15 Incredible X-rays of Real-Life Monsters of the Deep



Image: Sandra J. Raredon, NMNH, Division of Fishes, via Encyclopedia of Life, www.eol.org

Fish can be extremely strange looking creatures, with odd appendages and body shapes unfamiliar to us land animals. Their peculiarities aren’t limited to their outer appearance, either — as these ghostly, almost alien-looking X-rays of various underwater creatures prove. This unnerving looking eel, for example, could be something straight out of a horror movie.

Although not dangerous to humans, the viper moray eel nevertheless occupies a place in our imaginations reserved for scary creatures. Perhaps this is because of those razor-sharp teeth, visible in this X-ray even when the eel’s mouth is closed. It may also be their lethal hunting technique, waiting motionless in nooks and crannies to dart out and snatch their unsuspecting prey. Or it may even be their impressive length — up to 1.5 meters (5 feet) or more! Whatever it is, this spooky X-ray image sure doesn’t make them seem any less creepy…


Image: Sandra J. Raredon, NMNH, Division of Fishes, via Encyclopedia of Life, www.eol.org

This odd specimen — with its needle-like teeth and bloated belly — is the mysterious Bulbous Deep Sea Angler. Only three examples of this fish have ever been found and examined. Like all anglerfish, the Bulbous Deep Sea Angler has a ‘lure’ on the top of its head, which is probably bioluminescent, and which it uses to attract other fish to its sharp teeth. Like the Pelican Eel, this demon of the deep is also able to distend its jaw to swallow prey up to twice its own size.

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