There aren’t many ways to describe this deep sea critter that don’t include the words “very ugly”. Like several other species on this list, due to the fact that it lives at such depths, it’s capable of producing its own light and uses this ability to hunt its prey.
Not to be confused with the freshwater hatchetfish found in many home aquariums this species was named after the distinctive hatchet shape of its body. Living at extreme depths it has two tubular eyes that point upward enabling it to catch food falling from above.
Also known as spook fish, these strange looking creatures are similar to hatchetfish in that they have two upward facing eyes to scan for prey. Their distinctive feature, however, is the transparent dome that encases them.
One of the more abundant bottom dwellers, grenadiers have been estimated to make up about 15% of the deep sea population and found at depths of up 6km there are few other creatures that can survive in such hostile environments.
Although it may not be as physically imposing as some of the other creatures on this list, the blue ringed octopus is easily one of the most dangerous animals in the ocean. It’s venom is extremely potent and because there is no antivenin, it is certainly a good idea to steer clear.
Since its discovery in 1976 this extremely rare species of deep water shark has rarely been seen by human eyes and as of yet there is still no consensus in the scientific community as to how to actually classify it. It’s most distinctive feature as you probably guessed is its gaping mouth that it most likely uses to swallow plankton and small fish.
While during the day it stays in deep water, at night it has been known to venture into shallower territory and into the nets of deep sea fishermen. They don’t survive very well in captivity, however, so not much is known about them, although their appearance certainly earns them a spot on this list.
Also known as the great swallower, the capacity of this little monster to engulf and digest things significantly larger than itself should not be underestimated. In fact, it can consume prey over 10 times its own mass.
Although it has an intense sounding name (and for good reason considering the fact that its teeth are proportionately the largest of any fish in the ocean) the fangtooth is actually quite small and harmless to humans. Terrifying…but harmless.
Not much is known about this deep sea dweller as only a few specimens have ever been caught by fishing boats, but those rare catches have been enough to earn it a fearsome reputation. With a prominent snout and retractable jaws its physical characteristics are worthy of its name.