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January 1, 2016

8 strangest sea-dwelling abominations

Thankfully, in our fair city, you are only ever a 30-minute trolley car ride from a dip in the refreshing bosom of Old Man ocean. But if you're one of the many who will be entering ol' briny this summer, remember to keep your wits about you - because things can get weird in there.

  • Words and Illustration: Owen Lindsay


Here is a simple task for you to do: Go to your bookshelf and find your trusty dictionary. Open up to the ‘E’ section and find the entry for ‘evil’. Alright: now, cross out whatever words are on the page there, and replace them with a sketch of the Pacific Blackdragon – a creature so evil-looking that we would like to take this opportunity to officially rename it Sea Hitler. The Blackdragon’s inherent evilness extends to even its innards, which are coated with a pitch-black tissue so that no bioluminescent light can escape its stomach as it feeds. Just like Land Hitler.


The Pink Handfish is so awful at the basic business of being a fish that it cannot even swim. Instead, it wanders around the ocean floor on a pair of wretched, Creature From the Black Lagoon webbed hands. That’s right: this fish can’t even swim. We humans don’t even have gills, and we at least give it a crack! Get your act together, Pink Handfish. You’re a disgrace.


As if regular sharks weren’t enough to worry about, there’s something lurking around the sea called a Goblin Shark. It looks exactly how you would imagine a thing called a ‘Goblin Shark’ would look, and at feeding time its jaw wrenches forward out of its face in order to better look like a horrifying ghoul. On the plus side, that giant nose thing looks quite delicious.


While there are many, many horrible looking monsters living in the sea, occasionally there is a wildly stupid looking one, too. When it comes to dumb looking ocean dwellers, the Batfish is the undisputed king of them all. Even if it didn’t have the “small child’s first lipstick experience” hot red lips, this creature would still be an absolute mess. Perhaps most insultingly of all, the Batfish in no way, shape or form resembles a bat.


The Teddy Bear Crab is a hairy crab that lives underwater and it represents everything that is wrong with society today. Look, Teddy Bear Crab, you have to make a choice: land or sea. You can’t be a ridiculous combination of both: a huggable furball that lives beneath the waves. Pick a side. You can’t have it all at once.


The Black Swallower is obnoxious in both looks and personality: the little jerk has a greatly distensible stomach, and can swallow things up to twice its size and ten times its mass. Once swallowed, the swallowee chills out in a sort of transparent cocoon while enjoying all the benefits of being slowly digested. The Black Swallower has been known to gulp down things so large that the tremendous volume of gases produced through the decomposition in its stomach causes it to float – like some nightmare balloon – to the surface of the sea. Thankfully, it then dies.


The ocean may be a horrifying hell dimension teeming with bizarre abominations, but it has at least one positive thing going for it: the lack of spiders under them waves. This single factor alone almost brings it ahead of land from a liveability perspective. But, alas, it is not totally safe in the sea: some horrid thing called the Pycnogonoid Sea Spider is apparently scuttling around down there, ruining it for everyone.


Any time you are feeling low, just remember this interesting fact: out there somewhere beneath the rolling whitecaps there is a creature whose heinous life consists of (1) jostling its way inside of a fish’s mouth, (2) biting off the fish’s tongue, and (3) acting as a tongue substitute for the remainder of its miserable days. Yes, tongue eating louse, you are the worst thing the ocean ever invented. And that’s saying a lot

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