20 Terrifying Sea Creatures That Are Lurking in the Depths

In the dark depths of the waters also lie some very creepy and scary creatures from the sea that’ll induce fear. From great white sharks to the sea lamprey to the angler fish and more, the world’s waters are indeed scary and intimidating. They remind us that though the seas and oceans provide us with many products that help us with our daily lives, they are also home to such terrifying sea creatures. Check our list below; we’re sure they’ll make you think twice before stepping into the water on your next vacation!

​​Lamprey

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According to the National Ocean Service, the sea lamprey might be “America’s first destructive invasive species.” The lamprey is a parasitic fish native to the northern and western Atlantic Ocean. It has disappeared from UK waters since the 1800s but has recently made a comeback. Aside from its snake-like or eel-like appearance, what makes the sea lamprey so terrifying is its suction-cup mouth embedded with sharp, knife-like teeth, which latches onto its prey’s flesh to feed on its blood and fluids.

Angler Fish

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The anglerfish is a sea creature often described as a creature right out of a science fiction movie because of its hideous and terrifying appearance. According to National Geographic, it’s a fish considered a master of deep-sea fishing, similar to how it’s portrayed in Finding Nemo. It uses a fishing rod-like appendage extending from its head, with a sac of bioluminescent bacteria that attracts fish. The unsuspecting fish then swims closer and closer to the anglerfish until it opens its mouth and gobbles its prey up!

Red Octopus

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The sea is a challenging place in itself to navigate. So, imagine if you come across a red octopus, which is a master of disguise. Its bright red appearance might seem like a big giveaway to other creatures, but make no mistake; it can quickly change its colors to brown, yellow, and more, effectively camouflaging itself. Aside from this, the red octopus can also change its skin texture, making it appear like it’s part of the sand or rocky ocean floor.

Stargazer

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The stargazer is quite a dangerous sea creature to encounter. According to the Florida Museum of Natural History, it has an electric shock-producing organ behind its eyes, which it uses for defense. It spends most of its life buried in sand, waiting to ambush its prey, and has an environment by having its eyes, gills, nostrils, and most of its mouth on the top of its body. The stargazer can also grow to a decent size of 22 inches long!

Blob Sculpin

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The waters of the world are some of the most unexplored places on the planet, and it’s home to some extraordinary but creepy sea creatures, such as the blob sculpin. Erin Spencer of Ocean Conservancy notes that blob sculpins live more than 2,000 meters deep in the ocean and are carnivorous—eating anything from mollusks, crustaceans, and more. Because they’re so deep in the sea, they have gelatinous bodies that allow them to withstand the immense pressure of the bottom of the ocean. Though small, blob sculpins are considered ambush predators, surprising prey and not giving them a chance to escape.

Vampire Squid

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Vampyroteuthis infernalis is the scientific name of the vampire squid, which literally means “vampire squid of Hell.” This is because the vampire squid looks like a deep-sea version of Dracula. It resembles a mix between a squid and an octopus, with huge, bright eyes and velvety, cloak-like webbing.

Deep-Sea Dragonfish

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The deep-sea dragonfish is a small but terrible ocean predator. Its sharp, fang-like teeth are much more prominent in proportion to its body size of only six inches. Like other deep-sea creatures, it can produce its own light through bioluminescence, which can attract prey or potential mates.

Goblin Shark

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Another deep-sea creature we should all fear is the goblin shark. This shark species is unique because it can unhinge its jaws while feeding! It has a long snout covered with special organs that help it search for prey in the darkness of the deep sea. The goblin shark also has so many teeth they can’t all fit in its mouth!

Japanese Spider Crab

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The Japanese spider crab is a gentle giant. Even so, it’s so humongous that no one will doubt you if you scream or run as soon as you encounter one. Japanese spider crabs are one of the largest crustaceans on Earth, and they can span up to over 3 meters or 12.5 feet from the tip of one claw to the other. Aside from this, the Japanese spider crab is also considered to be one of the world’s largest arthropods!

Scorpionfish

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According to Oceana, like its namesake, the scorpion, a scorpionfish is equipped with highly venomous spines. These creatures are considered a sit-and-wait predator, but once a fish or any other prey gets pierced by its spines, it’s over. The scorpionfish’s venom can also cause extreme pain to humans, though it’s not typically noted as fatal.

Sloane’s Viperfish

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They say never to judge a book by its cover, especially for Sloane’s viperfish. It’s less than a ruler long, but this fish’s size is not an issue when catching prey. Aside from its sharp teeth being more than half the size of its head, it can also unhinge its skull, allowing its jaw to open up to 90 degrees. This allows Sloane’s viperfish to chomp on its prey immediately, making it impossible for anything caught to escape or swim away.

Fangtooth Fish

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Better beware of the fangtooth. Aside from its big teeth that can chomp down on prey, it also has a pretty big mouth that can easily suck in prey! Add to that its sharp teeth, and there’s no wriggling free for any fish that comes across the fangtooth.

Giant Isopods

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A list of the scariest creatures from the sea wouldn’t be complete without the giant isopod. The giant isopod is a cousin of the shrimp, but you wouldn’t think that when you first see it, as it can grow up to 16 inches. As noted by the Aquarium of the Pacific, this gigantism is a phenomenon called deep-sea gigantism or abyssal gigantism. As they live in deeper waters, they need bigger bodies and longer legs.

Frilled Shark

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The frilled shark is a deep-sea predator with a unique appearance. It has a long, cylindrical body that can grow up to seven feet in length. However, it got its name due to its slits, which are quite frilly. Beyond its physical features, the frill shark is known to be a fierce and unforgiving hunter, often able to swallow its prey whole, no matter the size!

Atlantic Wolffish

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The Atlantic wolffish is a large fish with a distinctive head and mouth full of sharp teeth. It can grow to 6 feet long and live up to 20 years. It mainly consumes clams, scallops, lobsters, and sea urchins, which it crushes using its powerful jaws. Though it plays an essential role in regulating the reproduction and population of sea urchins and the like, the Conservation Law Foundation Organization sadly notes that the Atlantic wolffish is an endangered species that has been facing the brunt of modern fishing methods.

Colossal Squid

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The colossal squid is larger than the giant squids they found off the coast of Japan. Instead, this squid wanders the dark, cold, deep sea surrounding Antarctica. It’s considered the largest invertebrate on Earth, with eyes larger than any animal!

Chimaera

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Chimaeras or ghost sharks aren’t really sharks. However, like sharks, they are fish with cartilaginous skeletons, large fins, and big eyes. They have two dorsal fins; the first has a sharp spine that helps them with prey. Though not really a danger to humans, some chimaeras have a venomous spine on the front edge of the dorsals for defense.

Great White Shark

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Without the great white shark, this list wouldn’t be a list of the scariest creatures from the sea. Great white sharks are incredibly ferocious, especially when provoked. They typically grow to about four meters long, but some have been measured at six meters! Aside from this, great white sharks are apex ocean predators and considered super swimmers, too!

Flying Spaghetti Monster

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The flying spaghetti monster may seem like a character from a children’s book. However, it’s a real sea creature that’ll undoubtedly creep you out once you see it. It has multiple appendages that make it seem like a super-charged octopus. But in truth, these appendages, which gave it its name, are feeding polyps that help it catch food!

Black Swallower

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The black swallower is a predator that’s as formidable as its name. This fish can swallow other fish whole, even if it’s twice its length or 10 times its weight! This is because the black swallower has a balloon-like stomach, a large mouth, and a long lower jaw. Aside from this, the black swallower also has hooked teeth that can retract, giving way for prey; finally, its teeth also interlock to keep the fish’s prey trapped inside.

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Author: Karen Danao

Bio:

Karen is a writer and also a marketing and advertising professional. Beyond the keyboard and the screen, she is someone who’s out to enjoy every bit that life has to offer!

Poetry, philosophy, history, and movies are all topics she loves writing about! However, her true passion is in traveling, photography, and finding common ground to which everyone from different cultures can relate.

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