20 Strange Sea Creatures You Won’t Believe Actually Exist

What’s more frightening and intriguing: our space or our oceans? That’s a difficult question to answer, but after learning about some of the most bizarre creatures that roam our planet’s waters, you will definitely pick the latter. Scientists affirm that more than 90% of our oceans are yet to be discovered, which explains why so many people are attracted to its mystery. Don’t miss #11 and #5 for some of the most frightening marine animals!

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#20. Dumbo Octopus

Specialists tend to lump together about 15 to 20 different species of small deep-sea octopuses under the name “dumbo octopus”. Why isn’t there an exact number regarding the number of different types of them? Well, this is mainly due to the fact that they’re extremely rare; you would have to be the world’s best scuba-diver to find one of these strange creatures!

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To be precise, you would have to be capable of navigating the mysterious sea at a depth of 9000 feet, approximately. If you ask me, it’s already pretty unbelievable that humans know about their existence and appearance, isn’t it? If you’re wondering about its name, it comes from the octopus’s fins, which are reminiscent of Dumbo’s ears. Yes, scientists watch Disney movies and have a sense of humor as well!

#19. Wolffish

Ok, I know what you’re thinking, this animal isn’t as cute or colorful as the dumbo octopus, fair enough. To be honest, wolffish look a bit scary, just imagine going on a pleasant fishing trip with your parents and suddenly taking one of these out of the water! Yikes, I’d sure be surprised. However, we might be judging them too quickly.

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Indeed, sometimes an animal’s appearance and character don’t exactly coincide, and the wolf-fish is a perfect example. They do have a powerful jaw, capable of crushing hard-shelled marine animals, they can grow up to six feet long. and yeah, they may seem aggressive, but they’re a shy type of fish, actually. So, lesson learned, don’t judge a fish prematurely based on its look!

#18. Viperfish

Viperfish are a bizarre looking species, but they may ring a bell, especially if you were born in the ’90s or if you’re a fan of Pixar movies. Did you figure it out? Congratulations! That’s right, Nemo’s father and Dory escape from the frightening menace of a similar type of fish on Finding Nemo. Still, in real life, viper-fish may be spotted close to the surface…

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During the day, they live in depths of 250 to 5000 thousand feet deep. But during the night, they tend to roam shallow waters. They may be one of the most odd-looking fish in the world, and their mighty fangs are quite intimidating, but viperfish have some awesome characteristics too. Their mesmerizing bright parts have an explanation: light-producing organs, ideal to lure their prey. I bet those lights get all the other marine animals jealous!

#17. Tasseled Wobbegong

Not only the tasseled wobbegong’s name is comically unconventional, but its appearance too. Just look at it for a couple of seconds, it doesn’t even look like an animal, right? I bet even other animals confuse it with a rock or something… Anyways, the tasseled wobbegong is actually a rare type of shark.

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A carpet-shark to be precise, it inhabits the coral reefs of New Guinea and Australia. Its physical characteristics have proved to be a surprising strength, though. Tasseled wobbegongs tend to subtly rest on the ocean floor, hiding from everyone and quietly waiting to ambush their careless prey. If you liked this animal, check the following one for a surprise!

#16. Triggerfish

This funny looking fish with notable teeth is also known for its very long Hawaiian name, Humuhumunukunukuapua’a, or Humuhumu in short. If you’re tired of an unimaginative streak when playing Scrabble, remember that word and you’ll instantly secure yourself an epic win! In case you were wondering, the Hawaiian name means “triggerfish with a snout like a pig”.

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Our friend here lives in tropical and sub-tropical waters. They usually have uniquely blue lips and teeth, but beware, they’re not a nice fellow with other species. In fact, they’re the opposite, rather. The trigger-fish hates any type of intruder, be it humans or other fish, and they won’t hesitate to show their bad temper.

#15. Sea Pen

With many of the creatures from this list, you’ll find yourself perplexed, wondering if these are animals or not. Well, get used to crazy looking species, because coming across them is just another normal day at the bottom of the ocean! The sea pen is just another example of what I’m talking about, they received their name due to its resemblance to a quill pen.

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These cute lilac colored creatures are colonial animals, they grow out of a polyp. One polyp becomes the base after some slow but steady growth, with many other polyps growing from the main polyp after some time. Here, we can observe a purple or lilac sea pen, but their color ranges from yellow to dark orange and white. Amazing!

#14. Polka Dot Nudibranch

People usually assert that slugs are a hideous, gross animal. But little do they know that the ones that with which we usually come across aren’t the only type of slugs. Yes, when exploring the depths of the oceans, scientists found the polka dot nudibranch, a beautiful marine slug. The polka dot type is just a specific variety from a wide range of different nudibranch.

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The nudibranch are actually an enormous group of about 3000 different creatures, renowned for their colorfully friendly appearance. Though they’re really difficult to spot due to their small size, it is believed that there are still thousands of undiscovered nudibranch. Slide on to discover more bizarre sea creatures!

#13. Northern Stargazer

When looking at this picture one may think that it’s only showing an uncommon figure formed in the sand. However, if that’s the case you were tricked! The northern stargazer is one of the most eccentric fish, definitely. They have the ability to hide in the sand, burying almost all of their body in it.

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Want to know how? Well, the northern stargazer has its mouth, nostrils, and eyes all on top of its head! Yes, nature is just full of surprises, right? As you probably guessed, this unusual feature lets them hide with coldly calculated secretiveness, which is perfect for hunting distracted small fish. I’d sure be scared if I came across one of these when swimming!

#12. Leafy Sea-dragon

The sea horse is one of the most beloved marine species. I mean, who can hate them, they’re just insanely cute! Well, their huge popularity usually overshadows the lesser known leafy sea-dragon, which is closely related to the sea horse. Although lovely too, their aspect is definitely stranger.

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Their curious fins that originated their name may seem like a mean of swimming faster, but they’re actually used as camouflage. In fact, the sea-dragon is no Michael Phelps, they’re regarded as some of the slowest swimmers of Australia’s southern and western coasts, therefore their talent for camouflaging is their main virtue. Want to know another curious fact about them? The males are the ones who get pregnant and give birth, how about that?

#11. Frilled Shark

Just imagine yourself going for a swim at the beach, when you suddenly spot a grayish creature roaming at the surface a couple of yards away… Don’t know about you, but I’d be so terribly scared that the whole beach would freak out with my shriek! Yes, frilled sharks can be normally found at 160 feet deep waters, which is pretty shallow.

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Don’t worry though, you’d have to be extremely unlucky to come across one of these at surface level. I can feel your sigh of relief already! The frilled shark is one of the oldest living inhabitants of the Earth, in fact, they’re commonly called “living fossil”, since some of its fossils date back to the Pleistocene era, about 2.5 million years ago. Don’t miss #8 and #6 for other intimidating animals!

#10. Terrible Claw Lobster

Believe it or not, the terrible claw lobster (yeah, just one quick glance is enough to understand its name) was discovered a couple of years ago, in 2007. This creature might look profoundly menacing, but except for its sharp claws, there’s nothing to worry about. Want to know why? Well, first of all, if you did cross paths with this lobster, chances are it won’t discern you. because it’s blind.

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Not only is it blind, but it’s actually a tiny animal (only an inch long approximately), and it can only be found 850 feet below the surface near the Philippines. Its light pink and translucent white color is really cool, don’t you agree? It offers a curious contrast with its somewhat creepy look. Continue to #9 for another weird sea creature!

#9. Red Handfish

That’s an odd looking animal! Is it its strange mouth, its eerily phosphorescent blue eyes? Maybe, but most people would agree that the red handfish’s most notable characteristic is its fins, which look a bit like human hands, hence its name. This unique specimen actually uses its perplexing fins to move around.

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But this animal isn’t strange only because of its aspect or because it moves around with its hand like fins instead of swimming. Scientists believe that only between 20 and 40 red handfish exist today in the world. This scarce species inhabits the coastal waters of eastern Tasmania, and it’s unsurprisingly listed as critically endangered.

#8. Anglerfish

When you ask someone what a fish looks like, the image that will pop to their minds is likely to be the one of a regular trout, or something similar. But if we’ve learned something with this list is that a bunch of dangerously creepy looking fish roam the mysterious oceans. If you wanted to show a clear example of this to your friends, the anglerfish would probably be your best pick.

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This unnerving sea creature isn’t a real danger when analyzing it in action, though. The anglerfish is actually pretty lazy. Instead of chasing their prey, they prefer to wait, confident that the lure that ominously hangs over their heads will attract small, innocent fish. Moreover, they’re only found between 400 and 2000 miles deep in the sea, so chances are you’ll never face one. Phew!

#7. Vampire Squid

The vampire squid is a small cephalopod which lives in tropical waters, at about 2000 to 3000 feet deep in the ocean. Though it was first thought to be an octopus because of its similar body, it was re-classified as a squid. It’s definitely not an ordinary squid, that’s a fact. Not only does the vampire squid have an awesome name, but it also boasts some cool features.

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First of all, its vigorously red color is undeniably beautiful. Its webbing has an incredible use which explains the creature’s name. These unique squids can turn their webbing inside out and cover themselves with it, hiding as a vampire would do with its spooky cloak. The vampire squid might look nice, but don’t ever piss them off, because they’re also famous for shooting a blue mucus when angry!

#6. Gulper Eel

Yes, this animal looks like an eel, and, fair enough, it’s also called gulper eel, but don’t let this deceive you, it’s actually a fish. They’re probably one of the most dangerous fish around the Earth though, that’s for sure. I mean, just look at those long, sharp rows of teeth. It doesn’t look like it would forgive you if bothered in a bad day!

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In fact, thanks to their stunning teeth, the gulper eel can win a fight against bigger swimmers than them, so if you reincarnate as a fish you know who to say away from! Jokes aside, this species has an awesome feature which isn’t related to its teeth: bioluminescence. Don’t miss #5 and #1 for other scary creatures!

#5. Fang-tooth

Is this the most vicious fish on the planet? That’s a tricky question, but the fangtooth is definitely a strong contestant. Besides its big head and its startling pair of eyes, the fangtooth’s most obvious trait is its enormous teeth which turn it into a ferocious predator of the oceans. Still, if you also consider the fish’s small size (about 6 inches long) the terror starts to fade away.

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Additionally, this fish, which can be found in cold-temperate and tropical waters, only navigates the distant depths of the sea, so there’s no need to have nightmares a mighty fangtooth chasing you. This animal does have an interesting record, though: compared to its body size, this fish species has the biggest teeth of any marine animal. Impressive!

#4. Clown Frogfish

Just look at this thing: at first glance, I would’ve said that I was staring at one of those exotic soaps that some people use nowadays! But don’t let the view deceive you, this is actually a clown frogfish. Indeed, its funny name fits accordingly with its crazy colors and shape. But that’s not the only interesting fact: this animal has some features which seem more from an animated show than from real life.

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The clown frogfish might appear to be small and harmless, looking all innocent with those bright colors, but it actually has a shockingly big mouth compared to the size of its body which lets them eat other animals which are as big as them. Moreover, this fish also has the ability to camouflage with coral, though the process of modifying its appearance can take some time.

#3. Christmas Tree Worms

Inaugurating the top three, we have the exotic Christmas tree worms. Their name emerges from the tree-like appendages that pop from their top. These parts look cheerfully colorful and cute, we can agree on that, sure. But they won’t seem so attractive when you know what they truly are…

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Yes, those parts that look like Christmas trees are the worm’s mouths, yuk! In case you were wondering, this animal pushes its food through to its digestive apparatus with the feathery bits, which are in fact tentacles. The ocean is sure filled with bizarre creatures! You’ll find Christmas tree worms on shallow tropical coral reefs.

#2. Blob Sculpin

If there’s a fish that was born to become a meme on Twitter, this is the chosen one. The blob sculpin is a fish which usually looks like me when the last season of my favorite show on Netflix ends (don’t worry, the fish looks a bit more miserable). This species can be found in the Bering Sea and in the North Pacific.

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Deep sea fish like this one are usually pretty relaxed. However, though the blob sculpin looks like he’s always bored, he’s a pretty active fish, surprisingly. They can generally be found busily fanning their eggs to prevent them from getting all full of sand, I bet you didn’t expect that of him! Check the following slide for our number one strange marine animal!

#1. Halitrephes Maasi Jellyfish

Ok, a jellyfish is a really well-known creature for most of us, so you might be a bit disappointing at first. But they are a really unique creature when you analyze its characteristics, and some of them are one of the most dangerous animals on Earth. Yes, you read that right! The halitrephes maasi jellyfish is a perfect example.

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Touching one of their long tentacles might be the worst decision you can make: these are a jellyfish’s deadly weapon. Not much is known of the maasi jellyfish, but these type of animals tend to be smart and can be found illuminating the dark, deep ocean with their spectacular, dazzling lights. Though humans don’t encounter these creatures often, rumor has it that it looks like watching fireworks underwater. What a stunning sight that must be!

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