6 Most Scary Sea Creatures in the World
The Anglerfish…Dragonfish or the Frilled Shark are the stuff of nighmares. These are the scariest sea creatures out there that will keep you up at night.
Most deep-sea creatures look strange. Some of them might look like vicious predators while others may seem harmless. And then there’s the anglerfish, number 6 on our list.
These creatures have gigantic heads with enormous crescent-shaped mouths that reveal sharp, translucent teeth. Thin and flexible bones enable the anglerfish to stretch its stomach and its jaw to an enormous size and swallow prey almost twice as large as its own body.
There are currently over 200 anglerfish species in the world and most of them live in the depths of the Atlantic and Antarctic oceans. Females have a distinctive piece of dorsal spine that protrudes above their mouths like a fishing pole. At the tip it has a lure of luminous flesh used to bait in prey.
As we approach the final spots on our list we stop to take a look at the monkfish, of the Lophius order, well known off the coasts of Europe. Like with many other fish on this list the head is perhaps the scariest thing about the monkfish.
Its mouth extends around the circumference of the head and both jaws boast rows of long, pointed teeth. Along its body and around the head the monkfish has fringed appendages that look like seaweed and help with its camouflage. It can also change color to match its surroundings.
These monstrous creatures can grow up to be almost 5 feet long. Their ventral and pectoral fins are so articulated that they basically allow them to ‘walk’ on the seabed.
4. Black Swallower
The number 4 spot is taken by the black swallower. This fish lives at an average depth of 9,000 feet below sea-level. At such depths food sources are pretty scarce so inhabitants really need to make it count when they find a potential meal.
That’s not a problem for the black swallower as it can devour a fish almost twice its own length and ten times its body mass. It uses its hooked front teeth to lock onto prey which then makes its way into a specialized gut that can stretch until it hangs under the rest of the body. The stomach tissue is so stretched that it becomes transparent.
As if the long curved teeth weren’t bad enough, here’s a fish that displays its victims as they are about to be digested.
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3. Frilled Shark
At number 3 on our list we have the frilled shark, another fish that has been named a ‘living fossil’ because its primitive features. For a long time this creature has been compared to the mythical sea serpent. This is mainly because of its eel-like body, broad, flattened head and short, rounded snout.
The fringed appearance of its six pairs of gill slits is where the creature’s common name comes from. The frilled shark has rarely been encountered alive. It has long jaws that are extremely flexible and allow it to swallow its prey whole.
It is believed that this alien-looking creature hunts by bending its body and then lunging forward like a snake. The frilled shark has 25 rows of trident-shaped teeth that curve towards its mouth, acting like a trap for its prey.
There have been situations where even scientists examining dead specimens have injured themselves on the frilled shark’s formidable teeth.
2. Cookiecutter Shark
The number 2 spot goes out to the cookiecutter shark, a fish that may be found in all of the world’s oceans in tropical and temperate-warm regions, particularly near islands. Don’t let its name fool you, as the cookiecutter shark has earned it due to one of the most unique attacking techniques on this list.
Using its bandsaw-like set of lower teeth, a specialized pharynx and lips adapted for suction this fish gouges out round plugs of flesh out of larger animals.
The distinctive cookie-cutter marks that it leaves behind have been found on many fishes and marine animals but also on undersea cables, submarines and, creepily enough, even human bodies. Even though it sounds scary, the cookiecutter shark rarely grows larger than 22 inches in length.
It also has a cylindrical body, large eyes, a short, blunt snout and special organs capable of producing light, known as photophores.
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Finally at number 1 we have the stargazers, a family of fish that were named after the placement of their eyes, which are on top of their heads. Stargazers have large heads and large mouths that face upwards.
They are masters of camouflage and will often bury themselves in the sand and leap upwards on unsuspecting prey.
These ambush predators have often been referred to as the ‘meanest thing in creation’. Aside from owning two large venomous spikes above their pectoral fins, they are among the few bony fishes to possess an electric organ. This means that during an attack they can venom as well as electric shocks.