10 Weirdest Looking Creatures in the Sea: Dive into the Depths of Strangeness

10 Weirdest Looking Creatures in the Sea

The ocean covers over 70% of our planet, yet 80% of it still remains unexplored. In those dark, mysterious depths lie some of the strangest-looking creatures found anywhere on Earth.

From bloated blobs to prehistoric predators, the deep sea is home to an alien world of bizarre animals straight out of a sci-fi movie.

In this blog postwe will explore about 10 of the weirdest and wackiest sea creatures discovered so far. When you thought nothing would faze you after blobfish and vampire squid, out jumps something even more outrageous from the inky shadows. Brace yourself for close encounters of the absurd kind!

10 Strange Deep Sea Creatures

1. Blobfish: The Melancholy Mascot of the Deep

Blobfish

Blobfish are world-famous as one of the ugliest animals around. Their huge bulbous heads, flabby grey flesh, and perpetually miserable expression seem uniquely bizarre. However, in their natural habitat, nearly a mile underwater off Australia, blobfish look just like any other fish.

It’s only when brought to the surface that their jelly-like flesh balloons outwards. Lacking rigid structures like bones, blobfish flesh simply conforms to pressure changes.

So that infamous grumpy blob appearance is more an unhappy accident than the way blobfish actually look in the deep. Their neutral buoyancy allows them to float above the rocky seabed waiting to swallow edible matter drifting by.

Not as ugly as you think?

So in reality, blobfish only appear extraordinarily ugly and sad above water. At depths of up to 4,000 feet in the ocean, they simply resemble plump, fleshy fish going about their business.

So, while blobfish will likely remain the poster child for ugly animals everywhere, remember they only look that bizarre due to depressurization. In their natural state, they don’t look quite so peculiarly droopy!

2. Anglerfish: A Luring Lady with Bioluminescent Bait

Anglerfish

Looking like something straight out of a fairy tale nightmare, female anglerfish sport one of the most unusual hunting lures around.

A long, illuminated spine sprouts from their foreheads, wiggling worm-like to attract unwitting prey in the inky blackness. This built-in fishing rod with glowing bait enables them to survive in the ocean’s extremely low light depths completely independent of sunlight.

Thanks to bioluminescent bacteria, female anglers wield the ultimate deep-sea fishing pole. Their eerie glowing spine stretches up to twice their body length, sprinkled with even more glowing bulbs at the end.

This carnivorous femme fatale uses her flashing worm lure to tempt both wandering fish and unfortunate victims into her gigantic fang-filled maw when they draw near.

Love is blind (and toothy) in the deep

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Adding to her alien appearance, the male anglerfish is an extreme example of sexual dimorphism. Up to 60 times smaller than females, male anglers look more akin to fleshy remoras with weak, stunted bodies and atrophied organs.

Lacking digestive systems and essentially parasites, males must sniff out and permanently fuse onto a female in order to survive.

With huge cucumber-shaped bodies, fang-like teeth, glowing spine-lures, attached parasitic mates, and chasmic habitat, female anglerfish seem pulled straight from the pages of a sci-fi horror story!

3. Frilled Shark: A Living Fossil from Prehistoric Times

Frilled Shark

The frilled shark is an archetypal sea serpent, virtually unchanged for 80 million years since the days of the dinosaurs. Their slender grey bodies can grow over 7 feet long, distinguished by extremely elongated eel-like proportions.

Primitive anatomical traits include 6 pairs of gill slits when almost all modern sharks have 5. Frilled sharks are true living fossils still prowling the depths today.

Ancient predator still lurks the depths

Even more bizarre are the frilled shark’s over 300 trident-shaped teeth neatly lined in 25 rows. When ambushing prey, frilled sharks can launch their jaws forward like a terrifying jack-in-the-box.

By arching their snake-like bodies and unfurling accordion-like throat pleats, they can increase their gape and wretchedly impale prey on their trident teeth.

These relics from the age of the dinosaurs are rarely seen, giving them an aura of mystery. Their nocturnal habits and preference for very deep cold waters keeps them elusive.

But there’s no doubt frilled sharks are supreme throwbacks to the past, evolving slowly for millions of years thanks to no need to change in the depths.

4. Vampire Squid: A Master of Camouflage with a Sparkling Trick

Vampire Squid

Living up to their spooky name, hovering vampire squids disappear before your very eyes in a dramatic fashion. When threatened, these otherworldly octopods envelop themselves within a swirling inky cloak.

But that’s not all – hidden up their sleeves is an even more dazzling trick. They eject bioluminescent mucus in an impressive glowing cloud to confuse predators and escape under the cover of their glittering smoke screen.

Dracula of the Deep?

What really sets vampire squid apart from others is their dark webbing stretched between arms, reminiscent of Dracula’s iconic cloak.

They also have the largest eyes of any animal in proportion to body size. These enormous blue orbs allow them to spot both prey and predators stirring in the eternal midnight of the mesopelagic zone where minuscule sunlight filters down from above.

Named more for their cape-like appearance than hemotoxic habits, vampire squid are actually versatile passive predators with a variety of stealth and camouflage tactics to thrive in lightless ocean depths. Cloaking their bat-shaped bodies and ejecting glowing goo makes them magicians of the deepest seas!

5. Sea Pig: A Walking, Photosynthesizing Blob

Sea Pig:

Don’t let their bloated bodies and stubby limbs fool you – sea pigs might look sluggish, but they are actually mobile and lively ocean-floor foragers.

Their rotund bodies may resemble fat little pigs, but they are more closely related to sea cucumbers. Like quirky undersea hamsters, sea pigs plod along the sediments on tubular feet industriously hoovering up organic particles with their tentacle-like feeding arms.

But that’s not all that’s unusual about these plodding blobs. Sea pigs contain symbiotic algae in their tissues, allowing them to photosynthesize their own food and grow faster – a very rare trick for marine animals, especially those at shadowy depths!

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Sunbathing on the ocean floor

These charismatic creatures earn their moment in the spotlight as glorified marine slugs that walk! The sea floor is their home, where sea pigs busily plow through sediments and even climb aboard sponges and sea squirts like they own the place.

And thanks to onboard algae, they can absorb whatever dim rays penetrate down to their sunbathing spot on the seafloor.

6. Goblin Shark: A Jaws-Dropping Nightmare with Razor-Sharp Teeth

Goblin Shark:

Emerging from the gloom, a grotesque shark face with nail-like teeth bulges its jaws from its mouth like a shifting trowel. Looking more prehistoric than even its ancient frilled shark cousin, this terror of the deep has a uniquely bizarre hunting mechanism.

Goblin sharks can rapidly extend their jaws, letting them dart forward to snatch agile fish with lightning speed.

This powerful bite launching mechanism allows them to swing their entire jaws-teeth apparatus forward up to 10 cm, with tendons compensating for the displaced quadrate bone.

It lets them instantly snap up unsuspecting fish, compensating for their relatively poor eyesight and slow swimming speed in the depths where they hunt by remote-controlled jaws instead!

A real-life goblin from the depths

While they resemble some kind of deep-sea goblin, goblin sharks are known for their peculiar pointed snout. Looking directly at their snout gives them an even more otherworldly appearance, like a pink rocket gliding through the water. And their unusual highly protrusible jaws are by far their most bizarre feature.

Lurking between 200-1300 meter depths, goblin sharks specialize in ambushing fish and squid near the seafloor. Their jaws-launching mechanism helps these bizarre creatures earn their title as nightmare monsters from the nethermost depths!

7. Pelican Eel: A Gulping Gullet with a Built-in Light Show

Pelican Eel

With enormous hinged jaws making up a quarter its body length, pelican eels resemble nothing so much as giant mouth-on-a-leash.

Their gaping maw allows them to gulp down fish and even other eels whole, thanks to loosely-hinged lower jaws. Plus a glowing lure dangling from its elongated chin completes the perfect trap.

Once its hapless prey wanders into proximity of those bioluminescent baitworms, SNAP! – the pelican eel moves lightning-fast with the weirdly expandable jaw capacity of a snake.

In fact, their mouth gape rivals that of actual pelicans, hence their memorable common name. These extreme glow-worm bobbing bottom feeders have wonderfully expanded biomechanical abilities, allowing them to capitalize on extremely deep-sea dining.

Luring light attracts dinner in the darkness

Like anglerfish, pelican eels employ bioluminescence to survive in lightless depths as deep as 5000 feet, where very little food drifts by.

Flashy chin dangler worms act as bait to attract dinner right into their enormous mouths. By just dangling patiently with bait aglow, pelican eels can conserve energy while awaiting passing fish attracted to their unusual beckoning light show.

Their enormously elastic mouths ballooned open widely, and their hinged lower jaws snapped down over prey like giant Pez dispensers. The combination of substantial expandable gape and glowing lure makes pelican eels master trap-jaw predators of the furthest depths!

8. Elephantfish: A Trunkful of Secrets and Electric Senses

Elephantfish

Sporting an unusual elongated chin appendage resembling an elephant trunk in miniature, these odd bioluminescent swimmers stroke their little prehensile “trunks” out front during frequent hovering stops to search out prey.

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Their built-in fishing pole of sorts is loaded with electrical sensors, adding to their alien appearance.

With four sensors, the elephantfish’s chin appendage is equipped with specialized electroreceptors able to detect the tiniest electrical impulses given off by small, hidden prey even buried in the sediment.

Thanks to this cousin of the first great electrical sensors in nature, elephantfish can literally “see” using electricity, sensing the world around them in detail without relying only on vision, particularly in muddy or murky conditions.

Electric communication in the abyss

In addition, elephantfish can generate weak electrical signals from glands in their tails to communicate with each other and sense their surroundings by interpreting electrical feedback.

So these quirky bioluminescent beasts sense the world via electricity, as well as using their unusual tactile chin “trunk” to hunt by electro-detecting secretive buried prey.

9. Blob Sculpin: A Master of Disguise with a Bulbous Body

Blob Sculpin

Expertly camouflaged to mimic splotchy rocks with lumpy warty skin and amorphous bodies, blob sculpins are virtually indistinguishable from their surroundings on rocky sea bottoms.

With an enormous head up to half their total body length, these bottom-dwelling masters of disguise can flatten their bodies to near invisibility on the ocean floor amongst pebbles and debris.

By aligning their coloring with the mottled substrate using specialized skin cells, blob sculpins eliminate their profile to avoid detection from below.

This allows them to surprise unwitting prey passing overhead while remaining unnoticed themselves thanks to their exceptional camouflage mastery. With huge heavy heads honed by strong negative buoyancy control, blob sculpins commit fully to leading secretive benthic lives pretending to be rocks on the seafloor!

A master of blending in

Plus, the slimy mucous coating blob sculpins’ lumpy textured skin provides further camouflage and friction drag cut while also communicating chemical signals to other sculpins.

By undulating rhythmic pulsing ripples of muscular waves across their amorphous bodies in motion, they can take deception even further, fooling the eye. With amorphous lumpy flesh, skin-deep costume changes, and sneaky mimicry of rocks and movement, blob sculpins disappear like Blob himself from any lurking predators’ view!

10. Venus Flytrap Anemone: A Carnivorous Flower of the Sea

Venus Flytrap Anemone:

Although they resemble delicately colorful underwater flowers, venus flytrap anemones are actually voracious carnivores related to corals.

Using column-shaped bodies festooned with tentacles, they remain rooted to the seafloor waiting to ensnare passing prey. Their bright colors and alluring appearance disguise their deadly abilities perfectly.

With over 100 venom-filled thin tentacles up to 8 inches long apiece, anemone traps paralyze victims with nearly invisible harpoon-shaped nematocyst cells that inject toxin.

Touching them even lightly means becoming imprisoned by sticky sweeper tentacles, then transferred inward to the mouth by contracted snap-fast tentacles.

So while they are lovely to look at swaying in submarine gardens like exotic underwater plants, venus flytraps will just as happily make an unexpected snack of inquisitive divers!

A beautiful predator in disguise

Adding to their bizarre appearance, some species like magnificent sea anemones have specialized bubble-tip tentacles housing auxiliary stinging cells.

And many host symbiotic single-celled algae in their tissues, generating extra nutrients from sunlight like plants do. What seems a peaceful swaying flower is actually a disguised predator – the venus flytraps of the sea!

From anglerfish to blobfish and everything in between, the ocean depths hide some of our planet’s most radically bizarre animals. As technological improvements allow us to uncover more secrets from the deep, who knows what fantastically weird creatures remain to be discovered down there! One thing we can be sure of – the abyss will likely never fail to amaze us.