In the sea, sans a boat, forget about it. We’re too slow, too encumbered with gear, and often too stupid to be much more than prey. What’s to worry about down there? In this article you will found out that there are many terrifying sea creatures under the seabed.
1. Carpet Shark
That is the carpet shark, which also goes by the ridiculous name of tasseled wobbegong. It obviously gets its name from the fact that it looks like a throw rug, except that it’s a throw rug full of jagged teeth that will eat the rest of you. It’s like a welcome mat for the ocean that also hates you.
2. Vampire Squid
With the largest eyes of any animal in the world, this deep sea creature is born to live in the depths. And no, it doesn’t suck blood, in fact its tentacles barely have suckers at all. The name actually comes from its intensely red eyes and cloak like webbing.
Although they are found at depths of nearly 2km, the Dragonfish actually starts its life at the surface of the ocean as a result of its egg being buoyant. Like many other deep sea creatures, it eventually becomes capable of producing its own light using a method known as bioluminescence after which it descends to the depths. One of its many light producing photophores can be found on a barbel attached to its lower jaw, which it most likely uses for hunting.
4. The Gulper Eel
The gulper eel, known scientifically as Eurypharynx pelecanoides, is perhaps one of the most bizarre looking creatures in the deep ocean. Its most notable attribute is the large mouth. The eel’s mouth is loosely hinged, and can be opened wide enough to swallow an animal much larger than itself. The hapless fish is then deposited into a pouch-like lower jaw, which resembles that of a pelican. In fact, it is sometimes referred to as the pelican eel. The gulper’s stomach can also stretch to accommodate its large meals. This giant mouth gives the eel its other common name of umbrellamouth gulper. The eel also has a very long, whip-like tail. Specimens that have been brought to the surface in fishing nets have been known to have their long tails tied into several knots. The gulper eel grows to a length of about two to six feet and is found in all of the world’s oceans at depths ranging from 3000 to 6000 feet.
5. Long-nosed Chimera
Biologists have gone to great lengths to describe the long-nosed chimaera, Harriotta raleighana, whose kind can reach five feet in length. Its stiletto-like nose reminded one of “the nose contour of a supersonic jet aircraft.” Others have dubbed it “rattail,” for obvious reasons. In South Africa, it is known as the “ghost shark,” though it is only distantly related to sharks. A touch of the venomous spine on the first dorsal fin can kill a person, though such a fate is unlikely given the 8,000-foot depths at which this creature lives.
6. Goblin Shark
Not much is known about this deep sea dweller as only a few specimens have ever been caught by fishing boats, but those rare catches have been enough to earn it a fearsome reputation. With a prominent snout and retractable jaws its physical characteristics are worthy of its name.
7. The Black Swallower
Also known as the great swallower, the capacity of this little monster to engulf and digest things significantly larger than itself should not be underestimated. In fact, it can consume prey over 10 times its own mass.
There aren’t many ways to describe this deep sea critter that don’t include the words “very ugly”. Like several other species on this list, due to the fact that it lives at such depths, it’s capable of producing its own light and uses this ability to hunt its prey.
One of the more abundant bottom dwellers, grenadiers have been estimated to make up about 15% of the deep sea population and found at depths of up 6km there are few other creatures that can survive in such hostile environments.
Not to be confused with the freshwater hatchetfish found in many home aquariums this species was named after the distinctive hatchet shape of its body. Living at extreme depths it has two tubular eyes that point upward enabling it to catch food falling from above.
The coffinfish (B.melanostomus) has a flabby body and long tail that are both covered with small spines. It has a black mouth lining and an illicium on the snout that can be lowered into a groove. This species grows to at least 10cm in length. B.melanostomus has been trawled in the Central to Eastern Indian Ocean at depths ranging from 1320m to 1760m. The name melanostomus comes from the Greek melanos meaning black and stoma meaning mouth. There are two genera in the family Chaunacidae; Bathychaunax and Chaunax. Bathychaunax differs from Chaunax by having a lower lateral line count, longer ilicium, a wider head, more widely spaced body spines and several skeletal characters.
With both their eyes and mouth located on top of their head, these fish bury themselves in the sand and leap upwards to attack their prey as it swims by. Moreover many species are electric and capable of delivering lethal shocks. They can reach lengths of 22in (56 cm) and are located on the eastern shores between the states of North Carolina and New York in the United States. The Northern stargazer can be found up to depths of 120 ft (36 m). Stargazers have a flat forehead with a lot of body mass up front near the mouth.