The ocean is a world of mystery. This stays true and becomes even truer the deeper you go. There is a large portion of the ocean humans have yet to discover. If you think about it, the ocean seems like another planet that’s out of this world, and the creatures prove this further. Out of the ones that have already been discovered, they tend to be the least pleasant of creatures on planet Earth.
We’re not even talking about sharks, jellyfish, and your typical fish you discover at surface level. These deep-sea creatures exist where light does not. Humans have barely been able to reach the depths these creatures live at. With technology advancing on a day to day basis, allowing us to dive deeper, and maintain the immense pressure of the ocean, we’ll find even more of these creepy creatures.
It seems on a weekly to monthly basis, a new kind of sea creature is discovered, and given a ridiculously long name. These creatures, and the ones listed below, are one’s you surely would not want to run into on your family vacation. Luckily, unless you were equipped with a submarine, or the best pressure resistant swim gear, you’ll get nowhere near these creeps.
Aside from the long name, people usually refer to their street name “swallowers”. They are given this name rightfully so, with their huge bottom jaw, that can eat anything that’s smaller than it, and in large quantities. They are most similar to the more common sea creature, the eel. It’s long slender body that thins into a small tail is similar to what you’d find in an eel.
They are said to be sometimes bioluminescent, which can help them with their dark surroundings. These slimy creatures are estimated to be around 10,000 feet below the surface of the ocean, which is about 3,000 meters. They were first discovered by deep-sea fishermen, and they haven’t been directly studied, so little is known on them besides their existence.
14. Vampire Squid
Despite the cute nature of its “Dumbo” looking ears, the vampire squid can be quite terrifying. It obviously shares most of its characteristics with the octopus, and the squid. The differentiating factor of the vampire squid, besides how deep it lives, is the strange umbrella shape it forms. It had extensive webbing between its tentacles, allowing for faster movement than that of an octopus or squid.
The vampire squid is typically pretty small, with the average one being around a foot long. Its strange color palette is another thing that gives it its unique name. The very saturated red is a strange color for something that lives in such a dark place. The vampire squid is said to live anywhere between 3,000 to 6,000 feet below the surface.
You most likely know of the anglerfish. It’s the most commonly thought of deep-sea fish. The angler fish’s face and mouth are what make it so disturbing. With its huge underbite with extensively sharp teeth, it’s a thing made for nightmares. The strange light antenna doesn’t help its case either; it’s lighting up its face perfectly for everyone to be scared by it. Its beady eyes are full of deceit.
The light on its head is actually used as a lure, but I don’t know of anything that would be lured to a face like this. The anglerfish isn’t very large, only stretching to be 8 inches on average. The anglerfish lives nearest to the sea floor (thank goodness), so it is unlikely you’ll be running into any of these in paradise.
12. Frilled Shark
The frilled shark is not like your average shark, and most resembles a prehistoric sea creature. The skin of the frilled shark doesn’t look like it fits, and the animal looks like a corpse of a once healthy shark that’s been floating around the ocean for too long. They’re most spotted near Japan at about the six hundred feet below sea level. There, it coined the name of the “living fossil”.
The shark gets up to 6 feet long, which is decently big for a shark. Its name comes from the strange gills present on the sides of its neck, and across the bottom of its neck. They seem to be frilled, and loosely floating beside the shark, like most of its other skin.
11. Goblin Shark
Another strange species of shark, the goblin shark really lives up to its name. Without anything but a picture, anyone could immediately guess the name of this shark. This shark is also called a “living fossil” since it stems from a species known as the Mitsukurinidae, a family of shark that is said to date back 125 million years. Its jaw is loose from the rest of its body, and it seems to not have bones present in the region.
Its mouth can shoot out as if it was detached, and catch unknowing fish. The sharp teeth inside its mouth help devour its prey quickly. This shark is a bit longer, around 10 to 12 feet on average. It’s most commonly found depth is 330 feet or deeper, so you won’t have to worry about running across this almost hilarious looking shark anytime soon.
10. Dumbo Octopus
Another cute sea creature is the dumbo octopus. However, looks can be deceiving. It is in the same family as the vampire squid and it gets its name from the cartoon elephant Dumbo. Given that it has floppy ears like the fictional elephant, it seemed like a suitable name for what can be considered the most terrifying thing named after something so cute.
These live near the ocean floor right around 13,000 feet deep, and can even be spotted deeper, at around 22,000 feet deep, which is unheard of for any other octopus species. The dumbo octopus is around a foot long, but the largest ever was discovered to be 6 feet long, and weighed around 13 pounds!
This one is just ugly. The blobfish looks like a fat old bald man’s face melted. Either that, or it looks like he is in a constant state of being told that his coupon has expired. Nonetheless the blowfish is said to live around 4,000 feet below sea level, and average around 12 inches in length.
The blobfish’s name comes from its gross mass of skin. It is only slightly denser than water, allowing for the fist to maneuver easily in the ocean. Its main food is crustaceans and anything that is easy to eat, as it doesn’t have many muscles to capture prey with. Surprisingly enough, the blobfish as we see it in this image is what it looks like after it’s been taken from its deep-sea home. The decompression makes it look saggy, and slimy. Thankfully if you ran into this thing in the ocean, it would most likely not look like it does here.
8. Megamouth Shark
The megamouth shark is almost kin to the whale family, as it has a huge gaping mouth in which it swallows its prey. What it lacks in sharp teeth, it gains in the ability to swallow its prey quickly, and in large numbers. The creature is said to be very rare with the first discovery in 1973, and only 63 creatures have been seen since their first sighting.
These sharks can get to be large in size, right around 17 feet long, and they weigh around 2,5000 pounds. These large sea creatures are the last thing you’d want to run into, but luckily it stays around 400 to 500 feet from the surface during the day, but comes closer to the surface during the day at around 80 feet.
7. Giant Squid
A squid is terrifying enough, but put the word giant in front of it, and it’s a whole different story. This could most likely work to make anything in the sea more terrifying, by putting the word giant in front of its name. The giant squid is obviously giant, hence the name, and can stretch out to be around 43 feet long. The evolution of this creature is due to deep-sea gigantism, which means the species of creature adapted to scarcer environment in the deep.
They have mostly only been seen in parts of Japan, and were only first discovered in 2004. There have been undocumented claims of the animal reaching up to 60 feet in length, making it one of the largest sea creatures in the world. The squid has giant tentacles in which it uses to maneuver, and devour anything dumb enough to get in its way.
6. Giant Isopod
The giant isopod is like a giant sea cockroach. It has a hard outer shell, and tiny little insect legs underneath. It’s most similar to its crustacean brothers the shrimp, and crab. These creatures are another species to be affected by deep-sea gigantism. These creatures can measure up to be about 6 inches, which sounds small, but not for a crustacean. They can even sometimes reach up to 18 inches if it’s well fed.
They live very deep in the ocean ranging anywhere from six to seven thousand feet deep. They adapt to the dark, and colder climates easily with their enormous size, and hard shells. These creatures are very unnerving, and we’re lucky to never come face to face with one, however they’ve started showing up more in aquariums.
This fish gets its name from its obvious appearance defect, the huge bulbous eyes sticking out of the side of its head. It is also sometimes referred to as the “spook fish”. I’m unsure if it refers to the spooking it’s doing, or the worried look on its face expressing that it’s the one that is spooked. Can you blame it? It can probably see for miles in both directions, with its huge eyes.
They typically live around 2,500 meters deep, and they can be anywhere from 20 inches to less than 15 inches long. Their eyes are designed to help them seek prey, and most of them direct their eyes upward to protect themselves and also to find food. They’re believed to be able to look forward as well.
The fangtooth looks like the anglerfish, just without the lure. Its terrifying underbite, and its larger than life sharp teeth put out a disturbing message. Its eyes give off a dead look inside, and it seems to be a thing of nightmares. Don’t fear; they’re very harmless to us humans due to their small size.
They only grow to be around six inches in length. It is known to roam around 5,000 meters deep, or 16,000 feet deep. The teeth obviously help the creature find prey, but the smaller versions tend to feed on plankton, and other small sea creatures. Bigger ones graduate to fish, and sometimes even squid.
The blackswallower is another accurate name for another terrifying sea creature. Its swallower, or its digestive system is said to be so large it can even swallow creatures larger than itself. They’re said to only stretch around ten inches.
The fish’s skin helps with its ability to eat creatures well over twice its size. It’s scale-less which allows for the fish’s skin to expand, and grab onto larger creatures for consumption. It is most similar to that of a snake being able to swallow prey much larger than itself. They can be found around 2,000 to 9000 feet deep in some parts of the Atlantic.
2. Japanese Spider Crab
The giant Japanese spider crab is a nightmare. Its long crustacean arms, and claws reach out underneath it. It resembles that of a spider, hence the name, and is just as terrifying. The spider crab would be home in a monster mayhem movie, where it is seen destroying the city of Tokyo. I wouldn’t be surprised…
It can reach up to 20 feet from claw to claw when it’s spread out. It is said to weigh up to 42 pounds, which is unheard of for a crab species, much less a crustacean. They inhabit small holes, and vents in the ocean, and crawl around 2,000 feet deep in the ocean. Crabs have evolved into this to avenge their fallen brethren who’ve been subjected to being consumed by humans. In a few years, they’ll be large enough to overrule the humans.
The stargaze gets its name from the way it stares up from the ocean floor. It is constantly looking up, and well, gazing at the stars. The stargazer evolved like this to help it consume fish that can’t detect its excellent camouflage. The fish will often burrow itself in the sand waiting for its next meal to cross its line of sight.
The fish’s lengths range from 20 all the way to 90 centimeters. Some of the species have a tentacle that hangs out of its mouth to attract prey. No doubt a fish would become curious of the strange tube sticking out of the ground, and before it knows it, it’s stargazer food.
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