Did you know that the world’s oceans cover more than 71% of the earth’s surface, and account for over 97% of all the water in the world? Only 1% of the earth’s water is freshwater from rivers and lakes, and the remaining 2-3% is found in glaciers and ice caps. With all that ocean water, it is estimated that between 700,000 and one million species live in the world’s oceans. Some scientists even believe that between one-third and two-thirds of the ocean’s species have yet to be named and described. Some creatures are beautiful, some are amazing, and some are downright creepy and frightening. Want to take a walk on the dark side? Here are 7 real life marine creatures that have been compared with deep sea monsters.
Hatchetfish live at least 50 meters below the ocean’s surface, so it is quite a challenge for scientists to reach these tiny and frightful little fish. The hatchetfish earned its name due to its thin, razor like form. In fact, the thorax of the hatchetfish is a silver color and even resembles the blade of a hatchet which inspired its name. They measure just a petite one to five inches long, so while they are not imposing, they do inspire terror in those who look at them. In addition, the hatchetfish has bioluminescent properties so it can evade predators that lurk deep below in the ocean’s depths. In order to see one for yourself, you’ll have to put on scuba gear and prepare for deep sea diving in the Pacific, Indian or Atlantic oceans.
The blobfish comes in at number two in our list of 7 real life deep sea creatures that appear monsterlike. The blobfish has jiggly and floppy appearance that can be compared to a bowl of jello. The unattractive and unusual features of the blobfish even earned it the title of the world’s ugliest animal in 2013. Curious why the blobfish has such a flabby and voluminous appearance? This is due to the fact that its skin has become about as dense as water over time as a result of the high water-pressured bottom of the ocean where it makes its home. In addition, some may assume that a lack of muscle tissue would be a disadvantage for the blowfish. However, the blowfish is fantastically equipped to dine with minimal effort. It simply open its mouth and floats about and any sea critters that enter its path quickly become its next meal.
#3 The Angler Fish
Number three on our list of 7 real life deep sea monsters is the angler fish. The angler fish is a fascinating and bizarre sea creature with unusual predatory techniques. For example, it possesses a spine that can actually grows its own glowing fleshy mass that the angler fish flaunts and wiggles around in order to lure in other sea creatures close enough to be devoured. ll anglerfish are carnivorous and are thus adapted for the capture of prey. Angler fish come in a range of colors between dark gray and dark brown, and they have large heads with enormous,, crescent-shaped mouths with long, fang-like teeth perfect for attacking their prey. The angler fish can vary in length from 2cm to 18cm in length, although there are a few species that grow as large as 100cm long. On average, female angler fish are much larger than male angler fish. Lastly, frogfish and other shallow-water anglerfish species are ambush predators and use their ability to camouflage themselves as rocks, sponges or seaweed in order to attack their unsuspecting prey.
#4 The Goblin Shark
The goblin shark is a mysterious deep sea creature that is the only survivor of a 125 million-year old family of sharks. Some scientists refer to the goblin shark as a “living fossil” due to its long, flattened snout, protruding jaws and claw-like teeth. Goblin sharks weren’t discovered until the 19th century and due to the fact that they prefer to remain in the lower depths of the ocean, they are rarely seen. Goblin sharks average between 3m and 4m long when mature, although they can grow much larger. In general, goblin sharks inhabit upper continental slopes, submarine canyons, and seamounts of the ocean and prefer to live in areas around 100m deep. Sadly, one goblin shark was removed from the ocean and taken to a Japanese aquarium a few years ago where it died shortly thereafter.
#5 The Fangtooth
Some scientists have compared the fangtooth fish’s appearance to that of a menacing pitbull with a heart of gold. Although it’s appearance is frightening, the truth is the the fangtooth is quite benign and harmless. The fangtooth has poor eyesight which means that most meals are by chance when it happens to bump into its prey. You wouldn’t know this by looking at the fangtooth’s teeth though! In fact, the fangtooth has the largest teeth of any fish in the ocean comparatively speaking. However, it is almost certain that you will never see a fangtooth for yourself in real life as they live 16,400 feet beneath the sea which is about the length of 55 consecutive American football fields.
#6 The Flamingo Tongue Snail
The Flamingo tongue snail appears to have a vibrantly patterned shell, but it is in fact the mollusk’s living mantle tissue. You can find the flamingo tongue snail in the Atlantic and Caribbean waters where it feeds on toxic sea fans to no avail. Instead of being harmed by the toxic meal it consumes, the cunning snail absorbs their venom and transforms itself into a toxic creature itself. In the past, the flamingo tongue snail used to be a relatively common sight, but unfortunately its unique exterior has attracted attention from scuba divers who have taken the creatures back to dry land with them as a souvenir.
#7 The Sea Cucumber
Last, but not least, the sea cucumber is our number 7 real life deep sea monster. Interestingly enough, the sea cucumber only has the same mental capacity as the cucumbers we eat in our salads. The lack of a true brain or sensory organs make the sea cucumber’s continued existence somewhat of a mystery. However, these echinoderms are vital part of the oceanic ecosystem as they breaks down detritus and recycle any and all nutrients that come its way. In addition, the sea cucumber is incredibly flexible due to its collagen levels. That way, they can quickly wedge themselves into a tiny crevice to escape a predator, and then its collagen will loosen so that it effectively liquefies in order to mold itself into its hiding spot. A vulgar characteristic is that sea cucumbers are capable of contracting their muscles and expelling some of their internal organs out through their anus in order to ward off predators. Not the most pleasant way to get away from your prey, but it does the trick as the sea cucumber can grow back their internal organs as well.
We hope you enjoyed this list of 7 real life deep sea monsters. Which one did you find most terrifying?