Imagine swimming through the ocean, having a relaxing float in a creek or adventuring in a swimming hole – these underwater photos show exactly what you wouldn’t want to come across. They include fearsome creatures of the deep (or things that look like them), haunting underwater wrecks and other eerie sights.
One of biggest unknowns of the ocean – or really any body of water – is what creepy creatures lurk in the depths. Humans have only discovered a fraction of the aquatic animals on Earth.
This photo of a basking shark alongside two divers truly looks like a creature from our nightmares, especially if it were swimming toward us. The fact these are the second-largest living shark species, combined with the appearance of their open mouthes, makes them look like they’re ready to swallow anything (or anyone) in their path.
Although they look terrifying, basking sharks are actually harmless filter feeders, whose mouths help them eat plankton. The only shark larger than them is the whale shark, which is also a filter feeder.
This diver has come across what looks like a giant, evil manta ray with mouth feelers ready to swallow up its unsuspecting victims. However, what looks like a mouth is actually the anchor hawse hole of the sunken USS Saratoga (CV-3), not that this knowledge makes the above photo any less ominous.
Fortunately, the skeleton of this giant serpent in France is just an artist’s rendition of a monstrous creature, not something that actually swims in the deep – that we know of, that is. Huang Yong Ping has certainly made it look like a realistic monster, with the detailed sea serpent measuring an impressive 130 meters.
Although it’s expected that you’ll find shipwrecks located within many large bodies of water, that doesn’t make them any less eerie to come across. There are over three million throughout the world, and while some were purposefully scuttled, others weren’t, tragically sinking with their crews and whatever else they may have been carrying.
This photo of the USS Carlisle (APA-69) looks like a ghost ship trawling the depths of the ocean. The attack transport was once an active US Navy vessel that saw service during the latter part of World War II and later became a target vessel for atomic bomb testing in the Bikini Atoll, where it remains to this day.
The famous RMS Titanic is one of the world’s best-known shipwrecks. It lies deep on the sea floor, off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada. Perhaps it’s the age of the wreck, or maybe it’s the many tales that go along with it, but this is certainly a sight that would be bone-chilling to come across in the water.
Other things sink, too
Of course, shipwrecks are one of the most common sunken objects in the water, but there are many other vehicles that have found themselves on the seafloor, some of which prove difficult to understand how they exactly got there.
It doesn’t matter that sitting inside the cockpit of this sunken Lockheed C-130 Hercules is a crash test dummy, not a human body. At first glance, and every glance afterward, it looks like a skeleton wearing a pilot’s suit, sitting in the seat where he crashed his aircraft into the Red Sea.
This tank may not be as spooky as the ghostly pilot, but it’s certainly not what you’d expect to come across at the bottom of the Red Sea. It makes you wonder how – and why – it ended up there.
Just plain spooky
Outside of aquatic creatures and sunken vehicles, there are other spooky underwater things that don’t fall into these categories. A few of these are art installations, which have taken on a much more sinister appearance than was likely intended.
One of these installations, located in the waters near Cancún, Mexico, looks like a giant underwater cemetery where the gravestones are human sculptures. It’s actually part of an underwater museum designed to draw tourist attention away from the nearby coral reefs. It’s made up of three separate galleries, with over 500 sculptures, all submerged underwater.
Maybe these other statues, located in the Gulf of Thailand, look more harmless because they are shown in the daylight, but they certainly aren’t something you’d want to come across in darker waters. Like the aforementioned human statues, they’re also part of coral reef conservation efforts in Thailand.
This ominous warning sign is located in Vortex Spring, a popular diving park in Florida. It was installed at the entrance of an underwater cave on the property, following the deaths of roughly 15 people. Now, divers can only enter if they have the right certifications. The sign is made worse by the fact that at least one death was a suspected murder.
Perhaps it’s this photo of divers floating in a pitch black expanse that’s the most frightening one of all. Illuminating only their surroundings directly in front of them, they could be surrounded by any number of creepy creatures, sunken vessels or other underwater oddities and not even know it.