Creepy Creatures of the Deep

You thought ghosts, vampires, and masked villains were scary? They’ve got nothing on the strange creatures lurking in the depths of the ocean. Check out some of the spookiest sea creatures below.

Sea Spider

Sea spiders belong to a group of arthropods called the pycnogonids, so they are technically not true spiders, although they are just as creepy-looking. These bizarre animals have organs in their legs, since they don’t have much of a body. Deepwater species can grow to nearly three feet.

sea spider

Sea Spider” is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. Courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research.

Ghost Shark (Chimera)

These ghostly cartilaginous fishes, also known as chimeras, roam the ocean floors down to 8,500 feet. Their bodies are soft to withstand the extreme pressure at these depths.

NOAA Ocean Explorer: NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer: INDEX 2010 ÒInd

Chimaera” is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. Courtesy of NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program.

Deep-Sea Dragonfish

Deep-sea dragonfishes live between 1,600 and 15,000 feet deep, far below where any light reaches. They have special light-producing organs called photophores that they use to illuminate and attract their prey. They have huge, fang-like teeth and two sets of jaws to swallow large prey.

dragonfish

Ocean Exploration 2020: Deep-sea Fish” is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. Courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research. Modified from the original version.

Giant Isopod

Unlike pill bugs, their tiny terrestrial relatives, these giant crustaceans can grow to 30 inches long and can weigh nearly four pounds. These animals exhibit deep-sea gigantism, which is the tendency for deep-sea animals to reach a larger size than their shallow-water relatives. The colder temperatures in the deep ocean are associated with increased cell size and life span, which lead to an increase in maximum body size.

giant isopod

Ocean Exploration 2020: Isopod” is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. Courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research. Modified from the original version.

Colossal Squid

The colossal squid is the largest invertebrate on Earth, reaching lengths of up to 46 feet long and weights of up to 1,650 pounds. Its limbs are covered in toothed suckers and sharp hooks for capturing prey and fighting off predators. Its eyes are the largest of all animals, even bigger than those of blue whales.

squid

Squid” is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. Courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research.

I hope you enjoyed learning about these spooky sea creatures. Happy Halloween!

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