25 Most Terrifying Deep Sea Creatures

Posted by , Updated on April 23, 2017

Do deep sea creatures scare you? They should. Although these days everyone is obsessed with zombies and aliens, some of the strangest and most terrifying creatures in the universe lie beneath the surface of the waves on our very own planet. In the pitch black depths of the ocean where the pressure can be dozens of times higher than at sea level you may very well find yourself running into one of these scary sea animals. Allow us to introduce you to the 25 most terrifying deep sea creatures on Earth.

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25

Dragonfish

Dragonfish

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.

24

Frilled Shark

Frilled Shark

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.

23

Vampire Squid

Vampire Squid

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.

22

Big Red Jellyfish

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.

21

Giant Squid

Giant Squid

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.


20

Blobfish

Blobfish

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.

19

Coffinfish

Coffinfish

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.

18

Giant Isopod

Giant Isopod

Unlike the other deep sea creatures on this list, the Isopod is permanently constrained to creeping along the bottom of the ocean, primarily the cold, dark waters of the North Atlantic and the Arctic Circle.

17

Stargazer

Stargazer

With both their eyes and mouth located on top of their head, these fish bury themselves in the sand and leap upwards to attack their prey as it swims by. Moreover many species are electric and capable of delivering lethal shocks.

16

Chimaera

Chimaera

Not to be confused with the Chimera of Greek mythology, these creatures are also known as ghost sharks, and although they used to reside throughout the world’s oceans, today they are mostly confined to deep water.

15

Amphipod

Amphipod

Although these tiny crustaceans are usually no longer than an inch, deep down on the floor of the Pacific Ocean, about 6 km beneath the waves, they can grow up to 1 foot in length.

14

Pacific Blackdragon

Black Dragon

This deep sea predator got its name for a reason. Because most of its prey are bioluminescent, their stomach is designed to prevent light from radiating through.

13

Dumbo Octopus

Dumbo Octopus

Named after the elephant in the Disney film, this octopus isn’t necessarily as terrifying as the frill shark but it’s far too strange to not include on this list.

12

Anglerfish

Fangtooth

Named after its hunting technique, the anglerfish uses a fleshy growth protruding from the top of its head as a lure to attract its prey.

11

Gulper Eel

Gulper Eel

Also known as the pelican eel, this is probably one of strangest looking deep sea creatures. With its enormous mouth it is capable of swallowing things much, much larger than itself.

10

Snaggletooth

Snaggletooth

There aren’t many ways to describe this deep sea critter that don’t include the words “very ugly”. Like several other deep sea animals 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.

9

Hatchetfish

Hatchetfish

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.

8

Barreleye

Barreleye

Also known as spook fish, these strange looking sea 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.

7

Grenadier

Grenadier

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.

6

Blue Ringed Octopus

Blue Ringed Octopus

Although it may not be as physically imposing as some of the other deep sea 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.

5

Megamouth Shark

Megamouth Shark

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.

4

Viperfish

Viperfish

While during the day this scary sea animal 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.

3

The Black Swallower

Black Swallower

Also known as the great swallower, the capacity of this deep sea creature 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.

2

Fangtooth

Fangtooth

Although it has an intense sounding name (and for good reason considering the fact that itsteeth are proportionately the largest of any fish in the ocean) the fangtooth is actually quite small and harmless to humans. Terrifying…but harmless.

1

Goblin Shark

Goblin Shark

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.

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