white color with blue fins. Their most distinctive feature is their jaws. Unlike your jaws that move up and down, their jaws can project from their mouths like the movie Alien! Goblin sharks locate their prey by using electroreceptors in the nose. Because these sharks inhabit the dark ocean depths, fishermen can sleep well at night, knowing that only a few have ever been caught.

Their range is suspected to be very wide. These bottom dwellers have been documented in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans.

Smallspine Spookfish

The smallspine spookfish, lives in the deep ocean. As their name suggests, they’re pale white like ghosts and have an elongated snout, which can track prey with sensory nerve endings. In fact, they sort of resemble the ghost dog from the Nightmare Before Christmas! Not many have been seen or documented because they live in extreme depths, like more than a mile below the ocean’s surface. As if they weren’t scary cool already, they also have a venomous spine. Unfortunately not much else is known about them, so they’re a regular fish of mystery.

Giant Devil Ray

The devil ray isn’t as scary as it sounds. They’re not actually named for their devilish behavior, but rather from the fins on top of their heads that resemble devil horns. The only way they might scare you is if you see a large dark shape in the water before you realize what it is! They often sport dark colors on the top of their bodies and are typically white on the bottom half. They swim using their pectoral fins, flapping them almost like wings. Giant devil rays are really gentle giants. They only feed on plankton and small fishes.

The only truly devilish thing about them is that they’re endangered. By-catch is a major threat to this species. Since they spend a lot of time close to the surface, ocean traffic and oil spills also pose serious threats to these gentle giants.

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What’s Haunting Our Ocean? http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2014/10/27/whats-haunting-our-ocean/ http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2014/10/27/whats-haunting-our-ocean/#comments Mon, 27 Oct 2014 21:08:43 +0000 Allison Schutes http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=9405

Photo: Ocean Conservancy

What’s haunting our ocean? Ghost crabs or witch flounder? What about devil rays or goblin sharks? Sure, there are tons of monsters and ghouls hidden beneath the waves, but like in any scary movie, the most dangerous villains may be the least obvious.

Let’s take cigarette butts for example. When you think of the ocean, they’re probably not the first thing or even among the top ten things you think of. Yet, they’re the most common specter we find on our beaches year after year. In 2013, volunteers collected over 2 million cigarette butts.

Food wrappers are other trolls lurking around our beaches. International Coastal Cleanup volunteers removed more than 1.6 million of them last year alone.

Plastic beverage bottles are also regular beach phantoms. In 2013, we found more than 940,000 plastic bottles on local beaches and shorelines. You can put them to rest by drinking out of a reusable water bottle.

Don’t think the litter caused by the 940,000 plastic bottles is the end of their terror. Volunteers found more than 847,000 bottle caps that were beheaded from their bottles still on the beach. This is even scarier because bottles without their caps can be doomed to sink to the bottom of the sea where they’ll spend all eternity.

If you wanted a scarecrow on the beach, you’d be able to build him just with the plastic straws you find there. More than 555,000 were found on beaches and shorelines last year. We don’t need sage to banish straws from the beach though. If you skipped the straw every time you were at a sit down restaurant, you can help remove their presence from your beach.

Plastic grocery bags are common ghosts on the beach with more than 440,000 exorcised by International Coastal Cleanup volunteers last year. Once they enter the ocean, they can trick sea turtles into thinking they’re jellyfish, the sea turtle’s favorite meal. Sea turtles who swallow plastic bags can suffer from digestive problems or even death.

Ghoulish glass beverage bottles are big problems for beaches. More than 394,00 were collected last year alone.

Plastic grocery bags aren’t the only plastic bags haunting the beach. We found more than 368,000 other kinds of plastic bags creeping their away along the shoreline.

If you’re walking the beach, there’s a good chance a paper bag maybe stalking you. Howling winds can blow paper bags from far off and onto shorelines. Try to use a trashcan with a lid when throwing away easily blown away items.

Hundreds of thousands of beverage cans prowl beaches all over the world.

The sea monsters of folklore or even sharks with rows and rows of serrated teeth can’t make us scream in fright like these 10 things haunting our ocean and endangering marine life. Good thing we all have the power to stop these ocean threats.

Below is a map that shows which monsters are most commonly found on US beaches:

Take a deeper look into the cauldron and see which monsters haunt your local beach:

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