We are used to seeing magnificent pictures and videos of underwater sea life. However, there is a darker side to it, as the deep waters of the oceans are also home to some truly frightening creatures.
1- The Colossal Squid
At 46 feet long, the Colossal squid is the largest squid species discovered so far, and is the world’s largest invertebrate. In 2008, scientists managed to dissect a colossal squid whose eyes alone were 11 inches wide (16 inches when alive). The largest known colossal squid was caught in 2007 near New Zealand, and had an approximate weight of 1,000lb. This specimen was twice as long as a London bus. This veritable sea monster inhabits the waters of the Antarctic Ocean, so a close encounter with one of them is a remote possibility, unless you are into really adventurous sailing.
2- The Giant Jellyfish
These massive animals can weigh up to 500 pounds and are 7 feet wide, so in fact, their average width is larger than a basketball player’s height. The giant jellyfish is often found in the waters that surround Japan, where they pose problems to fishing vessels and swimmers alike. In 2009, a 10-ton Japanese trawler capsized when one of these specimens became trapped in their fishing nets. Giant jellyfish sting other fish species, making them unedible due to high toxicity. Swimmers in Japan, China, and South Korea have also been known to be stung by these creatures. One can only imagine how painful that can be!
3- The Ogrefish
Ogrefish (also known as fangtooth) are deep-sea creatures often found in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Although ogrefish are not particularly large (usually measuring 7 inches), they are indeed ferocious-looking animals. If faced with one of them, you are likely to notice its extremely large mouth, lined with threatening fang-like teeth, which are thought to be one of the largest in the marine world.
4- The Ocean Sunfish
At 1,000 kilograms (the weight of an average car) this is the heaviest known bony fish in the world. The heaviest known specimen weighed nearly 5,000 pounds and was 14 feet long. This species can be found in virtually every ocean, although they appear in larger numbers in the Atlantic and the Pacific. Ocean sunfish are not dangerous to humans. In fact, they are known to interact with divers and swimmers peacefully. However, they do sometimes leap aboard boats and vessels, causing damage to their structure – so sailing aficionados beware!
5- The Giant Isopod
Despite its scary looks, the giant isopod is actually harmless. These animals measure an average of 2.5 feet and can weigh up to 4 lb. Giant isopods are known among scientists for their complex compound eyes (made up of more than 4,000 panels) and for their mouth, which is able to rip their prey’s bodies with surprising ease. Giant isopods are sometimes called giant pillbugs, a name that provides an indication of what these sea monsters look like (giant bugs indeed). The giant isopod is a carnivorous scavenger that feeds on the remains of dead sea species, as well as on live and slow-moving preys.
6- The Blobfish
Their name says it all. Blobfish have a jelly-like mass as a body, and have been branded “the most miserable-looking fish in the world”. Blobfish are native to Australian waters, where they are an endangered species.
Adventure on the seven seas if just around the corner with a rya day skipper course. Take to the seas if you dare and discover some of natures more interesting creatures.