If you’re looking for a good fright, forget about going to see a horror movie or wandering through a cemetery in the middle of the night. Just flip on the National Geographic channel and find yourself a good documentary about the horrors lurking under the sea.
Living thousands of metres below the water’s surface may not have done these creatures any favours in the looks department, but it has led to some utterly bizarre adaptations that let mother nature’s ugly step-children survive in their unique environment. And while it’s fun to point and stare at how hideous they all are, just remember they’d probably do the same to us if they visited dry land.
Not only may you never want to sleep again after seeing this undulating sheet of brown goo writhing its way across your screen, you’ll never want to use blankets again either. We’ll take a hungry great white shark over this creature any day — at least we know which end is up there.
It gets its name from its tie-dye-like skin, but the Psychedelic fish is also known as the Frog fish because of the way it uses its lower fins to hop and crawl along the ocean floor. And for some reason its back fin is perpetually twisted to the side making it difficult for the fish to swim straight ahead. Is this mother nature’s version of a Nascar driver?
Pacific Barreleye Fish
More formally known as the Macropinna Microstoma, the Barreleye Fish’s eyes are protected beneath a clear soft dome that lets it keep an eye on prey floating above and all around it. It’s also got kind of a cool fighter pilot thing going on.
Growing out of the ocean floor like water-filled plants, Tunicates are usually passive feeders. But this predatory version lures in other sea life through its large gaping mouth, trapping and digesting them for dinner. Didn’t we see its bigger brother show up in one of those Star Wars films?
Prehistoric Frilled Shark
Frills are supposed to be a cute addition to a little girl’s outfit. So why are prehistoric creatures like the Velociraptors in Jurassic Park, and this rare Frilled Shark, making them part of our nightmares? This bizarre-looking shark somehow manages to make even Jaws seem adorable.
This little guy actually looks like your run-of-the-mill shrimp, but it’s what it does with its pincers that’s utterly bizarre. It’s called the Pistol Shrimp because it’s able to cock and slam its pincers shut with so much force that it produces a super-heated blast of water that stuns its prey. Easily making this the world’s most deadliest beatnik.
Vampyroteuthis Infernalis (aka The Vampire Squid From Hell)
Being compared to a vampire straight from the gates of hell can’t be great for its self-esteem. But this unusual creature — that falls somewhere between an octopus and a squid — lives up to its name with barbed tentacles, glowing eyes, squirting phosphorescent ink, and the ability to turn itself inside-out into a spiky ball of horror.