Deep below the surface of the oceans; places that few humans ever go, live some of the most frightening creatures on Earth.
This list compiles the strange and the rare; the dangerous and the harmless. One thing they all have in common though; they appear nothing like what we picture in our mind when thinking of oceanic animals and everything we might picture in a nightmare. Take a look at the 12 creatures listed below and see for yourself!
1. Goblin Shark:
These rare sharks are often called living fossils and range anywhere from 10 to 18 feet long; they are identified by a long snout and large, razor-sharp teeth. They typically live in deep waters and feed on creatures such as crustaceans. One of the most recent sightings was by a fisherman off of the coast of Key West, Florida in April, 2014.
2. Zombie Worms:
Yoshihiro Fujiwara / JAMSTEC
These small animals are sometimes known as Bone-Eating worms because they feed on the bones of dead whales. They do this by releasing a strong acid which dissolves the bone, releasing the nutrients inside. If that isn’t strange enough, only the female worms do this; this is because male zombie worms are microscopic and actually live inside of the females.
One notable fact about Dragonfishes is that the males do not have teeth and do not eat; they also have no bowel system. What does this mean? It means, if you’re a male Pez Dragon, you live to mate and then you die. The females however, live on mostly crustaceans and shrimp. They have an appearance similar to an eel but are not related. Pez-Dragon’s spend most of their time in the deep waters of the Pacific Ocean but have been known to head to the surface at night.
Monterey Bay Aquarium
This bioluminescence fish comes with it’s own fishing lure! On top of it’s head is an elongated dorsal spine; this organ lights up and the Anglerfish attracts its prey by waving it back and forth. Also known as the black devil fish because of it’s terrifyingly sharp teeth and large mouth; the jaw is actually able to extend and the stomach can enlarge to twice it’s normal size for larger meals. Thankfully, this is a smaller fish, only around 5 inches (12 centimeters).
This little creature is also known as a Sea Toad but is really a type of Anglerfish. Even though the name sounds ominous, they are usually bright and colorful. Coffinfish dwell in the deep seas, around 100 feet and live on the ocean floors. A fun fact concerning this fish is that it can puff it’s body out to make it appear larger and even walk along the ocean bottom on it’s fins.
Also related to the Anglerfish, the Fangtooth carry luminescent bacteria. This bacteria resides below the skin, just under the eyes of the creature that hosts it. This glow attracts plankton; which attract minnows and both of these are a food source. The teeth are long and sharp and the stomach is able to extend in size to allow for the consumption of larger prey.