Although they are found at depths of nearly 2km, the Dragonfish actually starts its life at the surface of the ocean as a result of its egg being buoyant. Like many other deep sea creatures, it eventually becomes capable of producing its own light using a method known as bioluminescence after which it descends to the depths. One of its many light producing photophores can be found on a barbel attached to its lower jaw, which it most likely uses for hunting.
Termed a living fossil, this seldom seen shark inhabits the depths of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Scientists speculate that it captures its prey by bending its body and lunging forward like a snake while proceeding to swallow its victim whole.
With the largest eyes (proportionally speaking) of any animal in the world, this deep sea creature is born to live in the depths. And no, it doesn’t suck blood, in fact its tentacles barely have suckers at all. The name actually comes from its intensely red eyes and cloak like webbing.
Big Red Jellyfish
This startlingly large jellyfish can grow to be over 1 meter in length and as you may have deduced from the fairly straightforward name, it carries a slight red coloration. Rather than tentacles this deep sea jellyfish uses a series of fleshy “feeding arms” to capture its prey.
Seldom seen by human eyes, the giant squid has for centuries been a thing of legend. Dwelling deep beneath the waves its only real predator is the sperm whale. In fact, the two are famous for their deep sea battles and their carcasses are often times found bearing the marks of mortal combat on their bodies.
Primarily found in the deep water off of Australia and New Zealand the blobfish lives at depths of over 1200 meters. The pressure here is several dozen times higher than at the surface and as a result its body is little more than a gelatinous mass.
Resembling a pink, spine covered balloon these deep sea hunters are something of a cross between pufferfish and anglerfish (#12). Although they lure their prey using a fleshy protrusion they are capable of puffing themselves up when threatened.
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.
Blue Ringed Octopus
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.
The Black Swallower
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.