The horrifying depths of the ocean remains vastly unexplored. It seems the deeper down we submerge, the scarier and more horrifying the creepiest sea creatures that live therein are.
From the giant squid, once thought to be nothing more than a myth, to bone-eating worms, we bring you our picks for the top 10 creepiest sea creatures you didn’t know existed!
Top 10 Creepiest Sea Creatures You Didn’t Know Existed
10. Sarcastic Fringehead
The sarcastic fringe head is just too cool to not mention, and ok, sure it doesn’t necessarily live in the deepest, darkest, coldest depths of the ocean.
But it’s still down there a little, living 10 feet or 3 meters to 240 feet or 73 meters below sea level, outside the breaker zone, along the many open coastlines.
This fish usually grows to be less than 10 inches or 25 centimetres long, but have been documented to reach 12 inches or 30 centimetres in length.
They are fearless and extremely aggressive fish; rushing towards anything that dare approach their burrows.
Their body is elongated, slender and relatively compressed and has a long dorsal fin which extends from the back of the head to almost the caudal fin.
Sarcastic fringe heads have large, rounded heads, with a huge jaw that can extend past the eye, lined with numerous needle-like teeth.
9. Frilled Shark
Known as a “living fossil”, the frilled shark is such a unique, rare and unusual creepiest sea creatures, that the two known species.
The Frilled Shark and the Southern African Frilled Shark, are placed in their own order.
The frilled shark usually lives in the deep marine areas of Japan, 200 to 4200 feet or 60 to 1280 meters in depth.
But are also known to be throughout the Eastern Pacific, Eastern Atlantic and Indian Oceans as well, and the more newly discovered species, the Southern African Frilled Shark is found in the waters around Africa.
Unlike most sharks, the frilled shark has an eel-like, long, thin body, six gills covered by frill-like skin flaps in which it derives its name, and typically grows to roughly 6.5 feet or 2 meters in length.
8. Giant Squid
These monster squids believed once to be nothing more than creatures of myth, survive in the icy, cold depths of 1,650 feet or 500meters to 3,300 feet or 1,000 meters.
Though big, stories about their actual size have been so far, largely exaggerated; with claims saying they get to 66 feet or 20 meters in lengths, though never documented.
The largest on record measures out to 43 feet or 13 meters in length.
Some researchers believe there are multiple species of giant squid, possibly up to 8 different species, other researchers, however, think there is just one.
Giant squids are thought to live worldwide, basing upon the shores they have washed upon; commonly being the shores of New Zealand.
And Pacific Islands and have also made frequent appearances throughout the eastern and western sides of the Northern Atlantic Ocean, and along the southern coast of Africa.
The incredibly long, slender and strange-looking oarfish is the largest known bony fish in the seas; getting as long as about 36 feet or 11 meters and weigh up to 600 pounds or 270 kilograms.
Rarely, the oarfish has been known to swim up to shore, but they prefer the depths of roughly 3000 feet or 914 meters.
A more modern-day belief is that the Argus was the basis for the ancient myths about the great and powerful sea serpents.
But as fearsome as their mythological brethren may have been, the simple truth of the matter is they possess no visible teeth and live primarily off of plankton.
The species is rarely observed by humans, encounters so uncommon, it is usually only when they are washed up on shore that we get to see living samples of the creepiest sea creatures.
In fact, they so rarely come up to the ocean surface, it wasn’t until 2001 when a live oarfish would finally be captured on film, recorded by the US Navy.
Boasting a highly unique and transparent head, the Pacific barreleye fish has a developed, and highly sensitive pair of barrel-like-eyes, topped by green, spherical lenses, from which it derives its name.
The first barreleye to be discovered alive was found in the depths of California’s central coast, between 2,000 feet or 600 meters and 2,600 feet or 800 meters in depth, wherein it makes its home.
Growing to lengths of 1.5 feet or half a meter, barreleye possesses small mouths, and we’ve observed.
They are very precise while striking at their small prey, usually that of smaller fish, like plankton and jellyfish.
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The barreleye seemingly tends to just float stationary in place, maintaining a near motionless manner by utilizing their large, flat fins.
When it does spot food, however, it rotates its eyes towards the object, to include its mouth in its field of view.
The first barreleye specimen, to have its soft and transparent head intact, was found by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in 2009.
First found around the 4200-foot or 1280-meters depth, the fish are known as the Chimaera looks.
If it’s stitched together from random parts of other fish and contains no bones in its body; having a skeletal structure made of hardened cartilage.
Accustomed to lurking in the cold dark depths of the ocean, it utilizes its sensory organs on either side of its head to detect electrical fields in the water to locate its prey.
Considered to be one of the oldest species of fish, most chimaeras having mildly venomous spines along their backs.
And are often called by other names like catfish, rabbit fish and ghost sharks, though they are no sharks themselves.
Their origin branched off from the shark, its closest relative, some 400 million years ago and have mostly gone unchanged since their sharing of the Earth with the dinosaurs.
Creepiest Deep Sea Creatures
4. Zombie Worms (Osedax)
Ok, so they don’t really crave brains, and they can’t come back to life; the Osedax, better known as the “Zombie Worm”, gets its nickname due to the way they seek out bones to devour and feast upon.
Growing to average lengths of 1 to 3 inches or 2 to 7 centimetres, they were first discovered around 10,000 feet or 3,000 meters below the ocean’s surface, feasting upon the decaying bones of a grey whale.
They do this by secreting an acid from their skin, dissolving the bone which exposes the protein and fat found within.
However, the Osedax has no mouth or stomach of their own, so they utilize symbiotic bacteria that live inside the worm.
The bacteria digest the protein and fat and distribute it to the worm host in a currently unknown manner.
3. Giant Isopod
Though it looks like something from an alien planet, the giant isopod comes from the ocean depths, found some 550 to 7020 feet or roughly 170 to 2140 meters down.
And grows to average lengths of 12 to 16 inches or 30 to 40 centimetres, making it the largest of the isopod family.
Being a carnivorous creature, the giant isopod scuttles across the deep seafloor where light is scarce, scavenging for any food it may find.
As it feels around through the use of its large antennae, eating anything from the decaying bodies of other marine life, to any slow-moving scary deep sea creatures, such as sea cucumbers and sponges.
With about 800 different species known to exist worldwide, tardigrades, also known as the “water bear”, is a micro-animal and live all over the world, in any sort of extreme condition.
These little guys are just pure awesome; they can breathe in anything and anywhere, including the vacuum of space to 600 times that of normal atmospheric pressure.
They can survive in both extremely low temperatures and immense desiccation or severe dryness, being exposed to extreme temperatures of -272° C or -458°F, rooms filled with helium gas.
And suspended in liquid air at -190° C or -310° F for 21 months and after all of this, emerged alive.
When the little guys finally decide to kick the bucket and die off…their body encases itself in a glass-like substance. I mean, come on, that’s just cool.
1. Bobbit Worm
Looking like a Sarlacc pit from hell; one with powerful, retracting, barbed jaws that we think even Boba Fett couldn’t escape.
The Bobbit worm grows up to an astounding 10 feet about 3 meters in length and intertwines itself into the loose soils of the ocean floor.
Around 30 to 150 feet or 10 to 45 meters or so in-depth, where it lies in wait for prey to swim or crawl by.
They are typically found in the warm ocean waters, such as those that surround the Indo-Pacific region.
The Bobbit worm is covered in many bristles, all of which will cause permanent nerve damage.
The amazing speed, combined with sharp teeth, makes this worm a superior predator, and it is not uncommon for them to slice fish in half with a single strike, and can even chew through the coral reef.
To us, it looks like something out of a nightmare… and we’re pretty sure you’ll agree. This is one creepiest sea creatures found in the sea.