5 Things Never to Eat Undersea

So, you’re hiding  undersea. Maybe you’re running from some watery form of the mafia. Or a hammerhead shark. Or maybe, like many sprites and humans before you, you just like it here. But at some point, you’ll start to feel faint, your stomach will rumble, and you’ll grab the nearest fish or plant and wonder–will this stuff kill me if I eat it?

Never fear, Surviving the Deeps will come to your rescue with timely tips (preferably read beforehand).


  1. Barracuda. When these long, slimy creatures bare their teeth at you from holes in a nearby reef, you may, quite understandably, take a snap at them for their impudence. We strongly caution against this. Not only might they bite you first, but barracuda sometimes carry the poison, ciguatera, in their flesh, which makes them deadly to eat. How to tell if a barracuda is carrying the poison? You can’t. Don’t eat ’em.


  2. Triggerfish. These skinny fish come in many different colors and sizes. Some bear leopard-patterned scales on top and big white spots on their sides. Others can be yellow with iridescent splashes of pink and blue. Unfortunately, they don’t taste nearly as good as they look. Well, actually they might, but no one who eats them lives long enough to tell.


  3. Sea Slug. You might think you’d never consider eating a sea slug (and frankly, we don’t recommend it), but you never know what you might try when serious hunger strikes. These stripey critters are quite flashy and would slip down your gullet with ease. The only problem is that their poison would then spread through your body with equal ease. So don’t try grabbing them for a quick snack! You’ll regret it.

    Sea Slug (Nudibranch)

  4. Sea anemone. These look like pretty flowers, swaying along the reef. But they’ll sting you, sure as sunshine. Unless, of course, you’re a clownfish. But even then, only certain clownfish can safely swim among certain anemones. Unwelcome visitors still get zapped.

    Sea Anemones

  5. Zoanthids. Like many other sea creatures, these reseemble various types of plants, from mat-like algae to showy flowers. But even in small amounts, many zoanthids are toxic, whether they are eaten or simply brushed against an open wound. So steer clear!

As always, Surviving the Deeps, accepts no responsibility for poisonings, bites, maimings or rashes.

Upcoming Lesson: What to eat and how not to be eaten undersea.

Until next time, swim free, dive deep, and stay alive!

What foods taste like poison to you?