From Ship Wrecks To Deep Sea Creatures: 40 Reasons We Don’t Want To Go Under The Sea

By Aakash M

Imagine taking a dip for a while in your pool, or swimming for an hour in the river near your town, on a hot day. You might have thought about these things with enthusiasm, right? But what about putting on your swimsuit for a deep-sea swim? How excited does that make you feel now? Even when there’s no risk of drowning? Honestly, even looking at the images of the sea and picturing yourself in the middle of nothingness and predators can bring a lot of fear. There must be so many of you who might not have heard of thalassophobia (the fear of the sea), but you must have felt it, right? Seeing the image of a shark in a lagoon or a wrecked ship underwater could be triggering for many people. With that said, here are 40 terrifying photos that might trigger thalassophobia.

Where phobias meet

The vastness of the oceans has a lot to do with how terrifying seas are. But, some areas in the ocean are disturbing and terrifying but not so vast. In fact, these areas are so cramped that even looking at them could make you feel claustrophobic.

Source: Jpbresser/Instagram

For that, we titled it by saying that it is places like these in the oceans where phobias meet. We’d never want to come face-to-face with such a place. Staying as far away as possible seems to be the best option.

Under the water

You are looking at a bronze statue of Jesus Christ that was made by Guido Galletti. It was placed in the Mediterranean Sea, and guess what it’s called. It’s named “Christ of the Abyss.” Although it was submerged in 1954, it was removed and restored in 2003 before its return.

Source: @abandonedspaces/Twitter

This statue is a really famous tourist attraction. Also, this statue isn’t the only one that has been placed underwater. Many such sculptures have been cast and submerged all over the world. Even when it’s expected, people still find a statue in the middle of nowhere terrifying.

Giant squid

Ladies and gents, you are looking at the image of the first time a giant squid was spotted in the waters of the USA. Two researchers had dropped Medusa, a deep-sea camera, between the seas in the Gulf of Mexico.

Source: OceanX via YouTube

The researchers had to review more than 20 hours of footage, after which they came across this horrifying scene! It was very sudden for them since, out of nowhere, something huge came right into the frame. Although these are massive, sighting a giant squid is a rare thing.

Chilling on the surface

This giant anaconda has come up to the surface just to take a look at that submerged train after a flood. For those who didn’t know or forgot, anacondas can swim pretty well. And, although they’re large, their teeth aren’t a cause for concern.

Source: Imgur

Sure they don’t bite, but they’re still extremely dangerous. They only take a big bite after they have suffocated the life out of their prey. And they’re not always so easy to spot, as their eyes are on the top of their head, helping them stay submerged while hunting.

Really chilly

Honestly, there’s not much you’ll see in Antarctica apart from ice, isolation, and death. This boat had sunk when a Brazilian journalist and his crew struck the ice while filming a documentary. Gladly, the Chilean Navy rescued the crew in the midst of the ship’s sinking.

Source: rose_thoro/Reddit

Waiting to be saved must have felt so terrifying. Seconds might have felt like days as the boat slowly sank to its icy grave. A year later, the crew had returned to recover the ship, and they did drag it out, but the ship was beyond repair.

History in the making

There is a lot of debate about whether or not this picture was actually the very first aquatic image. But, many people accept that it’s probably the very first portrait ever taken underwater. Also, there are a lot of rumors surrounding the picture, although we don’t know what’s true and what’s not.

Source: Louis Boutan/Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

But, what we know for sure is that the person in the image is Emil Racovitza, an oceanographer. We also know that this image was taken in South France by Louis Boutan somewhere around 1889. This image was captured at a depth of 164ft.

You go there, you’re not coming back

We can’t really count the number of alligators in this picture, and honestly, we don’t even want to! Don’t their number frighten you because, with these creatures, it’s not like they’re more afraid of us than we are of them. But their prey should very much be…

Source: Biosample/Reddit

These prehistoric predators never mess around. Not only can they swim at an astonishing speed of 20 mph, but their bite force is also on another level. Their jaws clamp at a whopping force of 2,125 lbs. per sq. inch. 

Feeding frenzy

Do you know where these parasitic eels live? They are found hundreds of meters below the surface. Also, the way, they come together and wriggle themselves up is just horrifying to see. There is light in this image, but other times, it’s just pitch dark.

Source: Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa via YouTube

These eels don’t really have jaws, but they have mouths in the shape of disks, and they also have sharp teeth. It helps them to latch themselves onto their victims and suck the blood out of them. That’s scary enough.

Time to run for your life

Imagine you’re out in the waters having a peaceful kayak trip. Out of nowhere, a huge fin pops out of nowhere, and it’s gradually getting closer to you. How would you react in that situation? For us, there’d surely be a lot of panic.

Source: SeaLionBones/Reddit

Gladly, the fin in this image is that of a killer whale, and despite the horrifying name, these creatures haven’t killed a single human to date. Well, at least that’s what the record says. But, that doesn’t mean that these creatures aren’t dangerous.

A huge wreck

This image is of a Japanese warplane that went down long ago. The incident took place during the Operation Hailstone attack. This plane was one of the many aircraft that were taken down by the allied forces during World War II.

Yanu ari via Youtube

Around 75 years later, most of these warplanes still remain at the bottom of the Truk Lagoon. Divers often visit this place and try to get closeups of these planes, which are now covered in corals. Honestly, it’s a beautiful sight.

Basking shark

Honestly, this basking shark is harmless to us, but it would be best not to take any chances with a creature that has a mouth that big. Gladly, there haven’t been any documented incidents of a human being swallowed by one of these creatures or anything like that.

Source: Chris Gotschalk/Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

These sharks are filter feeders, which means that they only feed on zooplankton by rushing forward and sucking a lot of water. The prey is then digested, and the water is filtered out through the gills. But if you didn’t know that, the shark looks really scary.

Deep and dark

Unlike a lot of photos on this list, there are not many monsters in this one, or that’s at least what we can infer from looking at this picture. But, as we said, the emptiness, nothingness, and the darkness of the sea are just as frightening!

Source: josiahwg via Bunnyport

Firstly, getting lost in the caverns is really easy when it’s dark around you. Also, if you need a breath, you can’t even go up because there’ll be rocks at every angle. We can’t imagine anything more terrifying than being trapped like that.

Standing on a thin line

Let’s start off with some facts. Nobody knows how deep this hole is, but according to estimates, it is anywhere around 300-1,000 ft. deep. There’s only a sheet of ice that’s separating that from everything. Would you dare stand on it?

Source: argonautphoto/Instagram

Don’t worry, this picture isn’t as scary as it looks at first. As the hole is full of water, you won’t be plunging into the bottom of the pit. But, it would be devastatingly cold, and also, we never know what creatures lurk in the depths of the pit.

Are you safe at the shore?

After looking at so many frightening pictures, many people might have been thinking that not swimming would be the safe option, right? Well, that’s not the best thing either, because there are threats at the shore as well, as we can see below.

Source: DeGiantMidget/Reddit

We don’t really know why these sharks are swimming so close to the shore, but it’s not on the sand for a sunbath, and we know that for sure. Although shark attacks on us humans are very rare, the species of sharks behind most of these attacks are tiger sharks.

According to a survey

This image is of the Deep Discoverer, which is the remote-operated vehicle of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The vehicle was utilized to search and gather samples from the depths of the sea. The results are certainly worth it, like this image:

Source: Research/Flickr

While doing precisely that, the submersible came across this unknown ship at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. They took a lot of photos that were really helpful for generating a survey of the shipwreck. According to the studies, this ship has been there since 1830!


One fine day, Brad Coder, a surfer and musician, was paddling in El Porto Beach with his GoPro. He was there to capture some footage for his new music video. While he went through the recordings later, he noticed that he wasn’t alone over there.

Source: Gabriellorden/Imgur

Honestly, if that was one of us, we’d be okay with not noticing it, and we’d be really happy and glad that the shark wasn’t hungry enough to take a bite. Judging by the size, it’s probably a juvenile great white shark. We’re just happy that humans aren’t on the menu.

A huge blob

Behold the Nomura’s jellyfish. It really looks scary, and it is extremely dangerous as well. They’re also dangerous to the environment as they are considered invasive and they have been wreaking havoc on Japanese fisheries for the past two decades.

Source: YourFellaThere/Reddit

The string from their tentacles is really painful, and they’re larger than the average human as well. Here’s one terrifying fact: if you go for a dive in Japan or China, you’re really likely to run into one of these things. So, stay safe.

In the depths of the ocean

This photo is of a dumbo octopus, and according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Ocean Exploration and Research. This image is also of the first time a dumbo octopus was spotted coiling its arms in this manner. It almost looks cute, doesn’t it?

One of the highlights of the dive, a dumbo octopus uses his ear-like fins to slowly swim away ? this coiled leg body posture has never been observed before in this species.

If you are scared of this creature, you don’t really need to worry because you won’t be encountering one of these unless you’re 13,100 ft. below the surface. The Mariana Trench is around seven miles deep, and we can’t go there — for obvious reasons.

Is this where it ends?

Although it’s not what it looks to be, regardless of that, it is really freaky. In reality, it’s an optical illusion that is caused by the currents that are moving the sediments at the ocean’s bed. So, the water’s not falling off the world’s edge.

Source: Flying-Pup/Reddit

But, the truth behind this illusion is pretty terrifying. The reason behind all of it is the sudden drop off the coast. Though some attribute the image to the coast of Mauritius, it’s debated online where in the world the geographical oddity pictured above actually is.


It is not necessary that only a shipwreck or a creepy creature is supposed to freak a person out. Even water alone is enough for that job. To be precise, lots of water moving at a really high speed. Take this image, for example:

Source: Emmetbollard/Instagram

Look at those huge waves. This image was taken in Nazare, Portugal. Surfers from different corners of the world flock around to this place to ride the huge waves. Irrespective of how terrifying it looks, a lot of world records have been set here.

Another feeding frenzy

By the looks of this image, this whale has been dead for a long time, and this group of scavenging octopuses and other animals aren’t willing to let all that mass go to waste. Although octopuses are predators, they are opportunists as well.

Source: vdub319/Reddit

Honestly, even seeing a dead body of a whale is creepy enough. So, seeing a skeleton of a whale is all the more disturbing. And to make things even more dreadful, there are all these creatures ripping the last remnants of the whale apart.

Lethal blob

This blob could take your life, and if you survived the encounter, it would surely ruin your day. This creature has tentacles that could stretch up to a whopping 165 ft. Their sting could lead to partial paralysis, breathing problems, a lot of pain, and possibly even death!

Source: Jon Seekford/Flickr

It is pretty rare that the Portuguese Man of War would kill a human, but it’s not something we’ve never heard of either. Oh, we missed a really crucial point. These things can sting you even when they’re dead! So don’t touch them, no matter what!

Job opening

These reptiles are ferocious, and they are very efficient at whatever they do. They have been evolving for millions of years, and with time, they are only getting more fierce with their killing! But, they have never been able to scratch their backs.

Source: monalistic/Imgur

This picture pretty much looks like a job opening post. These guys are looking for somebody to fill in for a crocodile backscratcher. The person must be hygienic, patient, and, most of all, the person should be fearless. Let’s see who volunteers.

Legs for days

Most humans interact with crabs when they’re cooked and waiting on someone’s plate. But for every crab that’s eaten, there are hundreds of thousands happily living out their lives in the ocean. Take this crab and his shrimp friend, for example…

Source: NOAA Photo Library/flickr

According to NOAA, this is a spiky lithodid crab taken off the coast of the United States Virgin Islands, approximately 850 meters below. We’re not used to seeing crabs with legs so disproportionately long compared to their bodies! It’s chilling, to be honest.

You’re not welcome

We aren’t really sure whether we need a sign like that to keep us away, but we know that there are certain daredevils who need to be reminded that they need to stay away from certain places. For reference, this sign is located in Vortex Spring.


What happened was that 13 inexperienced divers died in the cave in the ’90s. After that, a certification program was established, and divers had to undergo that to be allowed access to caves like this one. Calm waters might not seem dangerous, but signs like this remind us that looks can be deceiving.

Is it a fish or a nightmare?

This thing, which, no offense, is really ugly and terrifying, is a type of a goby fish that’s most probably from muddy waters, according to Deep Sea News. It is most likely to be from muddy waters because of its small eyes.

Source: Distort303/YouTube

Although it seems really terrifying at first glance, the fish could be just another misunderstood creature that doesn’t mean to harm us. But, one thing we know for sure is that looking at this fish for too long gives us the chills.

Can’t look at it

At first glance, you might assume that this is some gross bug, but in reality, it’s a huge isopod. This creature was caught in a fish trap. These guys are usually found in cold climates, and yes, it’s another deep-sea creature.

Source: NOAA Ocean Exploration/flickr

These, like many creatures on the list, aren’t really a huge threat to us, but they’re still pretty terrifying to look at. Also, here’s a weird fact. We don’t know who tasted it, and we certainly didn’t, but supposedly these guys taste a bit like shrimps.

Amazing name

This creature is called “sarcastic fringehead.” We didn’t make up that name; it’s actually called that. Although it’s not clear in this picture, this scary fish comes in a variety of colors and is known to be very aggressive and territorial, though you can’t tell from still images.

Source: No author/CC BY-SA 2.5/Wikimedia Commons

Although this fish isn’t harmful to us, it looks so scary that spotting one of these would make anybody jump out of the water, if that was even possible. These guys are found off the coast of the Pacific Ocean. Consider yourself warned!

Close your eyes

The lamprey, in short, is one of the most vile and gross-looking creatures in the ocean. It’s not proven or anything, but we’re sure that most of you would agree with that. If these guys latch onto something, well, we won’t even complete that sentence.


Other than that disturbing thought of it clamping onto someone, the creature basically looks like a tube with teeth. They are primarily found in the Atlantic Ocean. Well, now that you know that, you know that you should avoid those places as well.

Deep sea monster

As you’re starting to figure out, the depths of the ocean are home to some of the most fascinating and fantastic creatures. Like this giant suid that can be found at depths over 1,000 feet! They’re huge, and one of the apex predators of the sea.

Source: WiKiRaW31/Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

Although this picture is actually a mock-up, taken at the American Museum of Natural History, the scale is no less terrifying. These colossal creatures are real creatures, not some beasts from legends. Even though humans are unlikely to encounter them, that doesn’t do much to allay our fears.

A majestic creature

These people have really got more than they could’ve asked for. They met a huge whale shark while sailing in Papua West. Although scary, how amazing is that? These creatures are an extremely rare sight, as they are, unfortunately, endangered.

Source: marco zaffignani/

Although their huge size is enough to scare us, they pose no threat to humans. Yes, they do have huge mouths, but it is designed to feed on plankton and not on the flesh of mammals and larger marine life. Even when they come in contact with humans, they don’t react that much.

Trapped in the middle of nowhere

Even if you’ve been on a cruise ship, it’s still hard to comprehend the scale of such large boats. Sure, it’s easy to understand when you’re on a small fishing vessel, but when you’re so far out that you don’t even feel seasick, the size will likely escape your grasp.

Source: MOONDRONE/Instagram

Although the Titanic sunk over one hundred years ago, and engineering has improved the safety of ships dramatically in that time, sinking ships do still occasionally happen. This partially sunken ship might have gone through a lot. It is simply frightening.

Gross and dangerous

By now, most of you might have realized that the ocean is full of creatures that look disturbing and freaky. Out of these creatures, the black dragonfish is one of the grossest-looking ones, if that’s a thing. It has goblin-like fangs that could rip flesh apart.

Source: Count_darkfrost/Instagram

But only a female black dragonfish looks like, including the terrifying teeth. These fishes are black and slimy, making them like eels. But, just like many other scary creatures, these guys are also found in the depths of the oceans.

Gross and dangerous part two

Animals and plants often have several common names, with so many variations due to region and culture. The gulper eel is one of them. You might want to take a gulp of fear after looking at this thing. Brace yourselves before looking at this image.

Source: Sandra Raredon/Smithsonian Institution/Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

Just like the anaconda, this creature also swallows its prey whole. It only has to open its mouth and engage in catching its prey. In a matter of seconds, the prey will be in the gulper eel’s gullet, and that’s the end of its story.

The frills

Frills are the things that garnish ornate clothing, so we can understand why this shark is called the frilled shark. Take a look at its freaky head, and you’ll see those frills. But, they don’t look like a fancy fashion statement.

Source: Citron/CC BY-SA 3.0/Wikimedia Commons

Although sharks aren’t always as dangerous as movies make them seem, these guys aren’t to be messed around with. They’re well-known for their dozens of razor-sharp teeth. Most of these guys have around 25 rows of teeth! While you dive in the waters, keep these things in mind.

It’s just a crustacean

This animal is called a giant isopod, and it looks like an alien more than a sea creature. Just like most crustaceans, it has a hard shell that nobody would want to bite into. It has some antennas that you’d wanna stay away from and, of course, gross little legs.

Source: friend of User:Borgx/CC BY-SA 3.0/Wikimedia Commons

If you sum up all of the gross things in the animal kingdom and put them into one creature, this one would be it. No offense. It just looks like an amalgamation of many people’s fears all wrapped up in one body.

A goblin and a shark

The goblin shark is one such shark species that you’d never want to see. Also, the name is so accurate that when we take a look at it; it almost feels as if goblins came after this shark, or rather, they were the inspiration after discovering this guy.

Source: Dianne Bray / Museum Victoria/CC BY 3.0 au/Wikimedia Commons

Irrespective of what came first, they aren’t to be messed around with. Although it’s one of the smaller shark species, it has a lot of needle-sized teeth that could penetrate your skin with ease. So, keep your distance when you go out for a swim.

Only the name is terrifying

Although it has a terrifying name, the vampire squid isn’t really such a bad creature. Firstly, it doesn’t suck blood, and secondly, it doesn’t squirt ink, as we normally associate with squid. It only swims around with its weird tentacles, minding its own business.

Source: Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI)/CC BY-SA 4.0/Wikimedia Commons

So, this creature is one of those whom you shouldn’t really fear. But, like a lot of creatures on this list, the vampire squid is also one of those creatures that are found in the depths of the ocean. So, you won’t be encountering it very often, if at all.

Spine-chilling animal

These guys have quite the disposition for death because even a quick glance at them could send chills down your spine, even if you’re really brave. Here’s what we recommend: if you see these guys, or a creature that even looks like that, run. Oops. Swim.

Source: Tassapon KRAJANGDARA/CC BY 3.0/Wikimedia Commons

Creatures like these look nightmarish, so if you want an undisturbed sleep time, it would be best if you close your eyes and wish that this guy stays away from you when you’re in the water. We hope nobody sleeps with the fishes tonight. 

Walking on the water bed

This image is that of a red-lipped batfish. These guys are found near Cocos Island, which is off Costa Rica’s Pacific coast. As the name suggests, and as you can see, they are known for their bright red lips. Take a look:

Source: Rein Ketelaars – Flickr: DSCN1938.jpg/CC BY-SA 2.0/Wikimedia Commons

Although they are “fish,” they’re actually not very good at swimming. Instead, they use their adapted fins to walk on the ocean floor. The red-lipped batfish feeds on other small fish, worms, shrimps, crabs, and other similar creatures. So we humans are safe!