Only 1 in 22 People Can Name All of These Marine Plants. Can You?

By: Kennita Leon
Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Aquatic plants can be found in just about any body of water, no matter how large or small they are, as long as conditions for life are present. There are two kinds- saltwater and freshwater- but we're choosing to focus on the former today. These plants include seagrasses, seaweeds, corals, and all kinds of algae. Do you know enough about the life that thrives in the ocean to name all the marine plants from just one picture? 

The ocean is filled with plants of all shapes and sizes. Some are so small that they can't be seen with the naked eye. From microscopic to macroscopic, marine life lives in any body of saltwater on the planet. Some plants grow as low as astroturf, while others are several feet long and can stretch from the ocean's depths to its surface. Do you know your plants enough to survive this quiz? Or will the ocean sweep you further away with every wrong answer you get? 

If you're a marine biologist in training, an actual marine biologist, or you just love all things sea and saltwater, take this quiz to see how well you'd do identifying the plants we've gathered. Have a seat and let's get started! 

This species of algae is one of the oldest colonies of eukaryotic algae with a mere 5 percent occurring in freshwater environments, while a larger concentration exists in warmer areas.

These self-feeding components of the plankton community, derived from the Greek word meaning "drifter," are an essential part of freshwater basin ecosystems, seas and oceans.

Pillar coral is a hard coral that can be found in the Caribbean Sea and the western Atlantic Ocean. It grows in vertical cylindrical columns from the sea floor.

The waterwheel is one of the few plant species with capabilities of rapid movement. It uses traps to capture small aquatic invertebrates.

This forms a resting place for amphipods, barnacles, and an oyster species. It is widely found in tidal creeks, rocky coastal areas, and silt bottoms in the warm regions of the Atlantic Ocean.

It is frequently referred to as "kelp" and is characterized by its relatively large size and extended, leathery layers.

These extremely adjustable algae exist in approximately seventeen species and are dried and eaten in South America, Western Europe, and Asian countries.

This stony coral has cylindrical branches, exhibiting the fastest growth of western Atlantic fringe corals. It is one of the most important Caribbean corals.

Sea pens resemble both feathers and -- as their name suggests -- writing pens. They exist both as individuals and in colonies. They are dominant in tropical and temperate waters worldwide.

This dark brown kelp grows over five meters in length and is native to the western North American coastline from Alaska to Baja, California.

The fire algae are also common in freshwater habitats with populations distributed based on temperature, saltiness, or water depth.

They are usually pink, or other shades of red and play a crucial role in the ecology of coral reefs, nourishing sea urchins, parrot fish, and some types of mollusks.

The Enhalus seagrass is predominant in coastal waters of the Indian and Western Pacific Oceans and is a marine flowering plant.

These groups of deep water, tree-like corals are typically found in the tropics. They receive their name from the distinguishing black or dark brown color of their skeleton.

The thong weed is also referred to as the sea thong and sea spaghetti. It grows rapidly and has a lifespan of three years.

These aquatic herbs are endemic in tropical waters worldwide and grow entirely submerged in brackish and fresh water.

The oarweed, also referred to as tangle weed, is a dark brown seaweed that grows up to three meters in length. It can be found in areas in the northern Atlantic Ocean.

These corals flourish in nutrient-dense waters with minimal light and are crucial members of the reef ecosystem, providing a habitat for fish and other marine species.

The turtle grass is typically located in areas sheltered from immense wave action, such sandy locations of the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, because they require a moderate depth of sediment .

This seagrass has red or red striped leaves and is vulnerable to extreme grazing by sea urchins; it has a wide distribution throughout the Indo-Pacific area.

The winged kelp is an appetizing seaweed, serving as traditional cuisine along the north Atlantic and grows up to 2 meters in length.

The name for this coral derived from its similarity to an animal's brain. They are located in shallow, warm-water coral reefs in the oceans worldwide.

This is the second most widespread seagrass in Floridian waters. It also exists in the Gulf of Mexico and the tropical waters of the Caribbean- being the preferred food of manatees.

This kelp is extensively eaten in East Asia and used to season rice for making sushi in Japanese cuisines. It is also infused with hot water to make tea.

Asian surf grass survives immersed in the waters of the Yellow Sea and the Sea of Japan, exclusively growing on rocky substrate, contributing to ocean productivity.

Marine eelgrass is long and vibrantly green in color with flowers enclosed in the sheaths of their ribbon-like leaves.

This edible seaweed and sea vegetable is grown in Japan by sea farmers and is usually served in salads and soups.

It is also commonly known as Green Sea Fingers or Oyster Thief and is prevalent in countries in the Pacific Ocean near Japan.

Giant kelp is an alga that is harvested as a source of algin and is used as a binding agent in ice cream.

These food chain producers are unicellular and form one the most popular types of phytoplankton.

This tremendously salt-tolerant grass is located in areas with salt flats and is native to the Americas. It grows up to half a meter in height.

The Halimeda consists of calcified green segments which makes it inedible. It acts as a deterrent to most herbivores.

The sea lettuce is a source of food for a variety of sea animals, including sea hares.

The bull kelp is a vital part of the kelp forest and prefers semi-exposed environments or high-current regions, growing to a maximum height of 118 feet.

American dune grass grows in coastal habitats, specifically on dunes, and is native to the northern parts of North America, as well as parts of Asia.

This moss varies from red and greenish-yellow to dark purple and exists in abundance along the rock-strewn Atlantic coasts of Europe and North America.

This brown sea vegetable has existed in Japanese diets for what seems like eons and grows wildly on stony coastlines.

This is an edible seaweed which normally grows on exposed shores, but is also known to be cultivated in Japan.

Seagrasses are marine flowering plants with extended narrow leaves and form extensive meadows. Although seagrasses and seaweeds look similar, they are very different organisms.

As its name suggests, this seaweed contains a pocket of sulphuric acid in each cell which helps deter grazing fish.

The Arame sea oak is a species of kelp which is rich in calcium and is frequently used in Asian cuisine because of its subtle sweetish mild flavor.

This asexual seagrass received its name from Poseidon, god of the sea in Greek mythology.

This red alga grows on the northern coastal areas of the Pacific and Atlantic oceans and is frequently eaten as a snack.

Blue corals are able to shed a layer of their skin in order to keep algae and bacteria build-up to a minimum.

These corals exist in a range of different colors with tiny spikes on the surface of their skeleton.

Seaweed is packed with vitamins, minerals and is widely believed to harness nutritional benefits that fight illnesses.

Shoal grass is found along the southern Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico coasts and the Caribbean Sea, as well as other areas with deterring growth conditions for turtle and manatee seagrasses.

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