45 Interesting Creatures That This Fisherman Has Reeled In From The Deep Sea
While the land has some truly interesting, odd, and creepy creatures and plants — be they from the jungles, deep caves, or the deserts — nothing comes close to the sheer range of weirdness that awaits you down in the dark waters of the deepest oceans. Internet-famous Russian photographer and fisherman Roman Fedortsov took all of these photos while aboard fishing trawlers and boats exploring the world. Some of these creatures will disgust you upon first seeing them. Others will terrify you with their skeletal frames and rows of fangs! And others still, well, just might make you laugh a bit by how odd and funny they look. If that sounds good to you, please join us as we see just what Fedortsov found during his travels upon the high seas!
All images are courtesy of Roman Fedortsov’s Instagram page.
The Sea Centipede is Smiling at Us
Kicking things off, we have this little amusing but slightly creepy guy. We are not sure what this thing actually is, but it looks like a cross between a sea worm and some kind of slimy centipede. It’s amazing, and we’re fascinated by it!
While this “sea centipede” did make our skin crawl at first, its smile adds some charm, making it look a bit less scary. It also makes it look like it is clever enough to know it’s getting its picture taken.
Yep, The Aliens Are Definitely Here!
WOW! Is that one creepy and unsettling-looking thing! It really does look like it could fit right at home in a sci-fi movie. For all we know, it might actually be an alien… What do you think of it? Does it belong to our planet?
We were not the only ones who were confused by it. Fedortsov was equally perplexed and even went to consult an oceanographer. Apparently, it is called the Jaggedhead gurnard, a largely unknown searobin found in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
Some Kind of Sea Mushroom-Jellyfish Hybrid?
While we wouldn’t like to hold or even touch this thing, it’s not so bad-looking. It’s rather colorful. This cross between a mushroom and jellyfish is a type of sea anemone, which is a sea animal that looks like a plant.
No, you didn’t misread that. Anemones are often called the flowers of the sea due to their, well, flowery appearance. And while they are related to corals, these creatures are, in fact, living animals that are also related to jellyfish.
That’s A Big No For US!
Okay, for this next one, you might want to look away or just skip it. You have been warned! This strange fish was born from truly the most chilling of nightmares. And no, it is not an escaped experiment or a radioactive fish.
While it certainly looks like it was exposed to radioactive energy, it is, in fact, a normal halibut. Halibuts are born with two eyes on each side of their heads, but one of the eyes travels closer to the other as they age.
The Tiny Terror of The Deep
There is no doubt that this nightmarish creature did not have a part to play in inspiring the design of the Xenomorph from the Alien movies. It doesn’t even look like it should be real; that’s how freaky it is.
This extraterrestrial of a fish is known as the stoplight loosejaw, a member of the dragonfish family. They are normally found below 500 meters! Their lower jaws do not have an attaching membrane, and instead, hang on with a bone-like hinge.
Spikey Lobster With Dazzling Eyes
Let’s take a break from all of those freak shows and look at something a bit less scary and admire this guy. He’s a bit cuter in an odd way. You deserved that look he’s giving you. While crustaceans, like this fellow, might be spikey, they aren’t scary.
What’s more, not only does it have a lovely rosy-orange coloring, but just look at those shiny green eyes! They do really help to make the sclerocrangon ferox (long name) look quite adorable. Not much is known about these guys, sadly.
A Wise Little Hermit
Continuing with the cute — before we throw ourselves back into the slightly terrifying — we have this adorable little hermit crab. Hermit crabs earned their name from a habit of moving and changing between shells as they grow or need a new roof.
Aside from that, they also do just look a bit like a wise old hermit, with their long beard-like whiskers and antennae. We don’t see how anyone could ever find them unpleasant or creepy to look at. There’s a reason they’re kept as pets.
Right, we have no idea what this is even meant to be. Is it a fish, an octopus, a ray; what is it?! Well, apparently, it is a type of stingray that happened to curl up when it passed away.
What is really surprising is that the stingray, and all rays, are actually related to sharks! It is a good thing they don’t have the same teeth as them; can you just imagine this flying over you, filled with razor-sharp teeth?
A Seaweed Mask?
Knowing how trash and rubbish always seem to find a way of spreading everywhere, it is not surprising to see some floating in the sea. But, while this might look like a mask made out of plastic or even seaweed, it isn’t.
What it is, is an egg case, commonly known as a mermaid’s purse, that is common among the eggs of sharks, fish of the chimaeriformes order, and rays. The casing forms around the newly fertilized ovum/embryos, protecting them as they develop.
The Sad Passage of Time
Some of these creepy inhabitants of the deep are not always born ugly or unpleasant to look at. Sometimes it is the passage of time that changes them, or even death. This guy was a bit cuter in life, we promise.
This is the John Dory, also known as Peter’s fish, a fish commonly found in large parts of the Indian and Pacific oceans. The Dory is normally a combination of brilliant light yellow and white that darken when it dies.
Oyster or Sea Fossil!
Imagine you are strolling on the beach one day, and you happen to come across this thing. What would first come to mind; is it dried up fish, a puddle of bird droppings, or paint? Maybe even a tiny triceratops skeleton?! Well, it’s none of those.
It is actually the empty shell of an oyster. It might not look like it at first, but that’s also because it is lying upside down. It really is amazing just how beautiful these shells can be, though. Such an intricate design!
Sharks Aren’t The Only Ones With Some Bite
When we think of dangerous aquatic fish with rows of shark teeth, we mostly think about sharks. But there is plenty of other fish in the sea that shouldn’t be scoffed at either. Namely, the wolfish. Haven’t heard of it?
Just take a look at those rows of fearsome fangs it has sticking out of its mouth! You definitely wouldn’t want it taking a bite out of you. Fortunately, they are not naturally aggressive animals and won’t attack unless you’re the one making trouble.
Some Sea Broccoli
It is not only the fish or water-dwelling mammals that tend to be weird-looking. A lot of the deep-sea vegetation also tends to be a bit odd. However, unlike the fish, they are more pleasing to the eye, and a wonder to behold.
This bizarre yellowish-looking thing is a knobbly branch of sea coral. Coral is an interesting thing because most of us tend to think of them as plants when it is actually living animal. You learn something new every day, right?
Is That An Alien’s Hand?
The critters on this list make you wonder just how influential the creatures of the deep were for those brilliant minds who came up with those iconic alien designs for many of the most popular sci-fi films and books. This one looks like an especially great muse.
We are not sure what we are looking at, but it sure is creepy! It actually looks like it could be a “face-hugger” from the Alien movies. Just the thought of this thing coming anywhere close enough to touch you is harrowing.
Speaking off the coral, they are not the only things living in the ocean that, at first, one would mistake for plants or vegetation. The starfish is another fine example of a living animal that we often view as a type of plant.
Starfish come in many sizes and colors, but these two that Fedortsov found were just the right color to make them look like giant cookies or misshapen Doritos. They probably don’t taste nearly as nice, though! We won’t be sampling them, that’s for sure.
Crab Go Snappy, Snappy!
Without mentioning at least one of our snappy (and tasty) friends, the crab, no aquatic list would be complete. And this little guy, and its pinchers, definitely looks like a guy that you would not ever want to mess with!
It even looks annoyed – if facial expressions are anything to go on – verging on sinister, as if it had some kind of mischievous scheme in place. There really is no telling what takes place in the deep waters of the world.
This odd-looking thing is a deep-sea crustacean, called the Amphipod, which is related to the normal shrimp that you have no doubt munched on at some point in life. It might be why one of their nicknames is the freshwater shrimp.
A name that is a bit misleading if the word “freshwater” makes you think you would find them in streams or lakes. No, the Amphipod lives in depths of 300 meters, with some cases of them being spotted in depths of 5,000 meters!
Better Step Back
This nightmarish creature that Fedortsov was holding is, apparently, an angler fish. While Fedortsov says it was, it doesn’t really look like other angler fish we have seen (not that we’re experts). It certainly is terrifying looking, regardless of what it is, don’t you think?
Those rows of needle-like teeth and the size of its mouth are incredible; and how wide it can open it makes you just imagine how painful a bite from one of these would be. Good thing you don’t find them by the beach!
A Real Angler
Now, this creature of darkness is closer to what we think of when imagining an angler fish; granted, they aren’t usually as dark and scary as this one. Imagine being so frightening to look at that people call other anglers not-so-scary.
It actually looks eerily simpler to the monstrous villain, Venom, from the Spiderman comics. Same coloring, same creepy white eyes, same mouth filled with razor-like fangs! Imagine Spiderman fighting a fish/aquatic version of Venom; that would be not easy!
A Goose What?
Get ready to be stunned and confused once again with this bizarre-looking thing, known as a goose barnacle. This type of barnacle attaches to rocks or hard surfaces during high tides (which is why you can find them along the beach) and is classified as a filter feeder.
The goose barnacle no doubt got its name from their long, spongy appendages that sprout from the shells and attach themselves into the rocks, which bear a resemblance to the long necks of geese, with their shells looking a bit like heads.
Spiders Even in The Sea
Spiders aren’t terribly popular bugs. There is just something about their skeletal eight-legged bodies and eight eyes that just makes your skin crawl. Not to mention how speedy they are. And some being venomous does not help their reputation either.
And now it looks like there are even spider in the sea! Well, not really. While they look very similar to spiders, they are instead a type of anthropoid and are actually more related to crabs than spiders. But they are indeed the arachnids of the sea.
Spikey, Spikey Something!
Fedortsov comes across some ocean life species during his trips, such as this… whatever it is. At first glance, you would think it’s a fillet of fish… until you see the barbed, teeth-like shapes that cover its body. Also, the eye looks like a mood ring to us.
Unfortunately, Fedortsov did not provide much information about this strange animal, leaving its species unknown. It could be some kind of sea slug, but it is impossible to say. You definitely don’t want to step on it accidentally, that’s for sure!
A Sea Dragon Snake?
In this next image, Fedortsov is holding what appears like something with a worm or snake-like body but with the jaw of a barracuda or Asian dragon hybrid. Well, it’s neither of those two. It’s actually called the duckbill eel.
The duckbill eel, also known as a witch eel, is so because of its Greek name, being nettastomatidae, which means “duck mouth” in ancient Greek. They are quite a spread-out species that can be found in many tropical oceans worldwide.
Shrimp are funny little crustaceans that are loved the world over for being delicious and are added to so many recipes, we can’t even count them all. These same people probably wouldn’t like it if we mentioned their other nickname, sea cockroaches. A rather unpleasant name, right?
These little guys are a type of shrimp known as Themisto libellula and are easily recognized by their transparent bodies. They are normally found in colder waters, but they have been driven out of the Arctic Circle due to increased fishing.
That’s A Big Crab
The ocean is just full of surprises, as you no doubt have learned by now! Sometimes you are surprised by the creature’s appearance, colors, shapes, or size. Well, this crab might not be massive, but its legs sure are long.
There is something just a bit alien looking about it (well, most crabs, if we are being honest), probably why Fedortsov thought the same, even saying that it would fit right into the movie District 9 as one of the aliens.
Suction Powered Fish
Again, if you have a sensitive stomach, you might want to give this one a pass. It’s not the worst thing you’ll see, but it’s still a bit off-putting to look at. This bizarre thing is called the Lumpsucker fish.
It earned its wacky name because it has sucker-like appendages on its belly and underside, between its pelvic fins. It uses these adhesive suckers to stick itself onto surfaces for a secure grip firmly. We can’t help but wonder who named all these creatures.
A Tiny Suction Powered Fish
Just in case the above lumpsucker was just a bit off-putting, then you need to take a look at this adorable little fellow that was suctioned to the piping of the ship. It looks kinda cute, even if the picture is a bit sad.
A cute picture because while the little lumpsucker might look a bit slimy, there is just something endearing about it. And sad because, well, the reality is that it had already passed on by the time it was discovered and photographed.
Spikey Underwater pincushion
No, it’s not a bird’s nest. It is, in reality, the famous – or rather infamous for those who live along the beaches – sea urchin. Why is it infamous, you ask? Well, because steeping on one of them is painful.
Steeping on a sea urchin is said to be one of the most painful things you will ever feel, with venomous spikes causing a stinging wound. That’s why it’s best to find out if there are any near where you plan on swimming.
One look at this… thing is sure to confuse anyone with its weird and undistinguishable shape. We are left wondering if it is some kind of octopus or ocean vegetation. Wonder no more. It’s called a gorgoncephalus, a species of basket stars.
Basket stars are an odd breed of ocean life, closely related to starfish, and characterized by their long arm-like appendages (some covered with hooks and spines) that they use to crawl about the seafloor, preferring the deep waters of the world.
A Shiny Dragon Fish
ONce again, we have a little less “yuck” and a little more “wow.” This stunning and almost metallic-looking fish is called the common dragonet, or Callionymus yra, a species surprisingly and commonly found across Norway, Iceland, and parts of the North Atlantic.
The common dragonet lives for around seven years and can easily be identified by their shiny skin and forward eyes. They are not favored for their taste, but they are a very popular aquarium attraction and display. We totally understand why.
What Kind of Squid Is That?
This deceptively large-looking squid only measures around 20-50 cm in length, but it does weigh approximately 10 kg! The cuttlefish, as it is known, is a species of squid that is unique thanks to its internal shell, called the cuttlebone.
The cuttlebone forms the bulk of their protruding alien-like head and is used for buoyancy control of the body. The cuttlefish uses its beard of tentacles to grab and trap their prey, using powerful suckers to pin them. So much power in such a tiny frame!
A Monster Clam, Sea Sponge, or Sea Burger?
There is no telling just what Fedortsov found this time! At first glance, it looks like a discarded and very much damaged and moldy burger. On the other hand, it seems like a face with cheesy teeth poking from an open mouth.
We doubt very much that even Fedortsov knows what it was that he reeled in this time! It was a discovery so bizarre that he took to his various social media accounts to ask his followers what they thought it might be.
A Fish Within a Fish
This is certainly also an interesting find, even if it is a slightly horrifying one! Imagine reeling in a fish only to take a closer look at it then and to see that it was doing a little fishing itself.
Not really sure what species either of these fish belongs to, although they do look a little similar. They also have an eery resemblance to the Xenomorphs from Ridley Scott’s Alien movies. Let’s hope they don’t ever start walking on land in our lifetimes.
Sea Peach or Donut, That is The Question
Once again, Fedortsov has cast the veil of uncertainty upon us with this bizarre specimen, not he no doubt is only too happy not to tell us what it actually is! It does look a bit like a peach, though.
Or maybe a jelly doughnut that got dropped into a bucket of water. Aside from trying to guess what it looks like, we can only assume that it is a type of sea sponge or a type of squishy anemone.
USO – Unidentified Swimming Object
Speaking of the unusual and unidentifiable, we have this thing which could be some kind of sea anemone, but we really do not have the knowledge to say with certainty. It definitely looks like it got just a bit squashed.
Provided they have some suction to them; perhaps one could use them like those fancy suction gloves you see in spy movies that the spies use to climb up sheer buildings. Probably not, though; life is not a TV show, after all!
Jabba The Yuck
This next discovery has to be, hands down, one of the ugliest things you or we will ever see. It is absolutely hideous and deserves to be cast back into the sea, never to be seen again! Okay, we admit, it’s so ugly it’s almost cute.
It is possible that it was a type of sea cucumber. That said, if it was a sea cucumber, then it is a species we have never seen. Honestly, it reminds us of some of those little wooden figurines people put on their mantels.
Octopi seem to have been a source of inspiration for many cultures over the centuries, often appearing in their mythologies in one form or another. Some appear in the stories as good beings or as evil beings, others as just natural observers.
Judging by the shape of this octopus’s tentacles, Fedortsov believes it was a species of spoon arm octopus, a rather small breed generally found within the Northern Atlantic Ocean at depths of between 200-600 meters. Their eyes always seem as if they’re searching our souls.
A Face Not Even A Mother Would Love
Wow! Yeah, this fellow really has one of those faces that only a mother could love. Even then, it just might be ugly enough for her not to love either. In all fairness, it is a bit deformed from the fishing experience.
Yep, some fish can get a bit deformed thanks to the rapid change in the pressure levels from underwater to the surface (fish can get the bends too). That said, fishing itself is a bit rough, and it likely got a bit bruised up when brought in.
A Sea Flower
Thankfully, this next one isn’t ugly looking, but it is weird. Cool, but weird. At first glance, it seems like the pip or pit of a fruit, like a plum, with still plenty of flesh left around it. But it’s not, so don’t reach for it as a snack.
It’s not a sea flower either, although the outer part does look like a cluster of worms hanging on. Our best guess would be that it is, again, some kind of sea anemone as there are millions of them down there.
A Demon Snappy, Snappy!
This terrifying dweller of the deep is called a fangtooth, an extremely fitting name once you have taken a look at the weapons these little guys are packing! Fangs that are, unsurprisingly, not too small to be harmful to humans.
That said, their teeth are too big for them ever to close their mouths properly. They even have sockets within their skull that run parallel to their brains and serve as storage for their teeth when closed. Pretty neat, but we’re fine with not meeting one in person.
Stay Awhile, and Admire The Cute
Yes, it’s another lumpsucker, but we just could not leave it out of the list, especially seeing just how cute and grumpy it looks! Suffice it to say this little guy could be a good replacement for the iconic Grumpy Cat.
Sure, he might be a bit spikey and slimy-looking, but just look at those tiny eyes and that massive pout of a mouth it has. We really hope he had the chance to dive back into the waters and swim away.
Sea Anemone or Sea Cucumber?
Looks like we are in for another horror show. They look a bit like some kind of squid creature, what with the tentacle face poking from the shell, but we’re sure that’s not correct. Best guess it’s a sea anemone… or cucumber.
Fedortsov thought it was an anemone, but it doesn’t look like any we have seen before. While on the other hand, it does look a bit like a sea cucumber. Perhaps it will be a mystery for the ages. If we have any experts in the audience, let us know what this is!
It looks like we have another potential runner up for Grumpy Cat’s replacement, what with that distinctive grumpy, if not downright angry, look on its face. A look further improved thanks to its sharp pinchers. At least he is tiny!
Grump Crab really is just too cute, even though it is trying to look threatening. While those snappers might hurt, they don’t have the same intimidation level as those bigger crabs. You definitely don’t want to mess with them, though!
These tiny things are called brittle starts, a relative to the gorgoncephalus/basket starfish from earlier. These long-limbed seafarers use their tiny arms to crawl upon the seafloor. And while the ones Fedortsov is holding look small, their arms can grow to be super long.
Some brittle stars’ arms can measure up to 60 centimeters long! Putting the name aside, their arms aren’t that weak, but they aren’t strong either. But either way, they are capable of easily regenerating any lost limb, which is pretty cool!
Check Out Those Eyes!
And finally, we have the charming liparis from the Northern hemisphere, a type of snailfish that gets its name from the Ancient Greek word for “oily.” Although, if you ask us, its eyes are the most attention-grabbing feature. And maybe its smile too!
The combination of its dark blue-black and smooth skin, coupled with its shining light blue eyes and adorable smirk, really makes it look like Toothless from the classic How to Train Your Dragon series. What a sweet note to end on!