It was a tough job for us to make a list of the deepest sea creatures. After long research, we manage to shortlist 20 of them. Few of them live in depths of more than 5000 meters.
Hopefully, you will enjoy this blog. So, without any further delay, let’s begin.
20 Deepest Sea & Ocean Creatures
Here are the details of the 20 deepest sea animals. But first have a look at the chart.
|Deepest Sea Creatures||Interesting Facts|
|Anglerfish||The female anglerfish has a bioluminescent lure that attracts prey in the dark depths of the ocean.|
|Barreleye||Also known as spookfish, Barreleye fish have translucent heads and moveable “tubes” that allow their eyes to rotate upwards to see prey.|
|Blobfish||Blobfish are gelatinous creatures that look like a blob of goo, but they actually have a strong jaw that can capture prey.|
|Chimaera||Chimaeras have a venomous spine on their back and are related to sharks and rays.|
|Cigar Shark||Cigar sharks have a unique body shape that allows them to swim efficiently in deep waters.|
|Dumbo Octopus||Dumbo Octopuses have ear-like fins that help them maneuver in the water.|
|Fangtooth||With the largest teeth proportional to body size of any known fish, fangtooths have an intimidating appearance, but are actually small in size.|
|Frilled Shark||Frilled Sharks have a snake-like appearance with rows of needle-like teeth and are capable of swallowing prey larger than their body size.|
|Giant Isopod||Giant isopods can reach up to 2.5 feet in length and have a hard exoskeleton that protects them from the high pressure of the deep sea.|
|Giant Pacific Octopus||The largest species of octopus, Giant Pacific Octopuses can weigh up to 170 pounds and change color and texture to blend in with their surroundings.|
|Giant Squid||With tentacles that can reach up to 43 feet long, giant squids are one of the largest creatures in the deep sea.|
|Giant Tube Worms||Giant Tube Worms live near hydrothermal vents and can grow up to 8 feet long. They have no mouth or digestive system, and rely on bacteria inside their bodies for nutrition.|
|Goblin Shark||Goblin sharks have a protruding jaw that can extend out to capture prey, earning the nickname “living fossil.”|
|Mariana Trench Snailfish||The deepest-dwelling fish ever discovered, Mariana Trench Snailfish lives at depths of up to 26,000 feet below sea level.|
|Pacific Footballfish||With a bioluminescent lure on its head, the Pacific Footballfish uses its sharp teeth to capture prey in the dark waters.|
|Sea Pigs||Sea pigs are a type of sea cucumber that live on the ocean floor and use tube-like structures to move around.|
|Sea Spider||Sea spiders have long, thin legs that help them move along the ocean floor, and some species have a unique respiratory system that doesn’t use lungs or gills.|
|Tardigrade||Tardigrades, also known as water bears, are microscopic animals that can survive in extreme environments like the deep sea and outer space.|
|Vampire Squid||With red eyes and webbed arms, vampire squids are not actually squids but a unique species of cephalopod. They can turn themselves “inside out” to avoid predators.|
|Viperfish||Viperfish have large, sharp teeth and a bioluminescent light on their dorsal fin that attracts prey.|
We list the anglerfish first in our alphabetical list, even though it is actually categorized under deep sea creatures bioluminescence. Remember, only female anglerfish exhibit bioluminescence. They are called anglerfish because they attract their prey using a modified luminous fin ray called an esca or illicium.
In addition, anglerfish belong to the Lophiiformes order of teleost fishes. It can be found in the ocean at depths ranging from 0-1000m. They typically avoid going below the continental slope. They are one of the deep sea creatures that glow.
The variety of depth they occupy depends on various factors, such as the fish’s age and seasonality (water temperatures, prey availability), and they can be found partially buried in sediments like sand or mud. They do this to wait for prey, including those as low as the continental shelf.
Barreleyes are a type of small deep-sea fish that belong to the Opisthoproctidae family. They are sometimes referred to as “spook fish,” a name also given to certain chimaera species.
Barreleyes are found in tropical to temperate waters across the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. They prefer to live alone and dwell in the ocean’s mid to lower levels, specifically between 2,000 and 2,600 feet (600 and 800 meters) deep.
These fish are named after their barrel-shaped, tube-like eyes, which typically face upward to detect nearby food. However, the fish are also capable of rotating their eyes forward.
The Blobfish is an extremely rare fish found only in the deepest parts of the ocean. As one of the few species capable of surviving these extreme depths, they can be located as deep as 2000-4,000 feet.
The Blobfish has a gelatinous body that enables it to float slowly through its environment with minimal effort. Its large head and slender body also have a unique appearance.
The Blobfish is a slow-moving predatory species and feeds mainly on seaworms, crustaceans, and molluscs that live near the ocean floor. It also eats small fish if they are available.
Chimaeras, also known as ghost sharks, are a type of cartilaginous fish found in the Chimaeriformes order. Fossil records indicate that they were once abundant and diverse. Despite their last common ancestor living almost 400 million years ago, they are now closely related to modern sharks and rays.
Chimaeras are usually found living in deep waters. They can be found in temperate ocean floors as deep as 2,600 m (8,500 ft) but rare in depths shallower than 200 m (660 ft).
The cigar shark, also known as the cookiecutter shark or Isistius brasiliensis, is a small type of shark that belongs to the Dalatiidae family.
This species can be found in warm ocean waters worldwide, particularly near islands. It has been observed at depths of up to 3700 meters and moves vertically in the water up to 3000 meters each day. The cookiecutter shark tends to swim closer to the surface during dusk and goes deeper at dawn.
The cigar shark can be identified by its long, slender body and dark colouration. It has a circular-shaped head that is two times as wide as it is long. Its lower jaw protrudes slightly from its upper jaw.
This species feeds on smaller animals such as squid, fish, and even marine mammals. It uses its sharp teeth to take chunks of flesh from its prey.
The dumbo octopus, which belongs to the Grimpoteuthis genus, is one of the deep sea beautiful creatures. It typically inhabits depths of 1000-7000 meters, which are referred to as the bathyal zone (1000-3000 meters) and the abyssal zone (3000-6000 meters).
These octopuses are unique due to their distinct ear-like fins, resembling those of Disney’s famous flying elephant. These fins are used for swimming and helping the octopus move closer to its food source.
Unlike other octopuses, dumbo octopuses have two rows of suckers on their arms rather than one row, as seen in other species. They feed mainly on crustaceans such as isopods, crustaceans, and larvaceans.
The Fangtooth is a type of deep-sea fish belonging to the Anoplogastridae family and known as Anoplogaster cornuta. These fish are typically found at depths ranging from 600 to 6,500 feet (200 – 2,000 meters), but they have been spotted at depths of up to 16,000 feet (5,000 meters). The water pressure at these depths is very high, and the temperature is extremely cold.
Compared to other deepwater fish, the fangtooth is more muscular. These fish are characterized by their long, sharp teeth that protrude out from their mouth. Their bodies are dark black or brown in colour.
Regarding diet, the fangtooth mainly feeds on smaller fish, shrimp, and squid. Its sharp teeth can easily tear through flesh.
The frilled shark is a rarely-seen species of deep-sea shark belonging to the Chlamydoselachidae family. It is found in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans as deep as 1000 meters. It has a long, eel-like body with six-gill slits along its sides.
This species has an unusual set of 300 teeth arranged in 25 rows. Each tooth has three sharp points that can easily tear through flesh. Its diet consists of other fish, squid, and crustaceans.
The frilled shark’s most notable feature is its dorsal fin, which is fringed with long filaments that help the shark move through the water without expending much energy. It also has two long tentacles near its mouth that it uses to detect prey in the sea’s dark depths.
Note: The frilled shark is an ancient species that has remained relatively unchanged over the last 80 million years. It is considered to be a living fossil of sorts, and scientists are still trying to learn more about this mysterious creature. Its ability to survive in such deep depths makes it a fascinating subject for study.
Around 20 species of large crustaceans are called giant isopods in the Bathynomus genus. These isopods are only loosely related to decapods like crabs and shrimp.
The giant isopod lives in the depths of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans, where it’s cold and dark. It can survive more than 1600 feet (500m) below the surface with very little sunlight.
These isopods are bottom-dwellers living in the mud of the deep sea. They prefer to eat dead organisms such as fish and squid, but they will feed on live animals too. Their strong pincers make them excellent scavengers in their environment.
Giant Pacific Octopus
The Giant Pacific Octopus, also known as Enteroctopus dofleini, is the largest octopus species globally. It inhabits cold water habitats ranging from Alaska to California and Japan.
This octopus can be found in different surroundings, from shallow tidal pools to ocean depths of about 4,920 feet (1500 m). However, it is most frequently seen in shallow waters and up to 16 feet (5 m) deep.
It has a unique appearance with its large eyes, smooth skin, and eight long arms. It is a highly intelligent creature and can solve puzzles, open jars, and even recognize its keepers.
The Giant Pacific Octopus’s preference for eating crabs, clams, shrimp and small fish makes it an opportunistic hunter. Its diet is supplemented with dead organisms found in the ocean floor’s depths.
The giant squid, or Architeuthis dux, is a type of squid that lives in deep water. It belongs to the family Architeuthidae. It can get very big and is an example of abyssal gigantism. Recent figures put the maximum size of females at 12–13 m (39–43 ft) and the maximum size of males at 10 m (33 ft).
Giant squid inhabits the deep waters of the Twilight Zone, specifically at depths ranging from 1,000 to 2,000 feet. Their diet consists mainly of other deep-sea organisms, such as fish and crustaceans.
Giant squid have two long tentacles that they use to grasp their prey. They also have eight short arms lined with suckers that hold onto prey while dragging them to their mouth.
Giant Tube Worms
The giant tube worm, also known as Riftia pachyptila, is a species of deep-sea polychaete worm that lives on hydrothermal vents in the deep ocean. The largest example recorded was 4 ft (1.2 m) long and around 0.6 in (15 mm) wide.
Giant tube worms can be found in depths of up to 8500 feet (2600 meters). They are filter feeders and use their specialized bacteriocytes to feed on particles found in the water. The bacteria that make up this organ provide the worms with energy from hydrogen sulfide, which is released into the ocean from hydrothermal vents.
These worms have a bright red plume on the outside of their body, which collects food particles and oxygen. They also have a long fleshy tube that projects from the back end of their body, which helps them move around in the water.
The goblin shark, or Mitsukurina owstoni, is a unique species inhabiting the deep sea. It is the sole living member of the Mitsukurinidae family, which dates back around 125 million years and is often referred to as a “living fossil.”
Scientists find the goblin shark inhabits the open ocean, living from the surface to depths of at least 4265 feet (1300 m). As with other deep-sea creatures, goblin sharks are thought to venture to the surface only during the night and spend the majority of their lives in darkness.
The goblin shark can be identified by its distinct pink skin and elongated, flattened head with protruding jaws that resemble nails. It has long, sharp teeth used for snagging prey and powerful jaws that open wide to create a vacuum-like suction effect.
What is the deepest sea creature? The answer is “Mariana snailfish”.
The Mariana snailfish, also known as the Mariana hadal snailfish, lives in the Mariana Trench in the western Pacific Ocean at incredibly deep depths ranging between 6,198 m and 8,076 m (20,335 ft and 26,496 ft). It was even discovered at the very bottom of the Mariana Trench.
Recently, scientists observed a Mariana snailfish in the Izu-Ogasawara Trench (located between Japan and the northernmost part of the Mariana Trench) at a depth of 27,349 feet (8,336 meters), making it the deepest fish ever observed.
Mariana snailfish have an elongated, slender body and are typically greyish-pink in colour. They feed mainly on amphipods, copepods, and other small organisms found at the bottom of the ocean.
The Pacific footballfish, also known as Himantolophus sagamius, is a type of anglerfish inhabiting a vast Pacific Ocean region.
Its habitat ranges from the beaches of Honshu and Hokkaido islands in the northwest Pacific, through the Kuril-Kamchatka trough, to the eastern Pacific extending from California to Peru. This fish can be found in waters as deep as 3,000 feet (900m) or 500 fathoms.
The Pacific footballfish is a remarkable creature that has a wide body, a broad mouth, and lengthy tentacles that assist it in catching its prey. Its most unique characteristic is the sizable bioluminescent “fishing rod” that extends from its head like an antenna, which lures in prey in the ocean’s dark depths, much like anglerfish.
Sea pigs are a kind of deep-sea scavenger that belong to the Scotoplanes genus. They inhabit areas of the ocean that are so deep and dark that only a few other creatures can exist there. Since their bodies are filled with water and delicate, they almost dissolve when removed from these extreme depths, which can range from 4,000 to 16,000 feet beneath the surface.
These bizarre-looking creatures have eight short, stubby legs and paddle-shaped feet that help them move around on the ocean floor. They also have two sensory tentacles near their mouths that they use to locate food.
Sea pigs are scavengers, meaning they feed on dead and decaying organisms. They move along the ocean floor in search of bits of food, such as fish bones, molluscs, and other organic materials.
Sea spiders are a type of arthropod found in the deep sea. They can range in size from less than an inch to up to 10 inches (25 cm) in some species.
Sea spiders can be found anywhere from the intertidal zone to depths exceeding 20,000 feet. Rather than swimming, they walk along the ocean floor. They have long, thin legs that help them navigate the rough terrain of the deep sea.
Sea spiders feed on sponges, molluscs, and other slow-moving or stationary animals. Some species are even known to scavenge dead organisms they come across on the ocean floor.
Their bodies absorb oxygen directly from the water via special structures in their legs and external gills. This helps them survive in the deep sea, where oxygen levels are low.
Tardigrades, also known as water bears or moss piglets, are microscopic aquatic creatures found in all environments — from deep sea trenches to mountaintops. They can even survive in space!
The tardigrade is an eight-legged micro animal that ranges from 0.1 mm to 1.5 mm. They have a segmented body and four pairs of claws and look like a combination of an insect and a bear.
Tardigrades can survive at high altitudes of more than 19,600 feet (6,000 meters) and endure depths of up to 15,000 feet (4,600 meters) below the surface.
Tardigrades have an amazing ability to survive extreme temperatures, pressure, and radiation. They can also enter a state of suspended animation, allowing them to survive for years without food or water.
The vampire squid, also known as Vampyroteuthis infernalis, is a type of deep-sea cephalopod that humans rarely see. It is found in the tropical and temperate waters of the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans from depths between 900 m (3,000 feet) to 3000 (9,800 feet).
This mysterious creature has unique characteristics – it looks like a squid but behaves like an octopus. It has a large head, two long tentacles, and eight arms covered with light-emitting photophores, giving it its ‘vampiric’ glow.
The vampire squid feeds on small plankton, crustaceans, and fish eggs. Its survival strategy consists of blending in with the surrounding environment, hiding from predators, and using its bioluminescent ‘glow’ to confuse prey.
The viperfish is a fierce deep-sea predator living in the ocean’s dark depths. It has an iridescent, snakelike body, razor-sharp teeth, and large eyes adapted to see in low-light conditions.
Viperfish inhabit tropical and temperate waters worldwide and can be found at depths of up to 9,000 feet (2,800 meters). It’s unusual for people to spot them, but they occasionally appear in the catches of deepwater trawlers.
Viperfish feed mainly on small fish and crustaceans but will also take larger prey if it comes within range. They use their long, slim bodies to ambush unsuspecting victims by luring them close with a bioluminescent “fishing lure” on their heads.
Once within reach, the viperfish strikes with lightning speed, impaling its prey on its sharp teeth.
I hope this article provides you with information on the 20 deepest sea creatures. If you need further details on these creatures, please don’t hesitate to ask.