While Finding Dory might paint a picture of the ocean as a happy underwater world where even the most ferocious creatures can become friends, the truth is a little more frightening. At least it is way down in the deep, where humans never go. In the dark abyss where light doesn’t ever reach, there are some pretty terrifying creatures lurking for their prey.
The caulophrne polynema is a species of anglerfish that takes its cousin’s ghastly appearance to horrifying new levels. In addition to the sharp teeth lining its mouth, this guy has numerous spikes covering its body to protect it against predators. It’s definitely not something we’d want to tangle with in the deep.
The nose on this underwater beast can reach up to five feet in length, but it might surprise you to find that it’s not the nose that makes this guy deadly. The stiletto-shaped nose is actually pretty harmless, but the spine on the first dorsal fin contains enough venom to kill a person. You’ll find them swimming 8,000 feet below the surface off the coast of Africa, so there’s not too much to worry about until a storm drags one to the surface.
The viperfish has teeth so long that they don’t even fit in this underwater monster’s mouth. It’s somewhat reminiscent of a snake but generally doesn’t get much longer than a foot. It has a long, dorsal spine tipped with a photophore, which it uses as a beacon to attract other fish in the dark. This thing might not be able to kill you, but that bite is sure going to hurt.
The frilled shark is the stuff of nightmares. Its elongated body allows it to glide through the water at speeds faster than any human could ever swim. It draws in its prey thanks to its brightly colored teeth, all 300 of them, which are lined in such a way that the only way to untangle yourself from them is to proceed further into the shark’s mouth. The gaping maw of this fish is also lined with spines going around its mouth for added appeal.
While it may not be able to suck your blood, the vampire squid is still likely to make you wary of getting in the water ever again. This menacing looking fellow is born in the deepest depths of the ocean and has cloak-like webbing around its body that makes it much harder to see in the dark than your typical squid. Its eyes also glow red. Can you imagine that coming at you while you’re swimming underwater?
The most frightening thing about the stargazer is that you’ll literally never see it coming. That’s because they like to bury themselves under the ocean floor, with their eyes and sharp teeth barely poking through the surface, before lunging upwards to swallow their prey. If that weren’t creepy enough, a lot of them are capable of producing electrical shocks. You know, just in case the sight of it didn’t give you a heart attack already.
The Black Swallower is a tiny fish with a large appetite. In fact, he’s known to swallow prey up to ten times his own size thanks to a vastly distended stomach. And he’s kind of ugly to boot. These fish are rarely seen swimming near the ocean’s surface and when they are found, it’s usually because they floated there after trying to eat something a little too large. The fact that you’re a few dozen times its weight apparently won’t stop it from trying to take a bite.
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