Nearly 70% of the earth’s surface is covered by deep, massive oceans–nearly 140 million square miles! Most countries recognize five main world oceans: Indian, Pacific, Atlantic, Arctic, and the newest, the Southern. The Pacific Ocean being the largest, followed by the Atlantic, Indian, Southern, and Arctic. Most of the world’s oceans are full of mystery as only 5% of them have been explored, leaving the imagination to wander to some pretty spooky places. All the world’s oceans are controlled by our unique solar system, and some of the creatures found in the darkest depths look like they belong in outer space. Most of the animals on this list will make you glad you can’t survive below 1,000 feet underwater because they are absolutely terrifying. In fact, 90% of the ocean’s inhabitants survive in the deep abyss, which is anything deeper than 656 feet, or 200 meters. That means the chances of there being a creepy creature lurking in the waters below you, are very high. There aren’t only large predators you need to worry about, but there are also millions of microbes and bacteria drifting throughout every mouthful of seawater. Over 3.5 billion people depend on the ocean for their primary source of food and that number is rapidly increasing over the years. The entire world must come together to start saving our oceans because they are over-fished and heavily polluted, or risk HUGE, devastating consequences. The truth is water is life and our very existence relies heavily on the health of all our most sacred oceans and the animals in them, but these photos will make you think twice about jumping in for a swim on the next hot summer day…
The Wolf Fish
The wolf fish has to be one of the most terrifying creatures that live in the ocean. The wolf fish can be found in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, lurking in the depths crushing crabs and sea urchins with their bone-crunching molar-like teeth and haunting your nightmares. These fish are not only some of the most hideous known to man but they can become giants, reaching over six feet long. How would you react if you met one of these while taking a dip on a hot summer day? Yeah, we’d freak too.
Whoever named the goblin shark hit the nail right on the head. This deep sea creature is a rare species of shark that will now haunt your mind for years to come. This shark is exactly why we’re not meant to live at deep sea levels. An interesting fact about this species is its lineage can be traced back more than 125 million years–it’s basically a living fossil. The bizarre protruding jaw is lined with needle-like teeth that appear not to fit in the mouth. What a strange looking creature.
If you ever see a colossal squid, you’re probably in big trouble because they’re highly aggressive and that is terrifying, which got them a spot on this list. The colossal squid has only been observed by humans a few times, usually when they wash up on shore or when scientists catch one from the deep. Research suggests that giant squid can reach up to 14 meters and their limbs are lined with sharp hooks and suction cups that are impossible to escape from. Little is known about the species, due to how deep they live throughout the Southern Ocean.
This Beluga Whale
The normally cute and harmless looking Beluga, or white whale, doesn’t usually give off this terrifying look. This picture is proof that even the cutest of creatures are susceptible to taking a bad photo. Beluga’s aren’t actually that scary at all, they’re highly social creatures that love making high pitched squeals as they swim around the Arctic Ocean. This guy is probably going to be pissed if he sees his photo on this list–okay getting back to the terrifying…
Giant Manta Ray
Giant manta rays are the giant versions of stingrays and they can reach up to 7 meters or 23 feet in length. Their appearance is in fact what makes them terrifying because they are surprisingly docile, although there have been cases of ray attacks. Most famously, Steve Irwin was attacked and stabbed in the heart with the sharp barb they have underneath their tails. Although attacks are rare, they are extremely dangerous because most of the time the sharp teeth-like edges can get caught in the wound.
You may be laughing at the idea of seaweed being scary, but it’s actually quite dangerous. Number one, it can touch and grab your feet, scaring you half to death. Number two, it’s slimy and disgusting causing many people to actually fear it and refrain from swimming in waters with it. And number three, every year news outlets report people drowning after getting caught in it while swimming and diving. It may not seem like a threat, but it’s smart to look out for it next time you’re out in the ocean.
Although whales aren’t necessarily terrifying because they are rather docile towards humans, their sheer size can be in a particular situation. The situation pictured above would be the type I’m talking about. It’s not too often that you get to put your size into perspective and if you came into contact with a whale this size, it would be hard not to feel overwhelmed. These gentle giants are some of the last on our earth.
The basking shark is the second largest fish in the sea, next to the whale shark. Can you imagine if you were swimming and you saw this image coming towards you? The gaping mouth of the shark is used as a giant suction that overpowers anything in its wake. They’re really just docile bottom feeders with no teeth, they just happen to look terrifying and are classified as a shark, which doesn’t help their reputation.
Speaking of sharks, the mako shark is one terrifying shark. It’s not the largest shark in the world, it usually reaches around ten feet long, the violence occurs in the way it hunts. It swims under the radar, escaping detection by hiding under its prey until it’s ready to strike. They thrust themselves as fast as they can with all the force they have to surprise whatever is on the menu. They’ve even been known to even launch themselves on fishing boats.
Little is known about the fangtooth fish because of how deep it lives in the oceans; but one thing is for sure, it’s absolutely terrifying. The truth is they’re actually harmless to humans because of how little we actually come in contact with them and because of their small size. They usually only reach six inches but their teeth are so large for their bodies that they’ve adapted an extra pair of joints in their heads to be able to close their mouths.
Yes, this fish is actually named the seadevil and I’m guessing you can assume why. This is one of the earth’s most terrifying creatures and thankfully, they’re extremely hard to spot so you won’t likely run into one of these. Their survival tactics are also quite terrifying because when mating, the males fuse to the females, essentially living off of their blood streams for the remainder of their lives. Talk about clingy…
The dragonfish, Grammatostomias flagellibarba, is a deep sea monster that lurks around the Atlantic seaboard of North America and Africa. These monsters are known for the glowing barbel that they eventually develop, allowing them to create light with their own body chemicals. Although they are terrifyingly ugly, with their razor sharp teeth protruding out of their mouths, they only reach about seven inches long.
The lancetfish is unlike the previous fish in size; these predators can reach up to 6.6 feet in length and they scavenge the sea with their razor sharp teeth. The entire enormous jaw is lined with either inch long spikes or tiny serrated teeth to ensure their prey doesn’t escape. They intelligently hide in plain sight by using the coloring of their smooth bodies to shield themselves until they’re ready to ambush. The lancetfish has also gotten the reputation of being a cannibal, which is where it got its nickname “cannibal fish”.
The ghost shark got its name for two reasons; one, it looks like it’s dead (and its lack of color confirms that); and two, it’s so rarely seen it can barely be studied. The little we do know about them is that they’re around three feet long and they don’t have many teeth (so their prey is of a smaller size). David Ebert, the most recent man to film one of these creatures, said that they seem to be rather curious, despite their rare interactions with humans; the particular shark he was filming kept bumping his lens and returning to repeat the action.
The stargazer fish, or what I like to call the skeleton of the ocean, looks like some sort of human skeletons sitting in the sand, frowning. These fish have eyes on the top of their heads and they sit and wait for their prey to swim by before jumping out and gobbling them up within an instant. They are also armed with two large venomous spines just in case any predator gets too close.Some species within this family of fish can even conduct electric shocks so if you ever come across one of these, steer clear.
Although you may not think a shrimp can be terrifying, the mantis shrimp just might change your mind. These highly aggressive shrimp are categorized by two types; one that kills its pray by clubbing it to death with its specially adapted appendage, and the other that stabs it with its razor sharp spear. They strike so fast when they’re hunting that even if they miss, the shock wave they produce can kill the prey. They spend most of their lives solitary, looking for their next victim.
These scary looking fish have huge, bulbous, opaque eyes with a sleek, sliver body. The fish range in size from tiny critters of one inch to giant relatives. The bigger the hatchet fish type, the more aggressive of a predator the fish will be. They use their shiny coats to blend in with the light from above so they can lurk above their prey undetected. I wouldn’t want to be on a giant hatchet fish’s radar.
The Barreleye fish sure is a unique creature, as its head is clear and the eyes are facing upward. They don’t even look like fish but resemble something that would be found within the depths of space. Another name that this strange fish goes by is “spook fish” because of the spooky feeling that one gets when they come across this transparent creature.
The snakehead fish is a predatory fish that has been found all over Africa and Asia and its size can range from under a foot to as big as the large beast pictured above. These terrifying creatures have even been known to venture out of the water onto land in search of food and can survive like that for up to four days. These fish have become illegal to own in many US states and are considered a destructive species because of how aggressive they are.
The creepy looking Kiwa Crab was discovered just recently, in 2005. Found in the South Pacific Ocean, it got the nickname the yeti crab. These carnivorous creatures look way more terrifying than they actually are; in fact, they’re thought to be blind and those spiny spears that line the entire body are actually quite soft. They’re actually quite small too, only around five inches, BUT could you imagine how terrifying they would be if they were giant!
Blue Ringed Octopus
The blue-ringed octopus is a species of poisonous octopus with four sub-groups that are found all over the Pacific and Indian Ocean. The tiny octopuses range from five to eight inches but pack a powerful poisonous punch and are recognized as the most poisonous marine animals on earth. Do not handle these creatures or they will become aggressive and agitated and can kill an adult human in minutes.
The gulper eel is also named the pelican eel and it has one of the creepiest grins I’ve ever seen. Its large mouth is way too big for its body and it can swallow a fish larger than itself. They can be found in all oceans but are rarely seen by humans since they live in the deepest depths (but they are sometimes caught by fishing nets).
The terrifying vampire squid is an ancient species that is actually in between a squid and an octopus and it has a deep red color. The threat response of the animal is quite unique, as it turns itself inside-out to display many rows or spikes that are actually quite soft. Due to the low oxygen levels in their environments, they have adapted to gliding through ocean currents, expelling the least amount of energy possible.
Black Swallower Fish
The black swallower fish got its name because of its ability to swallow extremely large prey for its size. They are small fish but shouldn’t be messed with, since size doesn’t matter when it comes to their meals. They are also some of the most common fish in the species in the North Atlantic and have a fearsome reputation.
Giant Spider Crab
The Japanese spider crab is the biggest crab known to man, with the largest measuring up to eighteen feet. These giant crabs can weigh up to an astonishing 42 pounds and are truly unique creatures. Can you imagine if you had one of these water spiders crawling all over you while trying to swim? Yikes–these might just haunt our nightmares.
The batfish isn’t the most terrifying fish on this list, but there’s something about the smirk on this perfectly dolled up fish face that’s just so strange. It’s almost as if you don’t want to look, but you can’t seem to look away. The long nose-like appendage seduces the prey to its red lips where it snatches it up. This fish sure marches to the beat of its own drum; it doesn’t even swim but rather walks on the ocean floor!