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Creatures That Live So Far Underwater They Never See Light, Ranked By Creepiness

Updated December 16, 2019 2k votes 268 voters 29.3k views14 items

List RulesVote up the scariest-looking deep sea critters.

The oceans are home to several species of aquatic animals who have adapted to life deep underwater, compensating for the pressure of great depths and finding prey in the darkness. These are easily the creepiest sea creatures known to man, embodying our idea of monsters with their huge teeth or unusual anatomy.

The weirdest animals found underwater often live close to the ocean floor or in the creepiest unexplored places of the ocean. In some cases, snorkelers or fishermen have encountered these animals unexpectedly. Due to their habitats, these strange species have evolved to their circumstances, living in dark, deep, and dangerous waters. Their odd features provide endless nightmare fuel for people used to cute, tiny clownfish or bat rays living in touch pools.

Some of the most terrifying fish in the ocean compensate for a lack of visual acumen by having huge teeth, whether hooked or nearly invisible, to snag anything that swims too close. Others have bodies that look as though horror author Stephen King imagined them himself. 

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  • 1. Fanfin Anglerfish Look Like Demons

    The fanfin anglerfish may be the most well-known of the creepy sea creatures, with its glowing lure jutting out of its head to attract prey in the dark depths of the oceans, spindly teeth haphazardly sitting in its mouth, and a general expression of fury. This fish takes the shudder factor up a notch by adding long, bioluminescent filaments to its hunting toolkit. These filaments are able to move independently instead of floating along with the currents of the water. If a web of bioluminescent filaments floating around the fish isn't enough, however, the mating ritual of this creature is also truly terrifying. 

    The male attaches himself to the female via biting and the two morph into one creature, sharing a circulatory system forever. The male gains sustenance from the female while periodically fertilizing her eggs for the rest of their lives. 

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  • 2. The Sarcastic Fringehead Has A Mouth Like A Predator Alien, Which It Uses To Chase Off Interlopers 

    Photo: Wikistudent348 / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

    The mouth of the sarcastic fringehead appears as normal as any other fish mouth when closed, but if a predator or rival attempts to confront them, that mouth opens up to nearly four times its normal size, exposing a rainbow-colored interior ringed with dozens of sharp, curved, and overlapping teeth ready to rip something to shreds.

    The fringehead's monstrous mouth evokes memories of the titular movie alien in The Predator. The less aggressive state of the small fish, however, appears more akin to a harmless aquatic pal of the Little Mermaid. 

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  • 3. The Goblin Shark Can Elongate Its Jaws To Capture Its Prey

    Photo: L Hussakof / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    The goblin shark lives up to its name, looking like a creature from movies like Legend or an orc from The Lord of the Rings. The protruding snout of the goblin shark senses electric fields in the water, allowing it to "see" in the deepest, darkest circumstances. 

    Its jaw, fixed below the snout, can be extended all the way out to the end of its snout, allowing it to ambush its prey. Some of these sharks have even been mistaken for other creatures because of their protruding jaws. The goblin shark feeds on fish, squids, and crustaceans, and can range in color from pink to purple to grey.

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  • 4. The Frilled Shark Has Three Long Points On Each Of Its Teeth, Making It Proficient At Ripping Flesh 

    The frilled shark lives in the dark depths of the ocean and is often referred to as a relic of the days when dinosaurs roamed the Earth and seas. It can reach a length of 7 feet and swims in an undulating, eel-like fashion. Not only does it have over 200 long teeth with three points of barbs, but those teeth are also arranged in long rows all over its mouth.

    The frilled shark can rip into a soft body with no problem, but prefers to swallow its prey whole - even prey up to half its own body size.

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