Top 10 Most Bizarre Deep Sea Creatures Ever Discovered

Top 10 Most Bizarre Deep Sea Creatures Ever Discovered

It's been said that 95% of all the waters in the world remain unexplored. The deepest parts of the ocean, especially, are a challenge to unravel, as they pose a lot of biological and engineering challenges just to get there. As such, almost anything that comes out of its dark depths always look bizarre, almost alien to us. Let's shed some light on some of the most bizarre deep-sea creatures you won't believe exist.

10-Weird octopuses

Octopuses are already strange creatures. They have 8 separate dextrous tentacles, a very squishy, flexible body, nine brains, three hearts, and blue blood. They even have an intelligence level that rivals that of dolphins and orangutans. However, our regular tentacled friends actually look rather tame, compared to their deep-sea versions. Here's some the strangest you'll find in the deep-sea. Let's start off with the flapjack octopus, which certainly looks like something out of a Disney movie. They live between 200 to 1500 meters below the ocean and are mostly native to the eastern Pacific, with a few species scattered throughout the mid-Atlantic Ocean. With its tiny size, gelatinous body, almost adorable build, and eyes that just seem to sparkle with curiosity, it completely differentiates itself from the more grotesque and extended build of an ordinary octopus. Now take a flapjack octopus, make it more translucent, and give it a rounder body, and this is what you have. The informally-named casper octopus gets the inspiration obviously from its ghastly look. First found thousands of meters deep in the Hawaiian seas, they had been observed to lay their eggs on the stalk of dead sea sponges and then guard them to the death, literally. They will wrap themselves around the sponge without leaving, without ever feeding, until they finally die. Now that's dedication. For another Disney reference, look no further than the dumbo octopus. As you may have already guessed, its nickname is derived from its ears, which are actually fins with a peculiar shape. Just like the flap jack and the casper ghost octopus, it also has a seemingly smaller build than the average octopus, which allows it to thrive at depths as deep as 7,000 meters below sea level.

9-Angler Fish

Of course we can't talk about the deep sea without mentioning just about every super wide-jawed oddity that lurks down there. On the top of the list is, none other than, the anglerfish, which gets its name from its unusual hunting method, which involves luring prey close to its mouth using that weird luminescent appendage coming out of its head. Apart from that, it has a very unusual mating process. Similar to humans, male anglerfish spend their lives finding a single female through pheromones she releases. Once found he bites onto the female and fuses onto her. Like a parasite he gets his nutrients from her need to survive and has practically an on-demand testicle ready to reproduce when the female needs sperm. Another frightening fish is the viperfish. Measuring around 60 centimeters or 23 inches in length, its essentially an anglerfish made to look even more alien. Its fanged jaws can open wide to almost 90 degrees and its similarly configured by a luminescent lure can invite shallower fish down to their instant doom. Probably even more hideous are deep-seadragonfishes, a similar class of wide-jawed monsters which make viperfish look like their incomplete cousins. What's particularly special about this fish, is they don't just produce blue light, like most other deep sea creatures, they also produce red light. To emit this light the species will use organs called photophores, typically located in front of their eyes. While the red light cannot act as a lure, since most of the prey cannot see that shade, it does allow the dragonfish to stealthily illuminate their prey.

8-Pelican flounder

The main challenge for any deep-sea organism is not actually the absence of light but the crushing pressure levels. For the pelican flounder the solution is simple, it makes itself as flat and flexible as biologically possible. The result becomes an amalgam of the nightmarish anglerfish and the corkiness of your average flounder. This fish is actually native to the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans. Nothing much is currently known about the pelican flounder since they are rarely observed in their natural habitat, but if we were to point out one specific trait that makes it really special as a deep sea dweller it would be its baby form. Pelican flounder larva are some of the most alien-looking entities of the deep, akin to the other-worldly appearance of comb jellies, which are small invertebrates found world-wide. Like a mosquito, pelican flounder larva are enveloped within their transparent flesh, only growing into their normal opaque-brown color as they grow.

7-Giant isopods and amphipods

Sure, ancient trilobites and modern horse-hoe crabs may look cute and all but out on the deep-sea floor there are creepy-crawlies that can take you millions of years back into the age of the giant insects. Just take a close look at this giant isopod, closer, even closer. Its extra-terrestrial form and size will constantly make you wonder if its actually some form of mutated lice. Don't worry its not going to jump on your face. They're actually more of a scavenger than an active hunter. They also typically thrive in colder deeper environments, which is why they're technically absent in most temperate deep regions of the world. There are other forms of gigantic deep-sea crustaceans that have an unusual alien-like appearance, like the supersized amphipods. Its almost as if they're the grotesque and mutated versions of their tamer counterparts on the shallow seas and land. Thankfully, being that almost all of them are not as active as the wide-jawed hellspawns I mentioned earlier they're far less menacing to other species than they seem, even less intimidating since we'll never even get to meet one on land, probably.

6-Spider crabs

Speaking of crustaceans, crabs are also subjected to the same freakish transformations when the deep-sea is taken into account. This time though, it's not just their size but rather a whole different dimension of weird. Japanese spider crabs, for example, don't just hold the record for the longest-legged crab, but they are also, literally, the longest-legged arthropod ever. They can grow up to around five meters long. Although their body is relatively small its main body can still grow a bit larger than the average human head. The hoff crab is another ghastly version of its normal counterpart. The deep dark depths made it almost featureless in terms of color giving itself a pure white shell of nothingness. The hoff crab got its name due to its dense covering of setae which are hair-like structures that resemble the hairy chest of actor David Hasselhoff. It thrives near hydrothermal vents where its setae feeds upon sulfur-oxidizing bacteria nearby. Even stranger are the various species of strange spiny crabs which have yet to be properly classified or even identified due to their recent discovery. The only thing evident though is that the deep-sea environment where they belong, must have been really harsh for them to go several steps above the crustacean defense tree.

5-Colossal squid

If there's one persisting legend that turns out to be true of the deep it's that the deep-sea is home to fantastic creatures that exhibit monstrous proportions. It's a well-known scientific phenomenon known as deep-sea gigantism and one of the most gigantic creatures we know of that lives down there is the colossal squid. The colossal squid is a gigantic cephalopod that is easily more than twice the size of a regular human. Occasionally caught in the southern seas of the Antarctic, we've never seen one in its natural habitat, as we've only known about them because their sometimes caught by fishing rigs. It may not be capable of capsizing ships, but its still the largest known invertebrate in the world. Giant squids are another huge squid species. Compared to the colossal squid they're only about a third of their size, but they're still larger than any regular person and they have a huge intimidating beak you would not want to be eaten by. Though it can be just as illusive as its bigger counterpart, the giant squid has actually been spotted in its natural habitat, even twice, although only very briefly. Speaking of deep-sea squids, the vampire squid also deserves a special mention, with a weird transitional body that is technically classified a split between a squid and an octopus. It's not as gigantic but its still equally monstrous, with its cape-like webbing and spine-studded tentacles. Don't worry it does not suck the blood of its neighboring denizens but is instead a particulate scavenger, preferring to dine on what's already prepared as a meal.

4-Harp sponge

As fearsome as they already are, sea anemones and other similar creatures have at least taught us that the oceans are also home to a number of immobile predatory feeders. Therefore, its only natural that the deep, dark, sea will introduce us to something similar only more horrifying. The harp sponge, for instance, looks just like its name suggests, an unassuming, harmless, piece of underwater living sponge, shaped like a harp. Whereas most inert deep-sea creatures feed off of filtered marine matter, this one actively seeks a more scrumptious feast by snagging its victim with its Velcro-like hooks. With its meal unable to escape, it then completely envelops its prey and digests it. Part of its menu typically includes various small fishes. Usually, those that are not strong enough to escape its microscopic hooks. However, it has been known to feast on crustaceans as well.

 3-Sea toads

The sea toad is a rather simple name for this ocean-dwelling oddity, but it does kinda describe what an amphibian might look like when subjected to the crushing depths of the deep-sea. Think of the fish that is smashed from front to back and given tiny legs. That's the simplest description of what sea toads look like. In the words of Sir David Attenborough, Not the most beautiful thing in the sea but it definitely gives a direct visual representation of what we humans would definitely find familiar yet other-worldly. Oh, and as with its close relative, the aforementioned anglerfish, the sea toad is also a fierce, ambush predator. It lurks always patiently waiting before its hapless victim finally ends up as sustenance.


Deep-sea siphonophores are long lines of jellyfish-like entities connected together, only guided by the organism behind and in front. They can get really long, like, just as long or even longer than a blue whale, making them some of the longest animals in the world. They stay alive by preying on smaller animals by using stinging cells. Though some types of siphonophores exhibit a simpler, long and slender creature configuration, other types can have even wackier physical configurations. Most of them though, such as the classic Portuguese man o' war, do not belong to the depth of the deep-sea. Therefore, not part of our dark oddities.

1-Gulper eels

If there's one thing in the deep that is the literal stuff of nightmares, it would have to be the gulper eel. Its name alone conjures a disturbing image to those who hear it and complete dread to those who can witness its full existence. Its huge mouth, which is definitely its most defining trait, is capable of extending and snapping, like a snake. This allows it munch and dine on stuff that a creature of its size would not normally be able to swallow. Combine this with its very slender body and whip-like tail and its capability of easily bending into the depths of darkness and this makes it even more terrifying than the already monstrous anglerfish. Strangely enough cusk eels, despite being within the same category and habitat as the gulper eel, look vastly different and come in a variety of forms. They have all the normal features of regular fish but wrapped within an almost extra-terrestrial look and transparent form. This is to be expected though, as at 8,200 meters deep the cusk eel is officially one of the deepest ocean-dwelling creatures on record. To give you a rough idea of how tough as hunters these eel really are, both of them eat a staple diet of mostly hard crustaceans. They also inhabit a very large part of the world's oceans, as they can easily thrive anywhere, so long as, the climate is relatively warm.

Have you ever seen any of the Deep Sea Creatures listed in this list? Or do you know of any other Deep Sea Creatures that are really Bizarre and that should have been included? Let me know in the comments down below and thanks so mush.