Images that Reveal the Scary Side of the Ocean

By: Samantha Parker | Last updated: Sep 27, 2022

It has been said that more than 80% of the ocean is still undiscovered, but with so much of it unexplored, it’s hard to say with any degree of precision if that is an accurate amount. With the technology and equipment needed to delve into the ocean’s depths continuously improving, why has it taken us so long to explore so little?

There are indeed plenty of terrifying creatures and unanswered anomalies that lie in the uncharted depths of the ocean. Let’s jump in and explore some of the unchartered nooks and crannies that make up the ocean that may give even the most experienced divers nightmares…

Fighting for Freedom

Sharks are powerful hunters, capable of moving through the water at astonishing speeds of up to 45 miles per hour. Great white sharks can grow as long as 20 feet, possibly more. If one decides you look like a tasty morsel, and you’re in its territory, you could be in trouble.

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Of course, this isn’t something most of us have to worry about. Sharks aren’t that interested in people, so if you keep your distance, you’re fine. Even the diver who was in the cage this shark got trapped in was fine. The shark did not harm him. All it cared about was freeing itself from the cage.

An Underwater Volcanic Eruption

This is one of the wildest sights we’ve ever seen. We can only imagine what it would be like to be there watching the lava meet the ocean’s waves. If you’ve ever found volcanic rocks while walking on the beach, this may have been where they came from. 

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Yes, it is possible to have an active volcano around a body of water. In fact, there are plenty of underwater volcanoes. When lava hits ocean water, all sorts of reactions occur, including the production of laze – that thick smokey haze you can see in the background. 

Sea Monster? 

When you look at this picture, it looks like there’s a giant monster or a whole horde of sea snakes waiting for the right time to catch some fresh humans, but in fact, those are just strands of seaweed floating in the waves.

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Yes, even though they are just seaweed tentacles, it still looks scary from a distance. Would you be able to brave the waves if you were in that situation? 

Sad Fishy

It has been said that this is the ugliest fish in the world. Harsh as it may seem, this dubious award came from the Ugly Animal Preservation Society. This non-profit aims to raise awareness and support for endangered animals who don’t have the benefit of being cute.

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This one is called the blobfish (Psychrolutes marcidus). However, it’s not so blobby when it’s down in its natural habitat. Researchers discovered this species in the great depths of the ocean where it rarely encounters humans. The blob effect occurs when these fish are rapidly dragged up to the surface of the water. No wonder they always look so sad. 

Just a Leaping Whale

Whales are often called gentle giants as they are enormous creatures, but they are friendly and harmless to humans. You may panic to see such a massive creature in person, but don’t worry, it seems like the whale just wants to welcome you into its territory.

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Whales can be friendly and curious about people, but of course, they also need the utmost respect, especially if you are in their home. Remember to keep your distance from them, and don’t do anything to trigger their beast within.

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Powerful One

The National Ocean Service defines a Tsunami as a series of waves caused by earthquakes or undersea volcanic eruptions. It is considered a natural disaster that creates damages to infrastructure and the lives of the people affected.

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Oceans can be calm at times, but when they get angry, they can produce big waves. Though the picture above is an artist’s impression, Tsunami waves can be monstrous. 

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During the Disaster

While a tsunami may not look the way they are depicted in movies and by artists, they still cause a lot of destruction. This is a real picture of what it looks like during the disaster itself.

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This photo is from December 2004 and was taken in Phuket, Thailand. The tsunami claimed thousands of lives, including many foreign tourists who were just enjoying their vacations. The water destroyed everything, and it was a painful sight to see for those who went to rescue and rebuild.

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Look Out!

A lot of people are afraid of the ocean because of the stories depicted by the media. Numerous movies present how scary the big blue can be, and then there are social media posts like this picture below:

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Most people would be scared in this situation. Imagine you are being followed by this large life form, and you’re well aware of how many teeth it has. In reality, however, the shark is only curious to see what the person is doing. It didn’t hurt the man who was, as it turns out, excited to have such a close encounter. 

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Real-life Jaws

In the movie Jaws, producers used a realistic animatronic creature during the scenes where the shark had to attack people. However, this is not what’s happening in this photo. That shark is as real as they get. 

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Mick Fanning, an Australian surfer, had a real-life Jaws moment during a major competition in South Africa. Fanning said he was amazed that he was able to stay calm. One of his competitors, Julian Wilson, helped him escape this terrifyingly close encounter.

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Say Aaaahh

Parents might say this to a baby to get it to open its mouth for some food, but would you say the same to this big shark right here?

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This is called a basking shark, and it is one of the largest marine species in the world. Its jaw is gigantic, approximately 3 feet in width, lined with hundreds of teeth. This big mouth enables it to consume most of its prey in one swim. However, there’s no need to worry as its favorite food is plankton, not human.

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King of the Ocean

Did you ever wonder what the biggest jellyfish looks like? This mammoth jellyfish was happily swimming in the depths of the ocean, minding its own business, when some human divers came along.

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This is called a Lion’s Mane Jellyfish, and it is the largest jellyfish species in the ocean. Though it may look like a gentle, fluffy giant, it has a powerful sting that it uses to catch its prey. Its tentacles can reach up to 120 feet long, which is longer than the many members of the largest whale species, the blue whale. The title, “king of the ocean” fits this creature perfectly!

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Massive One

Can you see the boat right there, or are you already focused on the massive creature beneath it in the water? If you saw the enormous whale first, we’re with you! 

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That massive creature is called the blue whale, and it is the world’s largest creature. It has a length of up to 110 feet and can weigh up to 33,000 tons. While we know that whales are friendly to humans, with just a flick of this creature’s tail, the boat would be knocked over. Just make sure to be friendly to whales as well.

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Black Hole in the Ocean

Black holes in outer space are amazing, especially for scientists and astronauts, but this black hole in the ocean gives an equally exciting and eerie feeling.

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Numerous people would choose not to go beyond the edges of that hole, however, some adventurous humans are determined to discover its hidden treasures. Still, this is not advisable by the experts as there could be anything hiding in the dark.

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Little Flashlights

Along with the enormous creatures who occupy the depth of the ocean, there are also plenty of microscopic organisms living with them. National Geographic describes the creatures below as being among the most important little animals in the food chain. 

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These small, shrimp-like crustaceans are known as Krill, and they grow to only around 2 inches in length. Small though they may be, they are the fuel that runs the engine of the marine ecosystem. One amazing fact about this creature is that they create their own light so they can see where they are swimming.

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Sucker Punch

Usually, when a whale eats, it opens its enormous mouth to catch all the tiny microorganisms as its food. This is what this photo is all about.

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However, a human diver was caught up in the scene, and the whale almost sucked the diver in along with thousands of tiny plankton. Thankfully, whale sharks are not a danger to humans, so no harm was done to the diver.

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Buried Deep Within

This event happened in September 2017 when Hurricane Maria struck the northeastern Caribbean, causing widespread damage in Puerto Rico, Dominica, and Saint Croix.

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The Santa Maria Magdalena de Pazzis cemetery was one of the places where the hurricane hit hardest. Many families had their last remaining connection to lost loved ones consumed by the ocean.

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Amazing Waterfall

This photo is a wonderful sight to see. It looks unreal, but we can confirm this photo is 100% genuine. This place is located on the tropical island of Mauritius.

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Sorry to burst your excitement but that is not a real waterfall. The waterfall is just an illusion created by sand and silt that are in perpetual movement. Due to the marine topography of the place, various shades of blue are visible because of the sand movement.

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There is Something in the Water

It’s terrifying to imagine that a big octopus could be lurking in the water in an urban area. Even if you had an aerial view, you’d be terrified. Thankfully, this is another artist’s impression.  

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This picture relates to a local legend that suggests a ginormous octopus lives below the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. Regardless of whether the legend is real or not, it wouldn’t hurt to avoid swimming in the vicinity of the bridge!

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Tentacles in the Deep

Not all octopuses are friendly like the ones we see in TV shows and movies. Though many are adorably curious about humans, they are also talented and intelligent hunters with powerful tentacles, so they should never be underestimated. 

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Scientists have found that octopuses are solitary and territorial. They are either evasive or friendly to humans unless provoked. Avoid invading their personal space, and you will be granted the same level of respect from these noble creatures.

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Sea Monsters Playing Dress-Up

In the first slide, we saw seaweed that looked like a horde of sea snakes. Now, we have the opposite scenario – these sea monsters are masquerading as seaweed! To be fair, these aren’t monsters. They are garden eels.

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While they may not be monsters, they certainly are playing dress-up. A mature garden eel can grow to a length of anywhere from 1 foot to 11.5 feet. As with many of the creatures on this list, they may look creepy, but they have no desire to harm humans unless they are attacked.

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Shark Silhouette

A lot of things can happen while you are surfing, but encountering a shark is perhaps the most terrifying. What would you do if you saw this silhouette in the water? Though it seems scary, things aren’t always as bad as they appear at first glance.

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This silhouette is actually of a dolphin, not a shark. How can you tell? Dolphins have a characteristic curve to the back of their dorsal fins. If this were a shark, the back of that top fin would go straight up.

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Chillin’ on the Edge

Underwater caves are thrilling for some people, especially those who are adrenaline junkies and experienced divers. However, those of us who are scared to dive deep down will never have a chance to see the underwater caves.

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This photo is from Jacob’s Well, which is located in Texas. It is 4,500 feet deep and is considered one of the most dangerous diving spots in the world. Eight people have died swimming in it. If you’re scared, you can just sit by the edge and enjoy the scenery.

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Up Close

Imagine you are on a boat, minding your own business, and then this big sea creature suddenly appears. Would you know what to do?

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This sea creature is called the Great White Shark. It has been confirmed by science that sharks can jump almost 11 feet out of the water to snag their prey. This would be a spectacular sight, so long as you weren’t in the water! 

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Some Sharks like the Dark

We’re all familiar with the usual look of a shark – big fish, with scary teeth and fins – however, this kind of shark is rarely seen by anyone who doesn’t dwell in the depths of the ocean.

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This is called a goblin shark (Mitsukurina owstoni). With its elongated snout, chaotic teeth, and highly protrusible jaw, to say this creature is distinctive would be an understatement. Goblin sharks are not usually seen because they like to stay hidden in the depths of the ocean.

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A Minute with Ray

Do you like yoga or meditation? Would you like to experience meditating under the sea with a manta ray? After seeing this picture, we can’t think of any reason not to jump into the ocean for a mindfulness session. 

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The woman in the photo takes it to the next level, focusing on her deep connection with her mantra ray companion. Manta rays aren’t harmful to humans, and they don’t have barbs like stingrays.

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1...2...3...Smile!

Being friendly with marine creatures is not bad, at least for those creatures who seem to be interested in returning the sentiment. However, does this big whale count?

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It seems that the diver in the photo is taking pictures of the massive mammal for research purposes. However, the photographer should not take this big mammal for granted. Being allowed to get so close is a great privilege.

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Look at My Teeth!

Just like the massive mammal in the previous photo, this creature seems to be giddy in front of the camera. At first glance, you may think this animal would eat you, but truthfully, he is just showing his teeth.

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This is a leopard seal, and they are so adorable they feature in many nature documentaries. While they may look like puppy dogs of the ocean, it’s still important to be careful. No matter how cute a wild animal is, it is still exactly that – wild. 

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Majestic Creatures

While Jaws may still be the most famous shark movie ever made, it has had plenty of successors. These films aren’t wrong in portraying sharks as creatures with razor-sharp teeth that can tear prey apart. However, they exaggerate the danger sharks pose to humans. 

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Sharks are known for their agility and strength. While attacks on humans can and do occur, we pose far more danger to sharks than they do to us. Humans are responsible for killing around 100 million sharks a year, while sharks generally kill less than 10 people per year.

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Curious Shark

Great white sharks are known to be curious. It is usually called spy-hopping, wherein they poke their heads out of the water or follow people just to see what’s happening. 

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This behavior does help them spot prey, but it doesn’t mean they see humans as potential snacks. Sometimes, they are just acting out of curiosity, wanting to see what on Earth this strange new object in the water is.

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Are We Friends?

Many scientists believe that great white sharks are intelligent and highly inquisitive creatures. Moreover, it is said that they manifest social learning, develop a sense of meaning, and can learn new behaviors from watching another member of their species do something.

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In this photo, it seems that the swimmer and the shark are having a great time. Perhaps the shark can feel that the woman won’t hurt him, or perhaps this is simply an excellent Photoshop job.

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Not Very Friendly

Whenever we see something for the first time, our instinct is to go for a photo, but it’s not always the best idea. Sometimes, curiosity will lead to dangerous situations.

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There is a sad story behind this photo. As the man tried to take a picture of this eel, it reacted badly. The eel bit the photographer and left him with a scar. This story shows that if you want to be respected, you must be respectful as well.

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Can You See Me?

According to the Shark Research Institute, there are about 400+ known species of sharks in the world, and amazingly, new ones are discovered almost every year. Sadly, human actions are pushing some species close to the brink of extinction. 

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Another surprising fact about sharks is that they have outlived the dinosaurs, meaning they’ve been here for at least 500 million years. In this photo, the shark seems to be playing hide and seek with the photographer.

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You Have Been Warned! 

Warning signs have been put up in specific areas so that people will know to be cautious. When you see a sign like the one below, you know without a shadow of a doubt that you need to be mindful of your activities in that area.

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This warning sign is one of the creepiest ones we’ve ever seen. It goes in hard with a disturbing illustration of the Grim Reaper beckoning the diver to come on in. The text explains why death has such a hold on the cave. Hopefully, any visitors will understand this and won’t try to get their adrenaline rush.

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Deep Down

As we learned at the start of this article, 80% of the ocean is still undiscovered, but would you be brave enough to explore a portion of that uncharted territory? Would you be eager to see what’s down there?

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There could be wonderful things hiding underwater. No one knows what creatures and what secrets are lurking down there. This cave is an example of how amazing it is under the sea. In the future, if we have enough technology and gadgets capable of exploring what’s down there, maybe we can all have a glimpse. 

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Underwater Vampire

Looking back on our childhood favorite sci-fi films and TV shows, this creature might ring a bell. It has the vibe of an underwater alien, but we’re sorry to burst your bubble – this creature exists in the real world.

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The creature in the photo is called the vampire squid. The name was given to this species because of their blood-red coloration, eye color, and what look like spines on the tentacles. They don’t suck blood like vampires. As a matter of fact, these underwater “vampires” can be found lurking peacefully in the deep. 

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35. Creepy Creeper

We are familiar with all kinds of sea creatures, but this one seems new to our eyes. Have you ever seen anything like this before? We can’t tell if it looks dangerous or not!

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This looks like a huge centipede with hundreds of feet, and it looks itchy as well. However, the fisherman who caught it looks happy. Maybe he’s just amazed at the strange sea creature he caught. Did he throw this beast back in the ocean or did he take it home to cook for dinner? We’ll probably never know. 

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Rolling in the Deep

If you are a licensed diver, it may be on your bucket list to swim into this deep hole and be one of the few to come up with answers. 

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This place is called the Mariana Trench, located in the western Pacific Ocean. It is indeed the deepest oceanic trench on Earth. The deepest part of this trench is called the Challenger Deep, with a depth of almost 30,000 feet. Diving there is a dangerous activity, but you’d have a wild story if you came out alive.

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Just Keep Swimming

If you are in the midst of your vacation and enjoying every drop of ocean water, would you still be mindful of the sharks that could be in the water around you? These surfers clearly aren’t concerned. 

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It’s hard to know if these people can perceive the shark that’s just below them. While many sharks prefer to avoid the breaking waves, some venture in. For this reason, it’s important to have situational awareness when you’re in the ocean.  

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