10 Animals that are Brainiacs of the Sea

The true brainiacs of the world might not walk among us… but instead swim underneath us! Here are 10 of the Smartest Animals of the Sea!

1. Squid

These slick creatures are a lot more than just a jumble of tentacles. Squid are some of the most intelligent animals on the planet; mirroring humans with their brain function.

In fact, humans and squid are so similar when it comes to brain function that scientists even study the brains of these underwater geniuses to learn more about the human brain!

2. Orcas

Also known as Killer Whales, Orcas are some of the most fearsome creatures in the sea- if you cross them. Orcas can be deadly when forced into captivity, occasionally crushing or drowning their trainers.

In fact, many countries ban captive Orcas for this very reason.

Why do Orcas go mad when they’re isolated? As it turns out, these big beasts have incredibly large brains and exhibit human-like emotions.

3. Sea Lions

Sea lions might look cute, but they are much more than just a pretty face. These adorable aquatic mammals have giant brains inside their cute heads. Seeing a theme here yet? What makes sea lions so unique is the fact that they can solve problems using logic.

Once considered the sole domain of people, problem-solving skills are truly indicative of a super-smart species. In one amazing case, a sea lion named Rio was able to solve IQ test questions that puzzled humans.

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4. Penguins

If these charming waddlers make you wanna go “awwww”, you’re far from alone. Penguins are the cutest birds on the planet, and they might just be the smartest as well!

Penguins are one of the only creatures in the world who can self-identify, meaning that they can look in the mirror and tell themselves apart from other penguins.

5. Atlantic Sturgeon

Would you ever pet a fish? That might sound like a silly question to you, but to Atlantic sturgeon, it’s a fairly cut-and-dried query! These fantastic fish might not seem cuddly, but Atlantic sturgeon love to get belly rubs.

In fact, they will even swim up to divers and spin around in the water so that their plump bellies are in the perfect position for a pat.

It seems like Atlantic sturgeon know something that humans figured out long ago- that there’s no power in the world quite like cuddle power!

6. Manta Rays

Mantas are the graceful giants of the ocean; gliding through the waves on their rippled fins. They are enchanting to behold, and completely mysterious.

Manta rays can grow up to gigantic sizes, and come in just about every pattern under the sun. These creatures would be a wonder in and of themselves, even if they didn’t have brains ten times larger than a whale sharks!

Related:7 Most Sociable Sea Creatures in the World

7. Great White Sharks

The scariest predator in the ocean is also one of the smartest. If that’s not enough to keep you out of the deep, dark depths of the ocean- consider this.

Great white sharks can- and do- outsmart their prey on a regular basis. Even super-smart animals like seals are no match for the collosal brain power of the great white!

8. Octopuses

Octopuses are true miracles of the sea: invertebrates with feelings and personalities, as well as a complicated nervous system.

These tentacled geniuses have gigantic brains and might even be as smart as dogs! They are able to rapidly process information; working through problems with lightning speed and coming up with logical conclusions.

9. Sea Otters

Sea otters are absolutely enchanting creatures that look just like stuffed animals, but like so many creatures on this list, you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. 

Sea lions aren’t just the beauty queens of the sea- they are one of the smartest aquatic animals that have ever lived. Like so many others on our list, sea otters have giant brains relative to their size. They can solve problems, use logic, and even recognize themselves.

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10. Dolphins

The ultimate “dogs of the sea”, dolphins are the most popular sea creature that ever lived. These friendly fishlike mammals have showed human-like qualities time and time again.

There are even instances of dolphins rescuing humans from the depths, and shepherding them back to the comfort of dry land.

Dolphins and humans seem to have one of those special relationships, and we’ve elevated these creatures to dog-status. We even put a celebrity dolphin on television- Flipper was the favorite aquatic son for an entire generation!



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