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Halloween is almost here, and it has got us feeling spooky! We wanted to take a look at some of the scariest and strangest ocean creatures, to get us in the mood for the 31st! We narrowed it down to seven strange creatures that live in our oceans and seas, but do not be too scared, they are all truly fascinating! Let us take a look at our Halloween scary ocean creatures.
Let us take a moment to address the elephant in the room (the sharks in the ocean). For many people, sharks are top of the list of scary ocean creatures. However, the media has always exaggerated the risk of being in the water with sharks and most encounters do not lead to attacks.
Less than eight people a year die from shark attacks. Unfortunately, shark culls, poor fishing practices, and shark finning mean that in return we kill an estimated 100 million sharks every year.
Our reefs rely on sharks to support a balanced ecosystem, and we rely on the reef and the ocean for the survival of humans. So we propose that it is time to break the stigma around sharks and work together to increase shark populations. This is not to say however, that caution and respect should not be given when in the water with sharks; always keep a distance, dive with responsible tour companies, and research how to behave to minimize any risk when you snorkel or dive with sharks.
Angler fish are found extremely deep - up to 1524 meters (5000 feet) below the surface! They range in size but can grow to around 7.5 centimeters (3 inches long) and are found across the globe. But the most interesting thing about this fish is its unique and truly creepy appearance.
The angler fish has a round body with a massive, cavernous mouth which is home to a multitude of needle-like teeth. When an angler fish captures prey in its mouth, these teeth can be folded back and locked to prevent the prey from escaping.
But it does not stop there! Angler fish also utilize bioluminescence to lure prey towards them in the pitch-black waters they inhabit. They also have a dangling appendage that comes off the skull and sits right in front of their mouths. Truly scary ocean creatures!
Nicknamed "slime eels" and considered by many to be the "most disgusting animal on Earth" " hagfish have four pairs of thin sensory tentacles that surround their mouth and help them to find food.
Once food is found, the hagfish buries its face into its meal and burrows a deep tunnel into the flesh. Hagfish often feast on the carcasses of huge ocean animals, and they can absorb nutrients straight through their skin and sometimes go months in between meals.
Despite its nickname, the hagfish is not an eel, but it does give off slime which allows it to make a slippery escape if attacked by predators. The most disgusting thing about Hagfish? It sneezes out excess slime to avoid choking on it and it can also tie its body into a knot to keep the slime off its face.
The giant squid is one of the most fascinating and scary ocean creatures. Reaching recorded lengths of 9 meters (30 feet), but with many unreported claims of even bigger being spotted, the giant squid is truly a monster of the deep.
They have eyes as large as grapefruits, and suckers along their feeding arms that have sharp, rotating hooks which capture prey and ensure it cannot escape. Giant squid can move very fast through the water and prey on large ocean creatures including sharks and cetaceans.
It is said that their only predator is the sperm whale. They have been recorded living as deep as 914 meters (3000 feet) beneath the surface, but it is believed that they are capable of living much deeper!
This globulous little creature certainly deserves a place on our list of scary ocean creatures. Growing to around 15 centimeters (6 inches) long, the warty frogfish is found in shallow, tropical waters and it has soft skin covered in small, dermal spinules.
As well as having a huge mouth that allows it to swallow prey as large as itself, the warty frogfish can even change color to blend into its surroundings; it can go from black to white, with nuances of pink, yellow, brown, and red along the way.
The final fascinating aspect of this fish is its ability to exhibit biofluorescence which is showcased under blue or ultraviolet light and also helps the warty frogfish to camouflage.
Found only in the black smokers on the floor of the Pacific Ocean, giant tube worms grow up to 2.7 meters (9 feet) long and utilize the sulfur-fixing bacteria that spews out of the black smokers to create energy for themselves.
When these creatures were found at 1524 meters (5000 feet) deep, scientists were excited to find out that life can thrive so deep with no sunlight. Giant tube worms can grow up to around 3 meters (9.8 feet) long and they tend to be white with a red plume. Colonies of giant tube worms can grow to cover a vast area on the ocean floor, all reaching up through the black smoke to create a Halloween-like scene.
The Japanese translation for this crab is "long-legged crab". With a leg span of up to 5.5 meters (18 feet), the largest of any arthropod, these crabs definitely live up to their name and look more like spiders than they do crabs.
They have spikes all over their legs known as tubercles, and the crazy thing about these crabs is that they can regenerate legs if they lose one! It is said that the Japanese spider crab can live up to an impressive 100 years old, which is the longest of any crab. These spiny monsters certainly belong on our list of scary ocean creatures.