In photos: Spooky deep-sea creatures

Frightening Fangtooth

fangtooth fish

(Image credit: Joel E. Van Noord)

Named for its long, vampire-like teeth the fangtooth fish inhabits the extreme deep waters of the ocean. In proportion to its body size, it has some of the largest teeth of any fish. Although it may look scary, the endangered fangtooth only grows to about 6 inches (16 cm) in length.

Halloween-Hued Shrimp

colorful shrimp

(Image credit: FAUP | shutterstock)

A parasite of sea cucumbers, this species of shrimp, called Periclimenes imperator, is characterized by its rich orange and purple coloring. These shrimp can also parasitically live on a number of other hosts, including sea slugs.



(Image credit: New Zealand-American Submarine Ring of Fire 2005 Exploration | NOAA Vents Program)

The cryptically named coffinfish more resembles a colorful autumn gourd than a casket. The scowling fish can often be found resting on the bottom of the ocean, using its tiny fins like legs to prop itself up.

Shocking Spotted Handfish

deepwater fish

(Image credit: Matt Tworkowski)

The spotted handfish, Brachionichthys hirsutus, is a rare, endangered Australian deepwater fish. Its pectoral fins look like short arms with hands. Using these extremities, the handfish can swim as well as "walk" on the seafloor, and it often prefers to walk.

Remy Melina was a staff writer for Live Science from 2010 to 2012. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Communication from Hofstra University where she graduated with honors.