Many of you out there are hardcore beachgoers. You’ve seen fish, know to watch out for sharks, witnessed jellyfish wash ashore, etc. But the ocean is a crazy ass place with many hidden denizens, and when we mention “Creatures Under the Sea,” nah, we ain’t talkin 'bout Sebastian the Crab.
There’s some freaky stuff in the depths—and the wildest thing is, humans don’t even know that much about it all. But what we do know sorta paints the deep sea as a nightmarish dreamscape of oddities. So, we figured… what could be more fun than cataloging some of those for you?
From Goblin Sharks to Long-nosed Chimaeras, we’re proud to say this list may keep you up tonight.
1. Goblin Shark
We weren’t kidding when we talked about nightmares. Discovered in 1985 off eastern Australia’s waters, the Goblin Shark prowls the deep sea, is relatively slow-moving, and can grow to be at least 3.8 meters in length. It can also locate animals with its electro-sensitive organs, a la other sharks. But that’s about all that’s known about them—aside from the fact they’ve got some seriously busted teeth. Seek an orthodontist stat, sea bro.
2. Polychaete Worm
Discovered recently as it was trawled off northern New Zealand’s sea floor, this pink, reflective little worm may only be around 10cm in size, but it’s a predatory monster. Chilling near hydrothermal vents (well, guess that’s literally the opposite of “chilling”), these creatures use sensory organs on their heads to detect prey. Once in range, it grabs and kills the prey by turning its pharynx inside-out in a move reminiscent of Alien’s xenomorphs.
Because this one’s so crazy, we’re giving you a photo and a video. Skip to about the 27 second mark to watch the Alien madness.
3. Deep Sea Angler Fish
This ugly son-of-a-gun has a bloated body, big ‘ol fangs, and a modified dorsal spine with a photophore. The photophore is a light-creating organ on the tip of the spine which hangs like bait on the end of a fishing pole, designed to draw in prey with its flashiness. Kinda a dick move, Angler Fish.
Oh, and speaking of dick moves, while you may have been familiar with this creature, you’re likely not aware of how it procreates. It’s terrible. Watch the video above to learn of the carnage, because we really don’t wanna type it out. It’s that gruesome.
4. Long-nosed Chimaera
While it’s known as the “Ghost Shark” in South Africa, it’s not a close relation to sharks. Instead, the Long-nosed Chimaera is a cartilaginous fish with a huge honkin’ nose. Its first dorsal fin is mildly venomous, although don’t sweat it—this chimaera prefers 8,000-foot depths.
The blobfish is what you feel you look like when you first check the mirror the morning following a weekend-long bender that was complemented by multiple late-night “4th meal” Taco Bell runs. Or maybe it’s actually what you look like after all that. Don’t let us sell you short. (Or would it be “sell you long,” in this case?)
Anyway, hailing from the Australian mainland, the Blobfish uses its low-density flesh to effortlessly float right on the ocean floor. Of course, this means it has little muscle, and when taken out of the water it looks like… well, let’s just say that if that thing has any self-esteem, it’s wildly delusional. It’s a foot-long freak. Just don’t tell that to its face—it already looks morose enough. Plus, you may not be able to tell its face from its butt, anyway.
Wow. On that fantastically judgmental note on our part, we’ll go ahead and end it there. Expect to see another edition of crazy ass sea creatures in the near future!