Creepy Critters: Marine Life Surfaces for Halloween

Claws, spines, spikes, tentacles, and fangs. Aliens, monsters, and ghostly apparitions glowing in the night. Marine life forms have some of the best looks for Halloween—no costumes needed. From freaky fish lurking beneath the surface to creepy crawlies of the deep, meet some of the sea’s strangest and most haunting characters. Then tell us below: Which ocean creature scares you the most?

The aptly named fangtooth fish has long, menacing teeth. The fangs are so long, that they aren't able to close their mouths! They are able to eat crustaceans and fish, despite the large teeth. But this "monster of the deep" is not as scary as it may seem--it only reaches about 17 cm (6 inches) in length.

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Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

creative!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

Scientific names would be nice; I'm sure some of these guys have different common names and/or similar species they may get confused with. Great photography nonetheless!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

wow, ilove it and showed them to my kids.
These animals are wierd and amazing.Iam sure that they r there for a reason.
Thank u for the pic. and hope the next time to see and know more.

Submitted by The Ocean Portal Team on

Glad you like these "creepy" critters! We hope your science classes enjoy the slideshow, and learn from it, too!

-The Ocean Portal Team

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

I love it! I carved an angler fish on my pumpkin a couple Halloweens ago and this year I did a vampire squid jack-o-lantern.
The isopod creeps me out. The idea of the smaller isopods serving as a fish tongue parasite makes me a little squeamish.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

these animals are the scariest things i have ever seen please take more photos of scary animals.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

I've seen one of these halloween freaky fishes. I was fishing in oceanside harbor around 1:00 a.m for spotted bay bass. It was a full moon and all of the sudden this albino prehistoric looking fish surfaced. I yelled for my wife that was fishing with me to come and check it out. I tried taking some pictures with my phone, but it was too dark. What a trip that someone else came across the same fish.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

wow amazing fish and crustaceans but my favorite creepey creature is the fifth one

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

The caption for the picture of the horseshoe crab says it has seven pairs of legs. This animal has 6 pairs of legs, not 7 (I've counted).

Submitted by The Ocean Portal Team on

Thanks for your comment and for paying such close attention! It's hard to see, but horseshoe crabs do indeed have seven pairs of legs. The seventh pair, called the chilaria, very small "remnant legs" that are up under the middle of the shell. They are difficult to see, but are labeled in this diagram of the crab's underside from the University of Delaware's SeaGrant Program.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

Hi to me the scariest fish in this slide show is The Blackdevil fish and the smaleyed rabbitfish>>>>>>>> CREEPY.....

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

The sculpin is the scariest! It's like a fish-jabba-the-hutt !

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

Life is an amazingly wonderful array of adaptations! Each picture was a reminder that life and survival does find its way. Our ocean world is captivating!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

Spooky fishes

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

fish?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

All scary but I think the scariest is a moray eel.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

Of these, the goblin sculpin looks the creepiest, in a cute way. But to me, the most scary-looking of sea creatures is the goblin shark. Thanks for putting up these photos; they are so interesting!!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

fangtooth fish

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

Definitely not frightened by the cute, if not cuddly, horseshoe crab. I love these living fossils from past ages. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but ugly shouldn't necessarily be scary. I think several of these are cute such as the rabbitfish. Big fangs do scare me even if they are small, so I'd have to go with the fangtooth fish.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

Without a doubt, the creepiest for me is the giant isopod!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

The blob sculpin is definitely ghoulish! It looks like a ghost of a sad human being. Very scary.