Fun Facts About Sea Pigs

What are sea pigs?

Humans have known about sea pigs since the late 1800s or even longer. This is the first written record we have of these animals, but chances are good that they were known for a little while before, too.

Below, you can find a list of 11 fun facts to help you get started. By reading through these facts, you’ll get a good, solid understanding of sea pigs that can make it easier for you to learn even more about them in the future, too.

The next time you want to impress a friend or family member with some sea creature trivia, don’t forget everything you’re soon to learn about sea pigs!


Lindberg [Public domain]

If you want to learn lots of facts about sea pigs, this article has you covered. There’s lots to learn about this unique creature, and if you’re the kind of person who likes to learn facts, this information is sure to keep you busy for a long time to come. Check out the list of info below to help you find something you might not have already known about sea pigs. You’ll expand your horizons a little and educate yourself at the same time with these interesting facts about sea pigs.

Fact #1:
They are actually sea cucumbers.

Are sea pigs real? They are, and they’re really sea cucumbers! They aren’t actually pigs at all, and they’re not related to pigs in any way either. They are ocean-dwelling scavengers that live on the bottom of the sea floor. So even though they’re real, their name is a little bit wrong.

Fact #2:
They are very common and can be found in oceans all over the world.

Are sea pigs endangered? Thankfully, they are not. These funny creatures are very common, and they live in the Indian, Atlantic, and Pacific Oceans. They exist in huge numbers all over the Earth, so there’s no reason to be concerned about them becoming endangered anytime soon, either.

Fact #3:
They live in very deep, very cold parts of the sea.

Their habitat is far down in the ocean, well below what humans could survive without significant help from gear and equipment. It’s extremely cold where sea pigs live, and there’s a lot of pressure from the water, too. It’s also very dark, since sunlight can’t get that far down in the ocean very well.

Fact #4:
Sea pigs are small and can fit into a human’s hand.

You might be surprised by their size when you first realize how small they really are. Although they may look big in photos, they’re actually only about four to six inches in length. An adult human could hold a Scotoplanes in the palm of one hand! So they’re not very much like pigs when it comes to their length, either.

Fact #5:
Sea pigs lay eggs to reproduce.

How do sea pigs reproduce? Like all sea cucumbers, they lay eggs. This reproduction process is fairly standard and there isn’t anything too strange about it. Baby sea pigs hatch from the eggs and go about their business in the depths of the ocean.

Fact #6:
Sea pigs can walk around the floor of the ocean.

It uses its legs and tendrils to get around by walking on the mud on the sea floor. They actually swim above the mud and use their legs to help guide and secure themselves, but it looks like walking and functions in more or less the same way. When they walk, their pudgy round bodies look a little bit like a pig moving around, and this is one of the many reasons why they’ve earned their common nickname—even though they don’t have hooves on their feet!

NOAA/MBARI [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]

Fact #7:
Sea pigs have feet on their heads as well as on its body, and it uses the feet on its head to locate food.

Some of the many fascinating adaptations include its several feet. Although this creature has legs along the sides of its body like many ocean animals do, it also has feet on its head that look like feelers coming out of its mouth. It uses these feet to help find food among the mud and sludge on the ocean’s floor. Without these feet, sea pigs would not be able to locate the kinds of organic matter it looks for, and its job as a scavenger would not be performed very well either.

Fact #8:
They eat plants and animals that have fallen to the ocean floor, and their favorite food is whale carcasses.

If you’ve ever wondered about their diet, remember that this creature is a scavenger. Like vultures do on land, sea pigs look for dead creatures (and also plant life) in the water and cleans up the mess by eating them. This is just one of the many ways this creature contributes to its ecosystem. If it wasn’t for sea pigs eating dead animals on the bottom of the sea, the ocean would be full of rotting carcasses that would make the fish and other creatures there very sick. Thanks to sea pigs, the water is kept cleaner.

Fact #9:
It’s normal to find large groups of sea pigs all standing in the same direction.

Scientists and marine biologists are sometimes shocked by the sight of hundreds of sea pigs all standing together in a massive group, facing the same direction. Even when there are five hundred or more sea pigs in one gathering, they often do this. Although no one is totally sure why they do this, scientists assume it’s because they can tell where animals are going to fall from the ocean above, so they’re all facing the same way as they wait for their food to arrive. It’s sort of like everyone moving the same way through a lunch line!

Fact #10:
These creatures often have parasites.

It may sound a little gross, but there are a lot of parasites that call the sea pig’s body home. Some of these aren’t very good parasites that can affect the health of sea pigs. Others, however, are just looking for a little help along the way. Baby king crabs like to latch onto the bottom of sea pigs and hold on for a while as they grow. Sea pigs provide lots of protection for these babies until they’re big enough to go their separate ways. The crabs don’t really do any harm to sea pigs, and they don’t seem to notice.

Fact #11:
Aside from the parasites, there aren’t a lot of predators for sea pigs.

There aren’t many Scotoplanes predators out in the ocean. Although some fish and animals will eat them, they aren’t really the favorite food of anything. They are usually left to do their job cleaning up the ocean floor while other animals focus on other tasks around them. This is one of the reasons why sea pigs aren’t at risk of becoming endangered anytime soon.

What have you learned about sea pigs today?

Do you feel like you’ve learned a little something about sea pigs? These are pretty interesting animals, and you may want to find out even more now that you’ve gotten started. If so, don’t forget to watch some videos and read up on more exciting facts about them, too! There’s plenty more to discover about sea pigs if you’re interested, so you’re sure to find lots to uncover as you dig deeper into the exciting world of this creature.

But if you really want to learn about sea pigs, can you go out and look for them next time you visit the beach? Unfortunately, you probably aren’t going to see one just by looking in the ocean, and you may not ever even get to see one in an aquarium. Some large-scale aquariums do have Scotoplanes specimens, but they are very uncommon. This is because sea pigs live deep within the ocean, way down in trenches and on abyssal plains. They aren’t meant for living higher in the water, and humans can’t swim as deep as sea pigs can.

Unless you become a scientist or a marine biologist, you might not ever come face-to-face with a sea pig. But that doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate them from afar! Learn as much as you can about these fascinating creatures and you’re sure to be happy the next time you can wow your friends with all the facts you know about the fascinating, strange little sea pigs!