40+ Weird And Wonderful Underwater Creatures
The ocean is a mysterious place. It covers about 71% of the earth’s surface, but more than 80% of it has yet to be seen by human eyes. Can you believe that? We have been to the moon but haven’t explored over half of our planet!
It sounds astounding when you look at the numbers, but don’t look down on oceanographers too quickly. The ocean is vast, and the deeper you go, the more difficult it is to explore. We still don’t know what could be lurking below the murky waters, and with every discovery, we’re learning just how true that is. The things we are aware of don’t exactly scream The Little Mermaid.
But don’t take our word for it; see for yourself. We’ve collected 40+ pictures of all sorts of crazy creatures and surreal sights that netizens have shared on the internet for our viewing pleasure (or horror). And now we will present them to you!
We are about to show you one of the most unbelievable growth spurts. The humongous fish in the first image is called a sunfish. Well, that is the adult version. The tiny creatures in the bottom picture are little baby sunfish!
Can you believe that this giant adult fish was once so small? Baby sunfish are mostly really tiny, as you can see in the image. As time goes on, they start growing into their future gargantuan selves. It is pretty surprising.
Here comes the pain
Even though squids might look pretty harmless when you see them on TV or from a distance, they can be quite dangerous in most cases. The squids in the images below look downright frightful. These squids are pretty much aliens.
The image on the left is of a giant squid’s tentacles. The tentacles can latch on to the squid’s prey with a vice grip. The image on the right is of a colossal squid’s tentacles. These tentacles can rip the squid’s prey apart. That is some dangerous calamari!
This fish would look very different if you had a side or top view of it. Instead, we’re looking at its soft underbelly. That’s not something you get to see very often. If the fish knew that we were all staring at its underbelly, then it might feel kind of embarrassed!
It resembles a person looking at you with a blank expression and a picture-perfect pout. Very strange. This creature is called a sawfish. Despite the name, it’s actually a type of shark. It looks as if it is heavily judging the person who clicked this candid image from below.
The creature in the image below might seem like a modern-day river monster. It’s huge, scary, and found in calm waters. This is actually a really big sturgeon fish on the prowl. The mammoth sturgeon was photographed in the Fraser River in Canada.
It’s the kind of stuff you see in Jurassic Park. We’re glad these guys are real and not extinct like the dinosaurs in the film. However, being happy that this sturgeon still exists doesn’t mean we’d be okay with stumbling upon one of these in real life.
Beautiful and complex
If we had to briefly describe mantis shrimp, we’d use the words “beautiful and complex.” Just look at those lovely colors—the epitome of natural beauty. But you can tell just by looking at this creature that it’s a pretty complex being.
These guys are believed to have one of the most complex visual systems in the animal kingdom. Humans have three types of photoreceptor cells in their eyes, but mantis shrimp have around 12-16. That means that mantis shrimp can see wavelengths of light and color that we can’t!
This photo looks like a still from a movie. We imagine that movie would be about an alien that has just landed in our oceans and now plans to infiltrate our society through the water supply. No wonder this creature is so aptly called the Portuguese man-o-war.
This is a marine hydrozoan, a creature closely related to jellyfish. You don’t want to get too close to one of these. Its venom is very painful and could trigger an allergic reaction. If you spot one, be sure to admire it from afar.
Hammerhead sharks are a sight to behold. They are pretty unique creatures. But spotting so many hammerhead sharks while swimming would freak anybody out. Also, the inky darkness at the bottom of this image makes it seem infinitely scarier.
These guys knew somebody was taking their photo, so they all decided to work the camera. This photographer was lucky to snap such a beautiful picture of these fearsome sharks. We just hope he swam safely away after this unusual photo shoot.
A rare sight
Seeing something like this creature in the ocean is very rare. If you don’t believe us, here’s an interesting fact: In decades of ocean research, this fish has only been spotted a select few times! This uncommon creature is called an ogre fish.
We’re all fortunate that this image was taken during one of those rare sightings! Though, no matter how weird this fish looks, they were probably slightly harsh when naming it. Perhaps it should’ve been called something a bit nicer than “ogre fish.”
These little things look beautiful, don’t they? Well, let us introduce you to leaf sheep. These are sea slugs that also happen to photosynthesize like plants. You might not have thought that something like this would exist, and we were right there with you.
Do you remember the show Shaun the Sheep? Well, doesn’t the leaf sheep look like the aquatic version of Shaun the Sheep? These little creatures are indeed some of the most adorable sea slugs. They are so cute that they deserve their own TV show!
The beauty of nature
Captured moments like these are really wholesome. This is the kind of adorable stuff you see on channels like Animal Planet. As you might have guessed, this is an image of a humongous whale, but can you think what kind of whale it is?
This is a humpback whale. To be specific, it’s a mama humpback whale with her little calf. The calf is only tiny in comparison with its mother. However, it’s still pretty huge in comparison to humans. The position they’re in is known as “Echelon.”
Pretty in Pink
Let us tell you that there’s no editing or Photoshopping involved here. It’s not even the magic of lighting or a particular angle. With this curious creature, what you see is what you get. You are looking at a pink manta ray.
This is the only manta ray in the world that is pink. This guy’s curious hue has earned him the name “Inspector Clouseau,” like the character from The Pink Panther. Given how much of the ocean is still unexplored, who knows how many more pink manta rays are out there!?
This dazzling photo of a squid rendered us speechless. It looks like it has been bedazzled. This squid certainly stands out from all the other squids. This sparkly creature is called a strawberry squid. We must say, it is one of the most beautiful sea creatures we have ever seen.
The strawberry squid might look like it is covered in precious jewels, but it isn’t. It lives in a dark zone of the ocean called the twilight or mesopelagic zone, which is about 200-1,000 meters deep. That is a long way to swim!
That’s a shark attack, but it doesn’t look quite as dangerous as shark attacks usually are. In fact, this looks more like a little nibble than a big bite. However, as adorable as this guy looks, he is still a big scary shark.
Those are still razor-sharp teeth which could do a lot of damage. Contrary to the myth, though, sharks rarely attack humans. If they do, it’s not because they want to hunt us. It’s usually just because they mistake us for seals. It must be the fishy breath.
Courage on point
This photographer should get the award for being the most courageous person of the year if something like that even exists. He is so close to that anaconda’s face! Even the anaconda looks intrigued. The scary snake looks almost too intrigued to attack the guy.
We’d love to see the picture that the photographer got of the anaconda’s face. However, this photo of the guy in the middle of such a brave act is equally as amazing. Also, doesn’t it seem like anacondas look even bigger and more dangerous when they are underwater?
In the eye of the beholder
This creature might look bizarre, but there is more to it than what meets the eye. This strange creature is called a scallop. The bright colors that necklace its outer shell are quite stunning—the super sharp teeth are less enticing. They look quite monstrous.
Can you guess what those little blue parts are? If you guessed that those are eyes, then you’d be correct. Unlike other creatures, this scallop doesn’t just have two eyes. It has around 200! This brings new meaning to the term “bright blue eyes”.”
Graceful and aesthetic
Graceful and aesthetic is what this image is. Eagle rays are perhaps one of the most majestic creatures in the ocean. The way they glide through the water is quite a sight to behold. That’s why we are so grateful to the person that took this image.
It may seem as if the eagle rays are skimming the surface of the water, but they are actually gliding through the dark depths of the ocean! Their bright patterns and graceful movements qualify these eagle rays as the butterflies of the sea.
Friend or Foe?
This image exists on a fine line between cute and creepy. Those bulgy little eyes and the happy smiles are really quite endearing. These friendly fish look like they are ready for this picture. They are all sporting big toothless grins for the camera.
But it gets pretty creepy when you realize these fish are closing in on the camera with those huge eyes. The smiles start to look a bit sinister. What are they about to do? Are they going to kill you? Or are they just curious and want to explore?
The damned ones
These fish look like they have just been cursed, and they cannot believe the grim fate that has been cast upon them for all eternity. They look pretty worried and tense. In actual fact, that’s just how these guys’ faces are.
These fish are called hatchet fish and live in the ocean’s depths. Their upset faces might be because they are living in the dark depths and would like to see some light. Or maybe they just have a “resting sad face.”
Big fish, big pond
Earlier, we saw the image of a gigantic white sunfish that was in stark contrast to the tiny baby sunfish, which are the size of our fingertips. Well, here’s another shot of a sunfish, but this time, it’s up close and looks so menacing.
A diver is pictured here having a very close encounter with one of these in the ocean. Scary! Fun fact: A sunfish can weigh over a whopping 4,000 pounds. That is equivalent to the weight of 20 average male humans. That is one big boy!
It looks like it is dinner time for this shark. On the menu seems to be some tuna—hold the mayo. The shark also looks to be just showing off how good of a hunter it is. Either way, we’re very impressed.
We see plenty of fish in the sea for the shark to hunt. The other fish must be terrorized by what is happening over here. As if a hungry shark wasn’t bad enough, there is a cameraman capturing the scary moment!
Up close and personal
The person who had the courage to take this photo really risked it all just to get up close and personal with this croc. To his fortune, the croc was really cooperative. It also gave a really good pose and flashed its reptilian scales.
It is a relief that things didn’t go south here. There is something about the crocodile’s eyes that look a little bit…hungry, don’t you think? We are glad that the croc wasn’t craving a chunk of the cameraman that day.
As terrifying and surreal as it looks, this is a real underwater statue located somewhere in the Bahamas. We don’t understand the point of constructing this statue in the middle of nowhere under the water, but the builders must’ve had their reasons.
In addition, we don’t think crowds are exactly flocking to this underwater to view this strange artwork. It does get a few visitors, though, including our brave cameraman and his friend in the photo. We’ll stick to experiencing it through this picture.
This creature looks like many things not from this planet, but then again, moray eels have always had a face for radio. It looks like a giraffe in the water, if such a thing existed. It also looks like the dinosaur diplodocus if it fell into the ocean.
In reality, this moray eel has a disfigured face from its birth. Do you see that black dot on the side of its face? That looks like an eye, but it isn’t. Its eyes are way in the front, as you can see more clearly in the bottom image.
No paparazzi, please!
Earlier, we saw an image of an anaconda in the water. We can’t seem to forget how terrifying, yet beautiful, it looked underwater. This guy must have no fear at all since he’s so focused on getting a picture of this gigantic snake.
In the image earlier, the snake was at least responding to the man with the camera. This time, the snake has had it. There is no response at all. The snake looks like it’s telling the cameraman to leave it alone!
This is moments before the game would’ve been over. We have seen so many weird and scary animal pics, but nothing is as terrifying as this one. We wonder what the image would’ve been if it had been taken a few seconds after this moment.
This picture is not as threatening as it looks. Firstly, that shark is real. It’s a sand tiger shark. However, this image was taken in the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, and the shark has a broken upper jaw. So it’s not really closing in for the kill here. Thank goodness!
This jellyfish was spotted in Venice —at a promenade of all things. Given the location, this could be pretty hazardous for seafarers on vacation. Well, it’s all good as long as it minds its own business. We won’t touch it as long as it doesn’t touch us.
Here is another marine fact for you: did you know that jellyfishes have no brain? Also, 98% of their bodies are made of water. You may have been able to guess from how they look and how they act, but it’s surprising nonetheless!
Into the abyss
We are curious to know what is really down there within that never-ending darkness. We have a pretty good guess, though. Nothingness. It looks empty, but sometimes the fear of what might be hidden is worse than the fear of what actually is.
This fearless diver is swimming into the abyss. If we were there, we’d stay as far away from that place as possible. It seems like one of those places you could go, but the chances of returning aren’t 100%. We don’t like those odds.
This is a close-up of the eye of a gray whale. It looks annoyed that somebody got so close to its eye. Maybe it was sleeping and somebody disturbed it? If so, the whale’s frustration is totally understandable. We would be annoyed too!
The whale’s eye looks almost human-like, but of course, way freakier and scarier. The look in its eye also looks like it could kill. However, these eyes are also really soulful and full of love, just like the gentle giant they belong to.
It doesn’t get worse
In our entire lives, we have never, ever seen a creature that looks like that. Well, the world is full of surprises, and we’re pretty sure that people would find weirder-looking animals and plants in the unexplored depths of our oceans.
That thing is called a viper dogfish, and just from the looks of it, it’s certainly not something you’d find swimming on the surface of the ocean. It’s better not to judge these guys on their appearance because that’s how they survive way down there.
Back in the day
The person who posted this image on social media captioned it, “POV you’re a fish in the 1700s.” In actuality, this freaky contraption was not actually a fish. Back in the 1700s, that is what a diver’s suit looked like.
We are not sure if that is an original suit from the 1700s, but if it is, that is one old suit. From the looks of it, that diving suit looks more terrifying than most of the creatures of the deep ocean that we have on this list.
Though this looks like a crab that was bitten by a radioactive spider, this is no mutant crab. This crab is actually a normal crab that just happens to be quite large. The crab is known as a Japanese spider crab.
Japanese spider crabs have the largest leg spans of any arthropod. They are basically the supermodels of the marine world. Contrary to their appearance, they aren’t a threat to humans. On the other hand, however, humans often enjoy these crustaceans with a good lemon butter sauce.
This creature is yet another deep sea monster. It is called a pelican eel, also known as a gulper. Its eyes are equal parts funny and terrifying. It looks as if it could hurt you, but it also has a good sense of humor.
At least this strange eel has a nice-ish smile. Gulpers are very rarely spotted, and they can live pretty long lives. A pelican eel can live for around 85 years. It sounds like the secret to a long life is to be a recluse. Noted!
Phantom of the Ocean
That right there is a phantom jellyfish. The name “phantom” suits this mysterious creature really well because it looks enigmatic and absolutely beautiful. It even comes with a built-in hat. This jellyfish is the ultimate fashionista. It is truly ready for the cover of Vogue.
We don’t think anybody would like to bump into one of those, though. We are happy to admire its beauty from a safe distance. Bumping into one of these guys wouldn’t be a common scenario anyway because they live deep in the ocean. Just as well!
Eyes of terror
Those eyes, fortunately, aren’t red. That’s just the camera’s magic. This is a picture of a crocodile on the prowl, waiting for its prey and lurking in the shallow waters. The unsuspecting prey will have no idea that it is about to meet its end.
Crocs and gators see us as a yummy meal. So, in countries like Australia and the USA, where a lot of these guys live, it’s best to take a lot of precautions while stepping into the water. Don’t forget to look out for the signboards!
Imagine you’re kitesurfing, enjoying the salty air in your hair when, suddenly, your kite falls in the water. Probably not ideal, but it’s bound to happen when you’re kitesurfing. As you go to fetch the kite, you are greeted by the most hair-raising sight.
You see a group of sharks swimming under where your beloved kite is floating. Would you risk getting your kite now? We probably wouldn’t. The sharks in the image don’t look bothered by the kite, but maybe they’ll take a liking to the person holding the camera.
It’s got frills
We are certainly not thrilled after looking at this picture. That creature looks quite petrifying. The frilled shark is considered to be a living fossil. That means that it, unlike most living organisms, hasn’t changed or evolved almost at all since its origin.
You can find this shark swimming 50-200 meters deep in the ocean, where there’s not a lot of light. Little is known about these guys. There have rarely been human encounters, though after looking at this picture, we might encounter it in our nightmares!
A big bite
Firstly, the photography skills of the person who took this image are impressive. Secondly, we can’t even begin to imagine how the person might have managed to get the pic in the first place. It’s terrifying, even if you’re looking at it while sitting on your couch.
Imagine being a few feet away from a great white shark without any protection when suddenly it opens its gaping mouth right in front of you. If that mental image doesn’t send chills down your spine, we don’t know what will.
Let us tell you what you all are looking at here: A conveyor belt of teeth; at least, that’s one way to look at it. It’s actually an image of the jaw of a shark. That dangerous set of razor-sharp teeth could do some real damage.
Here is a fact: Shark teeth are always falling out, and new ones are constantly coming in. So sharks are always ready for the kill. Also, the tooth fairy must work overtime with all of these shark teeth falling out!
On the rocks
You might think you’re looking at an enormous whale. Or maybe this looks like a frozen submarine. Surprisingly, this image is not of a whale or a submarine. This is actually an iceberg, or, as we like to call it, the ice cube of the sea.
If you are ever considering taking a dive next to an iceberg, this is what you would see. It is enormous and looks creepier and scarier than many of the animal posts. It might be more dangerous, too, as we’ve learned from Titanic.
I see you
What do you think that black thing in the middle is? Unbelievably, that black thing is actually an eye! It is the eye of a giant squid. Here is a fact: It is the largest known eye in the entire animal kingdom.
Do you see how we emphasized known? That’s right. You never know what’s lurking in those waters. The diameter of this eye is around 27cm. The diameter of the human eye is a puny 24mm. We would not stand a chance in a game of “I spy” against this squid.
The weird creature in the sea
If we saw one of those, that is what we would call them. This nightmare-snake-looking thing is a whopping 18-meters long. It also is not a single creature, believe it or not. These are a bunch of many smaller creatures called Pyrosomes!
They are free-floating colonial tunicates. You’ll find these guys floating freely in the upper layers of the ocean in warm seas, but some of them can also be found at the depths of the ocean. They are also known as “sea pickles,” but we do not recommend trying to munch on these.
This is definitely an alien, and you cannot convince us otherwise. We do have some scientific information about this creature, but we still can’t believe that it’s not an alien, even after all that information. According to science, this is a deep sea creature.
Its biological name is Thaumatichthys Axeli. It’s some sort of a weird angler fish. That bizarre thing hanging out of its mouth is a light source. Yes, it has a light source inside its mouth! No need to carry around a lamp. Take notes, Florence Nightingale!
When people in the movies say, “We’ll feed you to the sharks,” maybe this is what they mean. The only difference here is that the creatures in this image are not sharks. These are just carp! They are not nearly as dangerous as sharks.
These guys are not just carp, though. They are hungry carp, as you can tell from their gaping mouths. They’re waiting for food, so be careful not to stick any wayward fingers or toes in there, or your precious digits will become lunch.
We are all human
Could it be possible that part of this organism might be human? If you ask us, we’d say its teeth make it seem that way because of their striking resemblance to our own chompers. By the way, if you thought that this was an octopus, think again.
This is an image of a squid that just so happens to have to have some uncanny valley-level teeth. But let’s thicken the plot because it turns out that those aren’t teeth at all, at least not in the sense that we have teeth. Those are just nodes of flesh.