Credit: Edith A. Widder |
Operation Deep Scope 2005 Exploration | NOAA-OE | NOAAA deep-sea jellyfish, the blood-red Atolla wyvillei emits a spooky blue light when it is threatened by a predator. Its bioluminescent light flashes in a hypnotic, rotating pinwheel pattern around its body.
Credit: Jared Benney | flickr.com
The terrifyingly toothy anglerfish became a common occurrence in little kids' nightmares ever since it chased Nemo and Dory in Pixar's "Finding Nemo." To attract prey, the scary-looking fish uses a bioluminescent "fishing pole" that hangs just above and in front of its toothy face. The lure is actually a piece of dorsal spine packed with millions of glow-in-the-dark bacteria.
Credit:David Csepp | NMFS/AKFSC/ABL | NOAA
The fittingly named viperfish has long, needle-like teeth and hinged lower jaws. This deepwater monster prefers warm tropical waters, where it sinks its fang-like teeth into prey, immobilizing them.
The megamouth shark, shown here, is an extremely rare species of deepwater shark. The megamouth swims with its mouth wide open, catching and sucking in fish and krill as it glides along. Its massive mouth extends past its eyes and is equipped with about 50 rows of small, sharp teeth on each jaw.
Credit:Nikita Tiunov | shutterstock
Not all species of sea cucumbers (Holothurians) look like, well, cucumbers. Some species, which have swaying branch-like tentacles on one end of their long bodies, more closely resemble a chubby stalk of broccoli. Above is a colorful shot of a purple and orange-colored sea cucumber with its tentacles spread out.
Credit:Dr. Julian Finn, Museum Victoria
Another bottom-dwelling bioluminescent creature, the blackdragon fish has light-emitting organs arranged all along its belly to fool predators by changing its silhouette. The spooky fish also has bioluminescencant "flashlights" next to each eye that it can flash on while on the look-out for prey or to signal potential mates. As you can see in the above photo, the blackdragon fish is so toothy that even its tongue has razor-sharp teeth.
Found in deep tropical waters around the world, the coral-red armored searobins have bodies encased in heavy scales. They also possess prominent spines, with barbels on their chins for luring in unsuspecting prey.
Despite its terrifying name, the vampire squid is relatively tiny, reaching a maximum of 6 inches (15.4 cm) in length. It gets its name from its red coloring, glowing, bioluminescent eyes and the cloak-like webbing that connects its eight arms. Although it has similarities with both squid and octopuses, it is actually not a squid but in its own separate family, of which it is the last remaining member; as such, the animal is referred to as a "living fossil." Its scientific name, Vampyroteuthis infernalis, literally translates to "vampire squid from hell." Yikes.
Credit: Joel E. Van Noord
Named for its long, vampire-like teeth the fangtooth fish inhabits the extreme deep waters of the ocean. In proportion to its body size, it has some of the largest teeth of any fish. Although it may look scary, the endangered fangtooth only grows to about 6 inches (16 cm) in length.
Credit:New Zealand-American Submarine
Ring of Fire 2005 Exploration | NOAA Vents Program The cryptically named coffinfish more resembles a colorful autumn gourd than a casket. The scowling fish can often be found resting on the bottom of the ocean, using its tiny fins like legs to prop itself up.
Credit: NOAA Ocean Explorer
The deep-sea Aequorea, or crystal jellyfish, has a translucent body and long tentacles that give it a ghostly appearance. A jellyfish's tentacles, which trail after its body, can be less than an inch to120 feet (30.48 meters) long.v
Credit: U.S. Antarctic Program Photo Library
From frightful fangtooth fish and vampire squid to coffinfish and spiky, sinister sea urchins, plenty of strange and scary creatures lurk in the dark, cold depths of the ocean ... Be brave and dive on in!
Credit: Levent Konuk | shutterstock
This frightening fish is charmingly named stargazer, because its eyes are situated on top of its head. The fish burrows its flat body underneath the sand, hiding itself so that it is still able to peek out. It then hunkers down waiting to strike if prey swims by. Although many stargazers dwell in shallow water, Northern stargazers live in the deep waters off the Atlantic Coast.