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The Scariest Creatures Currently Lurking In The Deep Sea, Ranked By How Horrifying They Are

Updated July 19, 2019 4.3k votes 736 voters 45.5k views12 items

List RulesVote up the most terrifying deep-sea creatures.

Life is strange in the deep ocean, and the animals that dwell in its pitch blackness are like nothing else on Earth. The only light that illuminates the abyss is the bioluminescence of the organisms that live there. That's a good thing, too, because many of them are absolutely terrifying to behold. 

Some of these monstrosities are gargantuan in size, as life in the deep sea tends to make animals larger. Meters-long tentacles, enormous teeth, and prodigious jaws are all common near the ocean floor. These are the creepiest sea creatures in the deep ocean, and once you realize they're down there, it may be difficult to step into the water again.

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    The Ghost Shark Has Gigantic Rabbit Teeth

    In 2009, scientists discovered a new species off the coast of Southern California. They named it the Eastern Pacific black ghostshark, though in truth it's only distantly related to sharks. Like their predatory cousins, this fish has a cartilaginous skeleton, but the species diverged from sharks about 400 million years ago.

    Also known as chimeras, ratfish, and rabbitfish, male ghostsharks have massive buck teeth that are similar in appearance to rodent incisors. They also sport retractable sex organs on their foreheads.

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  • 6

    Gulper Eels Can Inflate Their Mouths Like Balloons

    The gulper eel, also known as the pelican eel, looks like something out of an Alien movie. This monstrosity can live at depths of 3,000 feet below sea level, where it hunts for its prey. These animals get their name from their bizarre mouths, which can inflate like a balloon to enormous sizes.

    The eel's mouth has evolved in this way due to the intense scarcity of food in the deep sea. If it finds something to eat, it needs to be able to swallow it no matter the size.

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  • Giant Marine Isopods are some of the largest crustaceans in the world. They can grow to 2.5 feet in length and are found at depths as extreme as 8,000 feet below sea level. They bear a striking resemblance to their tiny terrestrial relatives, Armadillidiidae or pillbugs.

    Perhaps the most unsettling features on this arthropod are its eyes, which are quite large and sit under a hard shell. They appear to glow in the dark due to their hyper-reflectivity.

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  • The Megamouth shark is the only member of the genus Megachasma, which was created specifically because this creature is so strange. It has a massive head that is wider than its body, making it a poor swimmer. Like the whale shark, it uses its gigantic mouth to feed on vast numbers of plankton, which it attracts with bioluminescent lights embedded in its lips.

    These creatures spend their days feeding in the depths of the open ocean, and at night return to the surface to rest.

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