Do we really know what’s beneath the surface of the deep blue sea? It’s not all cute, forgetful Dorys and funny clownfish like Marlin – further under the waves live some of the creepiest creatures in the world. Let’s meet them, shall we?
Usually found in waters around the east coast of America, these fish are known as ambush predators. They bury themselves in the sand and spring out when unsuspecting prey ventures near.
It’s called the stargazer fish because its eyes are located on the top of its head, which means the fish is constantly looking upwards. If constantly having a view of what’s above isn’t creepy enough, then the stargazer’s nasty poison will certainly give you the creeps. This creepy creature has two large spines located on its pectoral fin. These spines are able to produce electricity and stun prey (including humans!) with an estimated 50 volts of electrical charge.
Also known by its scientific name of Chiasmodon niger, the black swallower can live at depths of 10,000 feet – that’s eight times the height of the Empire State Building. This deep-sea creature is a well-known predator, and thanks to its elasticated stomach, it’s able to eat prey much bigger than itself. Its elasticated stomach holds prey below its body, and the stretching of its skin causes the stomach to become transparent. That’s right, you can see exactly what this fish had for dinner.
However, the most horrifying, creepy fact is that because food is scarce at the deepest depths of the ocean, the black swallower often attempts to eat prey that is too big. This results in its stomach inflating and eventually bursting, sending this fish to its unsavoury death.
Known as a “living fossil”, the frilled shark is named after its first pair of gills, which connect all the way around its throat, lined with a red “fringe”. It is known to have a more fearsome jaw than a great white, with 25 rows of backward-facing teeth, which amounts to a total of 300 razor-sharp teeth! Because its teeth are backward-facing, it’s virtually impossible for prey to escape the clutches of its jaw.
The frilled shark’s body cavity is elongated. This shark also has a liver full of low-density oils and hydrocarbons, which allows the it to hover through the water. So, that’s 300 teeth just hovering beneath the waves – creepy, right?
Japanese Spider Crab
Now, we’re not just talking about any regular crab here, the Japanese spider crab – also known as the giant spider crab – has the greatest leg span of any invertebrate animal. It can weigh up to 19 kg, which is 14 times heavier than the human brain.
Not only is it much heavier than the human brain, it’s also smarter! These creepy creatures can survive missing up to three of its legs. Oh, and if it gets tired of being short a limb or two, then it’s able to grow back the missing limbs.
The spider crab isn’t known for its predatory skills and is more of a scavenger, feeding on anything it can get its claws on. To make this creature extra creepy, myths tell of them feeding on dead sailors on the seabed floor.
Remember the creepy looking fish from Finding Nemo that attracted Dory and Marlin with its handy headlight? Well, that’s an anglerfish. Its famous glowing light is known as a lure, which it uses as bait on a fishing line to attract prey.
Its body closely resembles a basketball – and with an expandable jaw, it would even be able to swallow a basketball. Its jaw is so flexible that it can eat creatures twice the size of itself. The anglerfish’s aesthetics aren’t exactly the best – its appearance is so grotesque that it’s been nicknamed “common black devil”.
Our oceans are full of weird and wonderfully creepy creatures, and each and every one of them is fascinating. Come and get a look at the amazing creatures here at Bristol Aquarium and let us know on Facebook or Twitter what you find creepy about them!