Monsters of the Deep Sea
Found at the depths of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, these deep sea ocean dwellers are both scary and deadly:
- Frill Shark - has over 300 rows of needle sharp teeth. Its name comes from its frilly-looking gills.
- Stonefish - perfectly camouflaged to look like a rock on the ocean floor, it is the most venomous fish in the world. It has 13 spines along its back that release the venom, which can kill humans in just a few hours.
- Sloane’s Viperfish - its teeth are a force to be reckoned with. The fang-like chompers are more than half the size of the viper’s head, allowing the fish to impale prey by swimming at the victim headfirst, mouth agape.
- Red Octopus - has eight arms with rows of glow-in-the-dark suckers trailing down each arm which are used to attract planktonic prey, like insects drawn to a light.
- Sea Pig - a type of sea cucumber found in very deep waters throughout Earth’s oceans. Sea pigs travel in large groups numbered in the hundreds, crawling along the sea floor.
Rare Ice Fish with Transparent Blood
The Japanese aquarium, The Tokyo Sea Life Park, has revealed its latest exhibit, a rare ‘ice fish’ believed to be the only one in captivity in the world. Ice fish are unique due to their astonishingly clear blood. The fish have no scales, and their blood contains no hemoglobin, the substance that makes blood red. The ice fish is sometimes called a bloodless or white-blooded fish, because it lost its ability to make hemoglobin during its evolution. This makes the fish a medical curiosity.
Currently researchers are baffled by their lack of the key chemical - although they believe the fish can live without hemoglobin because they have unusually large hearts and use blood plasma to circulate oxygen throughout their bodies.
The species Chionodraco hamatus, one of the Antarctic’s ice fish, can withstand temperatures that freeze the blood of all other types of fish.
The Fish with Human Teeth
This is not a Photoshop job. This is the very strange smile of a sheepshead fish. Like humans, these fish have both incisors and molars — perfect for masticating an omnivorous diet. Apparently, they also taste good.
Sheepshead fish are a common North American marine species that span from Cape Cod and Massachusetts through to Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to Brazil. Preferring coastal habitats around rock pilings, jetties, mangroves, reefs and piers, they can grow up to around 91 cm in length and weigh up to 9.6 kg. They have five to seven distinctive black, vertical bars running down their silvery bodies, which is why the sheepshead is also called the convict fish.
The Bite That Heals
It’s hard to see—but essential to avoid—a stonefish on a Pacific reef. If venom from its dorsal spines doesn’t kill you, the pain is so great that you may find yourself begging for the affected limb to be cut off.
NatGeo takes a look at the possible medical value of venoms. Read the feature article or check out the photo gallery.
“The Bite That Kills” would be a more fitting title. That thing is terrifying to even look at.
Terrifying Deep Sea Creatures to Feed your Nightmares
These weird and scary creatures were found at the deepest part of the world’s oceans located at The Mariana Trench. On March 26, 2012, film director James Cameron became the first person to reach the bottom of the Mariana Trench. These are just a few of the creatures that he found. Truly creepy.
Curious History: Larval Common Black Dragonfish (Idiacanthus atlanticus)
The eyes of the larval black dragonfish are carried on long stalks. This is believed to increase its field of vision, assisting in finding prey and avoiding predators. As it matures, the fish’s eyes retreat into a socket.
Images © Australian Museum
Another amazing view of the Christ of the Abyss figure at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park located in Key Largo, Florida.
Creepy Deep Sea Specimens
Three specimens of deep sea marine life. A Viper fish, an Angler fish, and a very young Colossal squid, acquired by Merrylin from the Starkweather foundation after one of their many maritime expeditions.