Creatures of the deep: the viper fish.

Creatures of the deep

15/10/2015

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Sebastian might have claimed that everything’s better under the sea - but then he was a crab. For our mammalian selves, the world beneath the ocean is a place full of nightmares. Nightmares with teeth. Lots of teeth. Here are ten that make us too afraid to go anywhere near the sea (or the bath, for that matter).

 

 

 

Seawolf 

Sea-wolf: lives in incredibly cold water.

Lives in incredibly cold water.

Despite looking incredibly fearsome, the seawolf is only dangerous when defending itself outside the water. Seawolves live in incredibly cold water (up to -1°C), at depths of 250-400 feet, and have a natural supply of antifreeze to keep their blood moving freely.

Anglerfish

Angler fish: also known as 'Hell's fisherman'.

Also known as 'Hell's fisherman'.

Anglerfish – also known as Hell’s fishermen –­ typically have three long filaments sprouting from the middle of their heads along with large upward-pointing mouths. They can be found worldwide on many different levels of the ocean. Some live in the open water, some dwell on the ocean floor, others in the deep sea, some on the continental shelf, and some in our nightmares.

Stargazer 

Stargazers have eyes on the top of their heads.

Stargazers have eyes on the top of their heads.

Stargazers, so called because they have eyes on the tops of their head, are venomous fish found in shallow waters around the world. They bury themselves in the sand and have a worm-shaped lure growing out of their mouth which they use to catch prey passing over head. Those cunning little monsters.

Dracula fish 

Dracula fish: use their fangs to fight each other.

Use their fangs to fight each other.

When scientists discovered a fish with unusual fangs made of bone in a Burmese stream early in 2009, they nicknamed it the Dracula fish. Researchers from London's Natural History Museum say that male Dracula fish use their fangs to fight each other - but do not appear to draw blood. What gentlemen.

Stonefish

Stonefish: highly venomous and dangerous to humans.

Highly venomous and dangerous to humans.

We bet you can’t guess why the stonefish has its name. Highly venomous and dangerous to humans, stonefish are found in the coastal regions of Indo-Pacific oceans. Stonefish have poisonous spikes at the base of their needle-like dorsal fin spines which stick up when disturbed or threatened – just like a nightmarish undersea hedgehog. 

Frill shark 

Frill shark mainly live at depths of up to 1,500 metres.

Mainly live at depths of up to 1,500 metres.

The frilled shark resembles a dark brown or grey eel, with six gill slits, like a shark, on its side. They are very rarely found in shallow water and mainly live at depths of up to 1,500 metres in Norway, South Africa, New Zealand and Chile. Curiously, they resemble the sea serpents and dragons of Asian and European myth. 

Viperfish 

Viperfish: one of the fiercest predators in the sea.

One of the fiercest predators in the sea.

A viperfish is a deep-water fish which grows to lengths of up to 24 inches long and has long, needle-like teeth and hinged lower jaws. The Viperfish lives at very low ocean depths and is one of the fiercest predators in the sea, luring its prey with a light-producing organ called a Photophore, which is located on the end of its dorsal spine. 

Scorpion fish 

Scorpion fish: mostly found in tropical Indo-Pacific seas.

Mostly found in tropical Indo-Pacific seas.

As the name suggests, scorpion fish are among the world's most venomous species. They have a sting in the form of sharp spines coated with venomous mucus and are mostly found in tropical Indo-Pacific seas, just waiting for unwary swimmers. 

Colossal squid 

Colossal squid: possibly responsible for the legend of the Kraken.

Possibly responsible for the legend of the Kraken.

The colossal squid, sometimes called the Antarctic or giant cranch squid, is believed to be the world's largest squid species, and possibly responsible for the legend of the Kraken. The largest known specimen uncovered by man is the 10 metre-long creature caught in 2007 in New Zealand, as seen in the awe-inspiring photo above.

Megamouth shark 

The megamouth shark swims with its mouth constantly open.

The megamouth shark swims with its mouth constantly open.

The megamouth shark is an extremely rare and unusual species of deep-water shark. The megamouth lives at a depth of around 120-160 metres in southern hemisphere oceans, where it swims with its mouth constantly open, catching plankton and jellyfish for food like some kind of monstrous hoover.

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