You don’t need to leave the planet to see aliens. They exist thousands of meters below the sea surface, waiting for scientists to give them a name and snap nightmarish photos.
Seeing these weird creatures will make your next visit at your local fish market extremely uncomfortable. Say goodbye to swimming in the ocean! You will fear to step over a puddle.
1. Frilled Shark
If you think you know everything about sharks, you might feel betrayed by your knowledge.
Deep below the surface, where few HD cameras ever reached, there is one shark able to update your worst nightmares in the odd sense. The Frilled Shark shows just why scientists are so reluctant in exploring the depths of our oceans.
Take a better look at that mouth. Not as scary as that of a Great White, you might say. While the size is not impressive, the denture structure is hellish. All the 300 teeth are pointed inward, which makes the bite particularly tricky.
The only way out is counterintuitive, as the unfortunate prey needs first to go inside the mouth and then try to pull itself out. That is impossible to achieve in a fight or run situation.
Coming up next is another shark that looks out of this world.
2. Goblin Shark
Check out the one shark species that looks like an earthly version of the Xenomorph from Alien.
A genuinely disturbing video revealed for the first time a couple of years ago how a Goblin Shark attacks its prey. The bizarre creature has a protruding jaw that snaps right underneath the long nose.
You guessed right! A poor eyesight can render many creatures of the deep sea completely defenseless. In fact, researchers were so puzzled about the strange way of attacking that they initially thought of two different species.
The Goblin Shark is what biologists call a “living fossil.” The animal can be traced back in the fossil records hundreds of millions of years ago and has survived virtually unchanged.
Let’s take a break from scary animals and feast on something that excels in ugliness. Check it out!
The Blobfish looks like a Hollywood celeb that doesn’t know how to age gracefully. Too much Botox there!
But enough with the nasty comparisons. The poor creature attracted enough ridicule for us to add any more. Voted the “World’s Ugliest Animal,” the Blobfish owes its physique to the pressure difference.
Although there are no shots of a Blobfish in its natural habitat, hundreds of meters below the sea surface, marine biologists are sure it looks like any other typical fish. However, once brought up, the decrease of pressure allows its body to swallow to a hilarious size.
Few things are certain about the mysterious dweller of the underworld. One thing is clear. The Blobfish is boneless and has no muscles in its body. Weird!
The next fish will spook you out, as it resembles a terrestrial animal we all love as a pet. Just watch!
4. Chimera Fish (Rabbit Fish)
Seeing a Chimera in its natural habitat will make you feel uncomfortable about your anatomy knowledge regarding the animal world.
The awkward fish attracted many names because of its unusual morphology. The above pic shows why people like to call them Rabbit Fish. Good thing it is dead. Can you imagine those spooky eyes staring deep into your soul?
Seen from another angle, the Chimera is quite graceful, and many describe its movement as a flight trough water. Even so, we bet it scared many fishers to death.
The Chimera is a distant relative of the sharks. You could call them a cousin, separated multiple times on the course of the 400 million years since they started to branch out.
Ready for another freak animal that shows just why an underwater Atlantis would have been inhospitable?
5. Fangtooth Fish
The Fangtooth Fish obviously got his name from the well-developed denture.
It goes as far as making it the species with the biggest teeth in respect to body size. Why are they needed? Let’s just say that the deep waters are an eerie place where missing out on a meal can leave you wandering starved in the dark for weeks.
The Fangtooth Fish is a small monster whose length is limited to 20cm. It might not be much, but a small group can feast upon your body in a matter of minutes.
The weird sea creature is commonly found between 200 and 2,000 meters, although reports indicate they are not shy in submerging under 5,000.
Can you imagine leaving in total darkness, at temperatures close to freezing? It must be a never-ending nightmare. Extreme loneliness disturbed only by acts of unimaginable savagery.
6. Giant Spider Crab
You’ve probably seen quite a lot of pictures where scientist “dance” with meter-long crabs. They are not fake!
The Giant Spider Crabs are the largest living arthropods on Earth. Some measurements indicate that they can reach spans of five meters – enough to crawl over beachgoers and embrace them as they sleep.
Size is an adaptation for living in the depths of the ocean, as the body needs to be able to resist the incredible pressure of the water on top. The Giant Spider Crab is disturbing as it is, but fossils show it had even bigger ancestors.
What makes it even weirder is that this kind of crabs lives only in the waters around Japan. That might work to explain why people there have so many fetishes related to marine creatures.
7. Atlantic Wolffish
The Atlantic Wolffish is not one of Nature’s masterpieces.
It is enough to look at the face to figure out evolution was rather undecided with the species. Scientists that named the creature were also far from being inspired.
A photo of the entire body makes the Wolffish look more like an eel. However, the deep water habitat indicates that the animal has a different behavior altogether.
The Atlantic Wolffish is edible. However, marine biologists portray the species as crucial for balancing the ecosystem of the abyss. Its current status is “of concern” which means we better start counting how many individuals there are left out there.
The next creature of the underworld is not shy. It will let you see right through it. Check it out and tell us if you find it sexy.
8. Pink Sea Through Fantasia
You are entitled to raise those eyebrows.
We have little to no information about this weird creature a team of scientists and photographers first laid eyes upon in 2007. The unusual discovery made headlines by promoting a rather bizarre message.
There is no point in searching the skies for alien life forms. The depths of our very oceans still hold enough mysteries to keep us busy for the next decades.
The Pink Sea Through Fantasia first appeared in the Celebes Sea (Indonesia) at more than 2,500 meters below the surface. The creature is a type of sea cucumber with a rather simple internal structure.
What you see inside the jelly body is what matters the most for primitive organism – the digestive system. There is a long way to go from a full belly to developing consciousness.
The next creature on the list is rather tricky. Try to spot anything wrong with it.
9. Australian Ghost Shark
Imagine doing scuba and coming face to face with this monster of the underworld.
Would you know where the mouth is and what action to expect from it? It certainly looks complicated from the angle of the photo. However, you will be relieved to know that species reaches only 70cm in length and rarely ventures at depths suitable for human diving.
While the Australian Ghost Shark is weird enough not to become the cover of National Geographic, its genome made scientists go mad.
The bizarre shark shares with us a common ancestor that lived 450 millions of years ago. The Australian Ghost Shark is unique because evolution stopped just one gene away from developing bones instead of cartilages.
Ready for something nasty? Check out the next weird creature that sees the daylight only from your plate.
10. Black Scabbardfish
The Black Scabbardfish is also known as the Black Monster of the Seas.
Although it looks scary in the photo, this is a sight most Iberian fishers learned to associate with profit. The species is abundant at depths between 800 and 1,300 meters, and we have little reasons to worry about its survival in the future.
This monster of the depth is a delicacy throughout the Mediterranean world. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t include it in your arsenal for nightmares.
Just take a second look at those teeth and imagine the pleasure they would extract from piercing trough the human flesh.
Ok, what we had so far was weird. The next one will push the adjective to its limits.
The Rattails fully deserve the name, as they resemble the terrestrial creatures we all “love” having around the house.
Like their distant cousins populating the land, the Rattails are one of the most abundant species found in the deep sea. The way they reproduce could help to explain that.
Rattails release their eggs into the water, which then float freely until hatching. As they become old, the individuals migrate deeper and deeper.
Want a random strange fact? Rattails have a light-emitting organ at their rear-ends, fully equipped with mirrors and lens. No one knows for sure what purpose it serves.
Don’t leave yet! The oceans have many weird ways to make you feel sick and uncomfortable with the idea that humans could have evolved to be a water species.
The Viperfish is arguably one of the most widely known residents of the deep sea.
Don’t just trust us! Go ahead and ask your kids about the vivid dreams they had after that day at the museum.
The Viperfish put hunting efficiency beyond looks. Its fang-like teeth grow so large that there is no room left for them in the mouth. When the jaw closes, the fish parks its denture right in front of the eyes.
Like other species living in complete darkness, this species has a light-producing organ. Unsuspecting swimmers reported a strange light just before being impaled to death.
Don’t miss out on the next weird creature! Taken from its home thousands of meters below the surface, it adapted quite well as a pet. Some even hug it (gross!).
13. Giant Isopod
The first marine biologist that laid his hands on a Giant Isopod almost had a seizure.
The strange creatures might not be able to see in daylight, but their senses are keen enough to get excited about any piece of flesh getting in their range. Yep, they are scavengers, which means they are not picky about food.
Giant Isopods typically live on the sea floor. However, captured individuals survived many years in fish tanks, adapting to life at low pressure.
Although being the definition of creepy, these creatures of the deep sea inspired generations of artists. “Songs About Giant Isopods” is an album dedicated to them that could make any girl dating a rock star jealous.
The next disturbing image shows deep sea dwellers with an abnormally large jaw opening. Its near-surface relatives we all know make it surreal. Check it out!
14. Gulper Eel (Pelican Eel)
The picture might not give you proportions, but what you see is an eel whose mouth is big as that of a pelican.
Add the fact that the strange sea creatures can grow up to 2.4 meters in length and you understand why pulling the fishing nets on board at night is not a job for everyone. Seeing that lower jaw take obtuse angles as the animal gasps for air can give you a heart attack.
Nature never works in vain, and that huge mouth of the Gulper Eel serves an explicit purpose – ingesting much larger prey. The awkward-looking eel works similar to a whale, gulping a lot of seawater together with the sushi.
Gulper Eels inhabit the tropical waters at depths between 150 and 1,800 meters. They go to the surface only when they are determined to get you!
Check out the last weird deep sea creature and its painful mating ritual.
15. Angler Fish
If you think Mother Nature is strange, you haven’t seen half of it.
The Angler Fish might be one of the ugliest and scariest creatures lurking miles beneath the water’s surface, but the species is famous for a different reason.
There are so little good things to eat down in the darkness of the abyss that every hunter strives to perfect its skills. The Angler Fish is similar to us because it uses a fishing pole for attracting game. The weird appendix hangs just centimeters in front of the razor-sharp teeth and emits light to lure smaller creatures to their deaths.
There is no such thing as gender equality in the animal kingdom. Only females get to have the irresistible bait.
Their mating habits are also disgusting. Smaller males attach to the body of one female Angler Fish and eventually fuse to become part of it. That is how sexy time goes on when you have no sunlight. Shame on you for switching the lights off!