Top 10 Most Terrifying Deep Sea Animals
Deep Sea Animals refers to organisms that live below the photic zone of the ocean. These Deep Sea Animals must survive in extremely harsh conditions, such as hundreds of bars of pressure, small amounts of oxygen, very little food, no sunlight, and constant, extreme cold. Most creatures have to depend on food floating down from above.
These Deep Sea Animals live in very demanding environments, such as the abyssal or hadal zones, which, being thousands of meters below the surface, are almost completely devoid of light. The water is between 3 and 10 degrees Celsius and has low oxygen levels. Due to the depth, the pressure is between 20 and 1,000 bars. Creatures that live hundreds or even thousands of meters deep in the ocean have adapted to the high pressure, lack of light, and other factors.
10. Dragon fish
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 Animals , 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.
An orthodontist’s dream, an Atlantic wolffish displays the hardware it uses to crush mollusks, shellfish, and sea urchins. These tough-looking predators swim as deep as 2,000 feet (600 meters) and range from the Scandinavian coast to Cape Cod to the Mediterranean.
8. Pacific Viperfish
The Pacific viperfish has jagged, needlelike teeth so outsized it can’t close its mouth. These Deep Sea Animals reach only about 8 inches (25 centimeters) long. They troll the depths up to 13,000 feet (4,400 meters) below, luring prey with bioluminescent photophores on their bellies.
7. Vampire Squid
Vampire squid is an apt name for a creature that lurks in the lightless depths of the ocean. Comfortable at 10,000 feet (3,000 meters) below the surface, these diminutive cephalopods navigate the blackness with eyes that are proportionately the largest of any animal on Earth. The species gets its name from its dark, webbed arms, which it can draw over itself like a cloak. It occupies the mesopelagic and bathypelagic regions of temperate and tropical world oceans. The animal’s physiology has adapted to enable it to live at the very low oxygen levels found within the oxygen minimum layers of these regions.
6. Giant Tube Worms
Crushing pressure, freezing temperatures, and zero sunlight isn’t enough of a challenge for giant tube worms. They’ve adapted to thrive at the edge of hydrothermal vents, which spew superheated water saturated with toxic chemicals. This colony was photographed 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers) below the ocean’s surface on the East Pacific Rise near the Galápagos Islands.
5. Six-Gill Shark
Six-gill sharks, like this one off the coast of Vancouver, cruise the ocean floor during the day, sometimes as deep as 8,200 feet (2,500 meters), then move toward the surface at night to feed. They can reach impressive lengths of 16 feet (4.8 meters) on a diet of other sharks, rays, squids, crabs, and occasionally seals.
4. Fangtooth Fish
The nightmarish fangtooth is among the deepest-living fish ever discovered. The fish’s normal habitat ranges as high as about 6,500 feet (2,000 meters), but it has been found swimming at icy, crushing depths near 16,500 feet (5,000 meters). Fangtooth fish reach only about six inches (16 centimeters) long, but their namesake teeth are the largest, proportionate to body size, of any fish.
3. Atlantic Wolffish Pair
The sinister-looking Atlantic wolffish makes its home in the rocky coastal depths up to 1,600 feet (500 meters) below. Reaching 5 feet (1.5 meters) long, wolffish have conspicuous dentition suited to a diet of hard-shelled mollusks, crabs, and sea urchins. This mated pair was found in a deep-sea den off the coast of Maine.
2. Giant Spider Crab
Thought to be the largest arthropods on Earth, giant spider crabs spend their time foraging on the ocean floor up to a thousand feet (300 meters) deep. These rare, leggy behemoths, native to the waters off Japan, can measure up to 12 feet (3.7 meters) from claw tip to claw tip. This five-foot (1.5-meter) specimen was photographed in Japan’s Sagami Bay.
1. Frilled Shark
Humans rarely encounter frilled sharks, which prefer to remain in the oceans’ depths, up to 5,000 feet (1,500 meters) below the surface. Considered living fossils, frilled sharks bear many physical characteristics of ancestors who swam the seas in the time of the dinosaurs. This 5.3-foot (1.6-meter) specimen was found in shallow water in Japan in 2007 and transferred to a marine park. It died hours after being caught.