The ocean, a vast world full of mystery and wonder. Home to countless creatures you can only imagine in your worst nightmare.
And we are not exaggerating. The creatures that live in and around the ocean are most of the time unknown, yet they live on the same planet as we do.
Most of the animals in this list are things you rather won’t come across, so don’t worry, reading this post won’t do you any harm. 🙂
Below is a list of the top 25 creepy animals in the ocean.
Please note, these are not in a particular order as there isn’t a scale to determine creepiness and every one of these animals has unique features that make them just as undesirable to come across as the other.
1. Japanese spider crab
While they taste yummy (who can resist crab salad on a sandwich?), they obviously look a bit creepy. If you haven’t heard of the Japanese Spider Crab Yet, You’ll surely freak out if an army of the monster crabs came walking towards you when chilling on a Japanese beach.
As you might have guessed, these animals live in the seas around Japan and are hunted down because they are considered a delicacy.
What makes this type of crab pretty terrifying is the fact that the Japanese Spider crab is also the biggest type of crab in the world and has a leg span of up to 5.5 meters (18ft)!
2. Vampire squid
While vampire squids only live in deep tropical seas, making it unlikely you will encounter them one day, they do instill fear when you look at them.
They also aren’t particularly big with a maximum length of just 30 centimeters (1ft) and a body of just 15 centimeters (6in).
While the origin of their name is obvious after seeing this creature, the most important characteristics are that they have 8 arms with suckers on them, and the largest eyes in the animal kingdom compared to body size.
3. Goblin shark
The movie “Jaws” portrayed sharks as blood-thirsty killers, sweeping around the coastline to kill human beings having a good time. While attacks do happen and sharks do look scary, they usually mistake people for their daily meals.
Talking about scary, the Goblin shark is one of the most terrifying creatures on the planet and would instill even more fear if a movie was made about them.
The reason this will never happen is that they are deep-sea creatures that will never be in contact with humans.
Better yet, apart from their creepy looks, Goblin sharks are bad swimmers and have bad eyesight as well. Lucky for us they remain at safe distance at all times.
4. Atlantic Wolffish
The wolffish is also known as the Seawolf or the Wolf Eel. They have a very unique and scary appearance characterized by very large and firm teeth.
The largest Atlantic Wolffish ever captured measured 1.5 meters (5ft) and weighed 18 kilos (40lb), making it a pretty big scary fish.
We don’t have to fear their scary teeth though as they mostly use them to eat crabs, Starfish, and Sea Clams.
Nonetheless, I bet you would be pretty scared if one of these was popping out its head during a nice relaxing snorkeling adventure with your family (which they won’t as they prefer cold oceans, something you most probably don’t).
5. Pacific Viperfish
The ocean produces quite a few monsters we don’t want to have a nice meeting with. We believe the Pacific Viperfish qualifies to be called one of the most creepy animals in the ocean.
This predatory fish lives in deep waters (200-5000 meters below ocean surface) and only comes out into more shallow waters to hunt for food.
We can only imagine what it must be like to be the bait of this particular fish. Luckily for us humans, we don’t have to experience a bunch of hungry Atlantic Viperfish chasing us around until it has been properly fed.
Have you ever seen a documentary about creatures lying on the ocean floor in the sand, completely camouflaged and suddenly jumping up to attack their prey?
Then you probably already know the next creature that comes straight out of a horror movie, namely the stargazer.
Why they lay motionless, there’s only one thing on their mind: Find a victim to surprise and devour completely.
Their big eyes are located on top of their head and this makes it easy for them to spot the poor prey that is passing by, yikes!
7. King Crab
Crabs are usually caught because they taste so yummy. This is contrary to their appearance which is at closer observation a bit scary.
The Spiny King Crab is no different. They look a bit like the big scary spiders you find in the rainforests as they have 8 legs and pins sticking out of them.
Unlike their scary counterparts living in humid conditions, these creatures live in the cold waters of the ocean, so you don’t have to worry about any of them sneaking into your bedroom at night.
Another dangerous and feared predator of the ocean is the Anglerfish. It doesn’t just look scary, it’s also feared because of the way it’s hunting its prey.
It appears this fish has some sort of antenna on its head, which he uses to lure in other fish and devour them.
At the tip of the antenna, there is some sort of light that attracts other fish’s curiosity. Before they understand what’s going on it’s too late.
The moment they swim in front of this monster’s big mouth because of their attraction to the light, he takes one bite and the little victim is history.
Chimaera fish’s closest relatives are sharks, and even though they have few things in common, they are feared equally in the ocean.
Perhaps the biggest difference with sharks is that they don’t appear to have the sharp teeth sharks possess to devour their prey.
Chimaera fish are also called ratfish or ghost sharks, and the reason they are called ghost sharks is that they are not that easy to spot.
Perhaps that’s a benefit, as nobody would want to encounter these creepy animals found in the ocean.
An amazing creature found in the deep seas of the ocean is called the Barreleye fish. What’s so amazing about it is that they have a transparent head.
This along with the ability to rotate their eyes makes it possible for them to avoid capture by larger predators.
Only in the ocean will you find animals that actually have a transparent head, and while it doesn’t look too scary as opposed to some of the other monsters we discuss in this list, we must admit that it’s still a weird sight.
Monkfish live in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans and consist out of many species. They have a big mouth and sharp teeth to eat their prey.
There are small types of monkfish but also giants as the one you see here:
Another interesting quality of this type of fish is that they have an extendable stomach, meaning they can devour prey as big as themselves.
If you see one of these creepy animals in the ocean swimming by, I think it’s a good idea not to try your luck swimming yourself.
12. The Black Swallower
With a name like that, you are bound to have something to do with swallowing your prey. Meet the black swallower fish, a deepsea fish with a curious ability.
What this fish can do is swallow prey that is actually bigger than itself. For this, they have a super extendable stomach that looks like it’s carrying a bag.
The black swallower is a deepsea fish that lives in tropical and subtropical waters at a depth of over 700 meters.
This simply means that we don’t have to worry about encountering this sea monster, and we should be happy about that.
13. Gulper Eel
The gulper eel is another deepsea fish that human beings will rarely encounter. Eels are snake-type fish, and the gulper eel is no different.
It has many sharp teeth allowing it to attack, kill and eat its prey, and a tail that provides some light to attract the unsuspecting future meal of the gulper eel.
The tiny light-producing organ the gulper eel uses to attracts its prey is called the photophore and is located right at the tip of its tail.
Because of the dark environment of the deep sea, that in combination with a good hunting instinct is all it needs to be eat well day in and day out.
The stareater fish, also referred to as snaggletooths is another one of those creepy animals in the ocean that lures in prey with light.
As opposed to other fish which either have the light-giving element on their head or tail, the starfish actually has it right below its mouth.
This allows the stareater to easily attract small fish which he devours with a single bite.
Obviously, the sharp needle-like teeth will cause enough damage to make it a quick event for whoever gets attracted to the light below its scary mouth.
15. Giant Isopod
Isopods aren’t just sea animals but are actually also found on land such as the woodlouse you might sometimes encounter.
Because giant isopods live in the deepsea, they have developed some sort of gigantism, creating a very scary monster in the process.
While their counterparts on land don’t grow much bigger than a centimeter, the giant isopod can grow up to half a meter long.
Let’s just hope they stay in the deep sea so we don’t have to encounter them in our lives as they look extremely creepy.
16. Fangtooth Fish
Another feared predator of the deep sea is called the Fangtooth fish. It has extremely sharp teeth and has perfect hunting ability making it a prime example of creepy animals in the ocean.
It mostly eats other fish, crabs, and squid, and from the look of it, once you enter in the mouth of the fangtooth, your final moments on the planet aren’t too far away.
While they aren’t necessarily always in extremely deep water at around 6,000 feet, they can go as deep as 16,000 feet.
For that reason, human beings don’t necessarily need to fear fangtooth fish, and we can praise ourselves lucky for that.
17. Deep-Sea Dragonfish
The Deep Sea Dragonfish is one of the most ferocious predators in the ocean, even though they only become about 15 centimeters in length.
They have extremely sharp teeth, and their appearance seems to come straight out of your worst nightmare.
Since they live in the deep sea, they have the ability to create their own light, which helps them hunt for prey.
18. Frilled Sharks
What if we were about to tell you that there are still pre-historical sharks swimming around in the ocean, would you believe?
You better believe it now because frilled sharks are one of the just 7 still existing primitive sharks.
As you can see these types of sharks come straight from Jurassic park and look exactly like the dinosaur-type species that you expect when we talk about primitive sharks.
Luckily for human beings, they are encountered very rarely so we don’t’ have to fear these pre-historic monsters of the sea.
19. Big Red Jellyfish
It still happens today, and for this species, it happened in 2003 as that’s the first time the big red jellyfish was encountered in the deep sea.
They live at a depth of 600-1500 meters and it appears that they are showing signs of gigantism as they can grow up to over 70 centimeters in diameter.
What makes it even stranger is that up until today, only 23 have been spotted and only 1 has been able to be retrieved for examination.
In that sense, it’s fair to say that very little is known about the behavior of these creatures. What is clear is that they are completely red, hence their name.
The blobfish, short for smooth-head blobfish, live along the deep seas of Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand.
Looking at this creature, it’s very easy to understand how they came up with its name as it has a very unusual head.
Apart from their blubbery appearance, they are rather short in size and live at depths of 600 to 1200 meters (2000 to 3900 ft).
The reason why they look like this is that the density of their flesh is slightly more dense than water, giving them barely any muscle power.
Another sea creature that lives off the east coast of Australia is the coffinfish and is actually a type of sea toad.
These creepy ocean animals are using ambush tactics to hunt for food such as crabs and can move their snout into small holes as well.
They are not particularly large, as they only grow up to about 20 centimeters in length, so they are not particularly dangerous.
That being said, the pins on their body and angry look make you want not to ever encounter them in their habitat.
Most of the 9900 amphipod-type species are extremely small and measure only 10 millimeters (0.4in). Some species are bigger though and have been spotted at over 30 centimeters (13in).
As you can see, their appearance is anything but friendly.
While these are mostly sea creatures, over 1900 species also live in freshwater. We simply call these freshwater shrimp in general.
23. Dumbo Octopus
Who can be scared of Dumbo, the friendly Disney elephant?
Well, in the sea there lives a type of octopus that derived its name from the Disney character but it is anything but friendly-looking.
We can however see the resemblance with the cute little elephant if we look at the head of the dumbo octopus.
Luckily, this deep-sea creature lives at depths of at least 300 meters, so it’s not possible that you will ever come face to face with the dumbo of the ocean.
The Stonefish is considered to be the most venomous creature in the ocean. It has several needle-like spines that contain neurotoxins at the base, and these fish use this as a defense mechanism.
To make things even worse, they have an extremely sharp switchblade-like needle on top of their heads as well and aren’t afraid to use it when they feel in danger.
These fish can be found all across the Indo-Pacific, from the Red Sea to the northern shores of Australia. They tend to perfectly blend into their surroundings making it particularly dangerous to step on them as they look like any other rock or coral.
The reason for this is that they are ambush predators and lay still until a small unsuspecting fish or crustacean swims by, and attack it in about 0.015 seconds. The poor creature never knew what happened to it!
25. Megamouth Shark
Last but not least, we have one of the rarest creatures on the planet called the Megamouth Shark. An explanation as to why they are called this way is not needed.
Since their discovery back in 1976, only about 100 Megamouth Sharks have been spotted making it one of the rarest creepy animals in the ocean.
I’m pretty sure that this creature would be the fear of anybody encountering it and the perfect way to finalize the list of the creepy animals in the ocean today.