These creatures will make you say “go home Nature, you’re drunk”
by Gabrielle Lisa Collard
Our planet’s beautiful oceans are home to many strange creatures, from the most magnificent to the most terrifying. Here are some of the scariest fish hiding in the depths of the sea. Nightmares guaranteed!
Easy to recognize because it looks a bit like Satan’s vacuum cleaner, the sea lamprey lives in the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of North America, as well as in the Canadian Great Lakes. It attaches to its prey using a sucker mouth lined with teeth. Yikes!
This poor, sad-looking fish, which looks like a cross between a cartoon character and an ice cream cone melting in the sun, lives in the depths of the Pacific Ocean around southeastern Australia. It may be a bit sticky, but the blobfish (Psychrolutes marcidus) is still kind of cute, in its own way.
The terrifying red lionfish is covered with venomous needle-like fins. It lives in the sandy bottoms of the Eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea. It also makes great bouillabaisse — eat as much of this invasive species as you like and help save the ocean’s reefs!
Measuring up to 2 metres (6.5 feet) in length, the frilled shark captures its prey by lunging on it like a snake. But it is its teeth that earn this fish a place on this list.
The goliath grouper can measure up to 2.5 metres (8 feet) and weigh up to 320 kg (700 pounds). It eats turtles, sharks, and barracudas — so don’t get on its bad side. Sadly, the goliath grouper is at risk of extinction.
The box jellyfish is one of the most impressive marine species on the planet. Its venom is so toxic that a sting can cause death in minutes. It lives in the Pacific Ocean and in the coastal waters off Australia, perpetuating the belief that everything found in nature in Australia is trying to kill us.
The stargazer, an ingenious poisonous fish, camouflages itself in the seabed of the Mediterranean. When a prey has the misfortune to pass nearby, the stargazer immobilizes it with an electric shock and then eats it.
Famous for its massive size and 32 razor-like teeth, the goliath tigerfish lives in Africa and is considered a predator to humans. It lives in fresh water, feeds on crocodiles, and can measure up to 1.70 metres (5.5 feet) in length.
The pelican eel, which looks like an eel that has been subjected to strange scientific experiments, is compared to a pelican because of its gigantic jaw which allows it to swallow large prey. It lives in the deep waters of the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans.
The candiru, or vampire fish, is a small catfish that lives in the Amazon, and is either of the parasitic or necrophagous variety. The candiru made this list because legend has it that it will swim up a stream of urine into a man’s organ and eat it from the inside. Fortunately, it seems that this legend may not be completely accurate.
The barreleye swims off the coast of California in the blue waters of the Pacific. Although admittedly its “design” is rather ingenious — its head is built like a fully transparent airplane cockpit, with eyes inside it — it’s still rather creepy-looking.
Anglerfish specimens frequently appear on lists of the ugliest fish in the world. Their tiny eyes and massive mouths make them look like zombies of the sea, where they live on the rarely explored bottom, attracting prey with their worm-like bioluminescent piece of dorsal spine that resembles an antenna.
Able to travel overland from one body of water to another, the snakehead is considered to be one of the most aggressive and invasive species in the United States. It can do such great damage that U.S. authorities encourage citizens to catch and eat as many of them as possible to reduce their population.
Female giant squids can measure up to 13 metres (43 feet) long and weigh up to 225 kg (500 pounds), making the species one of the biggest marine specimens out there. Since it lives in the deepest, darkest corners of the sea, it’s extremely rare to see one.
Also known as Mitsukurina owstoni, the goblin shark has an unusual, goblin-like appearance. The stuff of nightmares, this strange deep-sea shark can be found almost anywhere in the world.
This master of camouflage, which can blend perfectly with surrounding rocks and coral, is the world’s most venomous fish. And because humans are the strangest animal of all, the stonefish — or Synanceia verrucosa — is considered to be a succulent dish in many Asian countries.
Contrary to what its dramatic name suggests, the vampire squid isn’t a particularly aggressive sea creature nor does it drink or suck blood. It simply got its name from its dark skin that looks like a vampire’s cape. Fun fact: it existed before there were dinosaurs, some 300 million years ago.
As its name suggests, the black swallower, which measures on average 10 cm (4 in.) in length and lives in the depths of the sea, has an unusually gigantic mouth that allows it to swallow prey much larger than it. Sometimes it swallows fish so big that they start to decompose before they can be digested, producing gas that floats the swallower up to the surface of the ocean, where it normally doesn’t venture. Bon appétit!
This bioluminescent fish lives in very deep waters. It earned its cool nickname of black dragonfish thanks to its long, fang-like teeth, barbel, and resemblance to the mythical creature that spits fire.
Found off the California coast, from San Francisco to Baja, in the waters of the Pacific, the sarcastic fringehead is famous for its gigantic mouth and aggressive behaviour. Very territorial, the males of the species fight by pressing their huge mouths against each other in a merciless French kiss.
It’s hard not to get spooked by a name like that! The megamouth shark, a species so rare that a mere 115 individuals have been reported, can measure up to 5 metres (16 feet) in length. Slow and passive, it swims with its mouth open, waiting for food to drift inside it.
Who would have thought that so many fish were called vampires? This one, also called payara, lives in South America and got its name from its two long lower teeth that can reach up to 15 cm (6 in.) in length.
Also called the monkfish, the angler is a freshwater fish found in Europe, particularly in Provence, France. Its appearance is a little off-putting, to say the least, but it allows the angler to camouflage itself on the seabed.
The Atolla jellyfish, or Atolla wyvillei, is a deep-sea jellyfish found in every ocean on Earth. Its red colour, bioluminescence — it emits a series of flashes to defend itself against predators — and unusual shape make it, like most jellyfish, a fascinating yet terrifying sea creature.
Also known as the stareater, the snaggletooth is a small, deep-sea fish. Like most species that live far from the light and oxygen found at the surface, it looks like something straight out of a nightmare. In addition to its creepy teeth, this small fish emits its own light.