10 Most Horrifying Real Animals In The Deep Sea
At first glance, you might think these alien creatures were from someone’s nightmares. But the truth is much more frightening- these are very real animals that roam the deep sea. Scientists believe that over 90% of creatures in the sea are yet to be discovered. Just imagine what could lurk below if these horrifying life forms are what we have found.
1. Goblin Shark
The pink-skinned goblin shark is one of the most fearsome looking sharks that exist. Normally, it has a profile with a flat, elongated snout that looks no different than a great white shark, but its highly protrusible jaws are what make the goblin shark so creepy. When attacking prey, the goblin shark will snap its jaws outward in a terrifying manner, using its nail-like teeth to eviscerate anything that gets caught in its mouth. At a max depth of 4,490 feet, the goblin shark lives almost a mile underneath the sea- good thing, too, because I wouldn’t want to run into one anytime soon.
2. The Proboscis Worm
If you were asked, what is the longest animal in the world, what would you say? If you said ‘blue whale’ or ‘anaconda’, you’d be wrong. The ‘proboscis worm’, also known as ribbon worm, looks like a creepy pile of intestines, and can grow up to 54 meters long, making it the longest discovered animal in the world, although most worms are less than 20 centimeters long.
3. Zombie Worms
The menacing-sounding zombie worm is something straight out of a horror story. These deep sea worms use acid to literally eat the bones of dead sea animals, such as whales. The worms, of the Osedax family, have root-like tissues they use to attach to bones and then secrete acid-producing enzymes that disintegrate them, allowing them to absorb the various minerals that are contained within. Scientists still have little idea how these worms evolved, as they lack the body parts needed to physically drill into such a dense material.
Like something straight out of your nightmares, the anglerfish is a demonic-looking creature that dwells in the deep sea. The anglerfish uses the fleshy protrusion on its head to lure unsuspecting prey right into its jaws. And if that weren’t scary enough, the fish is able to distend both its jaw and its stomach, since its bones are thin and flexible, to enormous size, allowing it to swallow prey up to twice as large as its entire body.
5. Vampire Squid
The vampire squid, or Vampyroteuthis infernalis (literally vampire squid from hell), is an aptly named creature that is neither squid nor octopus, but has traits from both families of animals. It is able to survive at incredible depths of 3,000 feet, where oxygen saturation is a mere 3%, through its incredibly efficient blue-blood hemoglobin that binds and transports oxygen more efficiently than in other cephalopods. I would’ve thought that it sucks the blood of other creatures that live in the sea.
6. Pacific Black Ghost Sh ark
The creepy looking and recently discovered Black Ghost Shark is not quite a shark, but a Chimaera. The name fits it well, for it has an odd assortment of features- including a venomous spine, sex organs on its head, and grinding tooth plates instead of rows of sharp teeth. The Chimaera family may be the “oldest and most enigmatic groups of fishes alive today”.
7. Polychaete Worm
Polychaete worms are terrifying little creatures that can survive almost any environment, from the freezing depths of the abyssal plain to the scalding temperatures of hydrothermal vents. Underwater polychaetes have reversible mouthparts used to capture prey and terrorize humans in their nightmares.
8. Carnivorous Coral
Coral usually feeds on tiny algae and plankton, but for the first time, scientists have documented extremely strange behavior- these coral are able to feed on larger animals such as jellyfish. On a recent dive, Omri Bronstein from Tel Aviv University recorded a stationary mushroom coral sucking in large moon jellyfish. In a changing world, the ability to eat such large prey provides it evolutionary advantages. You’d better be careful next time you go swimming near the Barrier Reef…
9.The Sloane’s Viperfish
The Sloane’s Viperfish is an absolutely horrific creature with many notable features. The fish holds the world record for largest teeth relative to head size- with fangs so large it must open its mouth to make the jaws vertical before it can swallow prey. When the mouth is closed, the teeth overlap the jaws- almost as if it evolved to be as frightening as possible rather than biologically efficient. It eats large prey by lowering the internal skeleton of the gills, allowing the prey to pass into the throat without interference, or by first impaling its prey on its teeth.
10. Giant Isopods
These creepy bugs crawled right out of the sea and into your nightmares. Giant isopods are related to lobsters and shrimp, but nowhere near as appetizing and twice as scary. Resembling a massive pill bug, giant isopods can grow over two feet in length and are found roaming the ocean depths, scavenging scraps off the sea bed. Just make sure it doesn’t find its way into your bedroom, or it might just start feeding on you instead…