30 Deep Sea Discoveries That Left Us Scratching Our Heads
For most of us, the ocean triggers memories of sand castles, surfing, cold beverages and sun burns. For others, like you know, mad scientists who like to cage themselves in small little metal tubes 7000 below the surface, it bubbles up desires to go deeper, to find things yet unheard of, and more importantly, confirm Atlantis was real… or not. But we digress, here are the top 30 deep sea discoveries that left us scratching our heads.
The great white shark is the biggest predator of the deep. But what eats the biggest predator? Scientists think the answer might lie in the sharks themselves… specifically, in their stomachs. An enormous female great white shark was tagged to enable tracking for an Australian documentary in 2003.
About 4 months later, the tag showed up on an Australian beach with no explanation, leading scientists admit the possibility that their 9-foot long shark was eaten by another cannibal shark.
Don't Judge A Fangtooth By Its Cover
Even the name “fangtooth” inspires some fear. But the poor fangtooth fish is pretty harmless in terms of deep down underwater predators. And even if it tried to attack you (were you able to survive in its habitat), it wouldn’t get very far. Fangtooth eyes are terrible — like, they need seriously thick glasses — so they have to physically bump into their prey in order to attempt a meal.
Almost makes you feel bad for the little guys.
Atlantis Contender Number 1
The Japanese seas hold many mysteries. Could the famed city of Atlantis be one of them? Divers in 1987 looking for hammerhead sharks in the Pacific Ocean found a massive monument thing at the bottom of the sea, partially submerged. Now known as the Yonaguni Monument, the structure is 450 feet by 130 feet and close to 90 feet high.
Haters say it’s all natural, but true believers say it’s at least 9,000 years old. Keep reading for even more terrifying things lurking in the sea.
The Name Says It All
The hatchetfish sounds terrifying, but it has really just been blessed with a thin, see-through body and a funny hatchet-looking thorax. They’re only a couple of inches long, but staring into their creepy little eyes will still make your life flash before your own.
Scary, sure, but likely to attack you? Not unless you’re hanging out in the deepest depths of the ocean.
Nessie's Russian Cousin
Everyone’s heard of the resident monster of Loch Ness. But what about the Water Dragon Master of northern Siberia? In Lake Bital, the world’s deepest lake, mysteries and legends abound about this massive monster. Not only do modern fishermen tell stories of Water Dragon Master sightings, but there are also stone carvings from the 3rd century BCE depicting the same exact thing.
Siberia might hold a family of ocean monsters, but read on: not all sea monsters are massive.
Baby Ocean Beast
Not all crazy stuff in the ocean is enormous. Groups of luminous bacteria sometimes fill the sea and create visions even more terrifying than a shark’s fin or a group of approaching jellyfish. Once known as the Milky Sea Phenomenon, this sighting isn’t new, but samples taken of Arabian Sea water in 1985 led researchers to discover the tiny life forms behind the spooky water color.
Massive groupings of these little bacteria make the water look milky white and glow-y, a definitely creepy sight when you’re out in the middle of nowhere bobbing around in the dark.
Proof Of Life
A giant rock sitting in the bottom of the Baltic Sea wouldn’t be that big of a deal. But a giant metal Millenium Falcon? That’s a possible extraterrestrial crash site. This 200-foot wide object at the bottom of the Baltic has been prompting questions ever since it was discovered in 2012.
True believers think that this thing is over 140,000 years old, total proof positive of life beyond our universe.
Atlantis Contender Number 2
Egypt is home to ancient relics, stone statues, and some of the greatest mysteries of the world. But could it also be home to the mythical Atlantis? Off the coast of Alexandria, Egypt lies an underwater city full of gold coins and statues and temples, but no explanations as to how it got there. Researchers think the city was functioning nearly 2,300 years ago, but that’s all the French archeology discovery team knows for sure.
But it’s probably aliens, right? If you don’t believe now, keep reading for more evidence.
When Was Ice Cream Invented?
The picture of an ice cream cone is pretty iconic. But why would ancient peoples carve a giant ice cream cone out of stone and then throw it in the water? We may never know, but in 2003, researchers using sonar imaging found what seems to be just that at the bottom of the Sea of Galilee.
This big ol’ cone (it’s over 30 feet long) is just lying in the water now, waiting for the perfect scoop.
There is a lake that has never been touched or even seen by humans. Satellite imaging discovered this lake under the Antartic ice in 1993. Suspicions about what this lake may hold are as vast and wide as the Antartic itself: fossils? Live fish? Nothing but frozen water flowers?
We may not know what lives in this lake, but the keep reading to learn about some weird known lake inhabitants.
Giant Baseball or Giant's Baseball?
Deep beneath the dark waters of Lake MacDonald in Ontario, Canada lies a pile of baseballs. Well, not actual baseballs–baseball-shaped rocks. And on top of the pile is an enormous, 1,000 pound rounded baseball-y boulder. Contrary to original belief, scientists (through careful testing and research) have recently determined that they were indeed man-made.
And if these stones don’t make you believe the ancients were awesome, keep reading!
Nah, the dinos didn’t make Stonehenge (far as we know, anyway), but this Michigan finding might be close. In 2007, a professor at Northwestern Michigan University College discovered a collection of strange stones hanging out in an otherwise clear area of Lake Michigan. But that wasn’t the weirdest part. The stones have carved pictures of mastodons on them.
What were those ancient stone carvers doing, and why did they do it on the bottom of a lake?
Sounds Are The Worst
Some sounds just take you back, right? In 1997, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration researchers noticed a super-creepy and unidentifiable noise coming from under the water. No one knows quite where this deep whistle noise under the ocean water comes from and they can’t pinpoint its original location, but even without hearing it I’m getting goosebumps.
Yet Another Atlantis Contender
Off of the Bahamas lies a road. Not like a normal road for cars and people, but an underwater road that may have been created thousands of years ago by … your guess is as good as any. It was first discovered by divers in 1968; today it’s known as Bimini Road, and even though it has a name now not much else is known about it.
Scientists can’t decide if it’s a natural thing or a legit underwater civilization we have yet to discover, but I think we all know it’s aliens.
There are no tracks, but the trains are there. In 1985, Captain Paul Helper was scanning the ocean floor near New Jersey when his machines started pinging. In addition to the random metal junk littering the area, he found the super unexpected: old trains. He doesn’t know how they got there or when they ended up in the ocean, but they’re there now.
But there are more mysterious transport devices than this!
Stairs To The Penguins
Wilkes Island in the Antartic is accessible by staircase. No one is there, but investigators using Google Earth in 2006 spotted this unusual set of stairs and the predictions haven’t stopped coming.
It could be a hidden Nazi base (maybe Hitler’s still there?) or evidence of alien interaction… or just a boring old impact crater.
It’s not even in the Bermuda Triangle. The island of Bermeja was pretty normal: it was in the Gulf of Mexico and labeled on maps. It was just doing normal island stuff until someone, sailing around looking for some palm trees, realized that it wasn’t there. The last evidence of Bermeja on a map was in the 1950s, but since then (despite constant conspiracy theories and the occasional island-hunt), there has been no trace.
What could possibly happen to make a whole island disappear? And a voice in the wind whispered, “CIA…”
Double The Reef, Double The Fun!
Ready for some crazy? The Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia has a double. Laying underneath the well-known Reef is a much older reef made of doughnut-shaped dead algae. While scientists don’t know if this second reef is alive anymore, they estimate that it’s at least 10,000 years old.
That’s a long time for a doughnut to last, even if it is underwater.
The world used to be connected by more than the internet, believe it or not. We used to be all together in one big hunk o’ land, and scientists have found it. In an underwater investigation in 2013, incredibly motivated researchers stumbled upon a couple of islands (yes, under the water) that used to connect the continents of India and Australia: solid, submerged continent glue.
Will deep ocean exploration bring us even more evidence of how interconnected we all are?
Space Whistles From Sea
The Caribbean Sea is singing. Stop trying, you can’t hear it (unless you’re in space). This eerie whistle is created by the rotation of the earth, the changes in the water temperature, and the massive amount of water in the sea.
The Caribbean has obviously taken the “whistle while you work” advice to heart. Weird stuff under the sea, so keep reading.
Everything's Better Under The Sea
… even waterfalls. Weird as it sounds, there is an underwater waterfall between Africa and South America. It’s enormous and powerful and completely natural. This waterfall is taller than a skyscraper and it creates crazy waves that surfers would love.
Surfing underwater, though… who knows? It would probably be awesome, too.
There's A Hole In My Ocean
So there’s seafloor, right? When tectonic plates separate, mantle comes up and successfully fills the gap to keep the ocean in its place. But there is a hunk of the seafloor in the Atlantic near Australia that hasn’t followed normal procedure. Scientists discovered a gap between plates that just wasn’t getting filled in. Now called the Banda Detachment, everyone is paying close attention to this seafloor anomaly.
They don’t know why or how, but they do know it’s weird.
Volcano Of The Deep
It’s possible Atlantis isn’t the only weird thing hanging out in the ocean off Japan. The biggest volcano in the whole world (Tamu Massif) also makes its home in that sea, quiet and inactive and enormous. It is over 120,000 square miles and it reaches almost 19 miles into the Earth. Think that’s crazy, though?
Creepy? Inspirational? Important?
So we know what caused this one, but it doesn’t make it any less bizarre. The waters off of Cancun, Mexico are home to a sculpture park featuring over 500 people sculptures. Opened in 2010, we may know who created this underwater site, but that doesn’t make it any less interesting. Swim around and pretend like you’re in Atlantis or imagine that the entire world has been flooded.
Either way, it’s sure to be memorable.
Weirder Than Waterfall
An underwater waterfall is weird. But an underwater river? That’s even stranger. And knowing the science behind the vision doesn’t break the spell: hydrogen sulfide reacting with the salt water makes it look like there is a river winding through this underwater cave in Cenote Angelita, Mexico.
But this is far from the final bizarre underwater occurrence.
The Pilot Made It Out Alive
Trains, planes, and automobiles, the sea has it all. The pilot of this Vought F4U Corsair WWII plane was forced to land in the ocean just off Hawaii when he ran out of fuel, but he seems to have gotten out okay. What that means for us today is that there is a perfect (if rusty) example of WWII airplane tech right there, nestled in the sand.
But not all waterlogged vehicles are just hanging out — keep reading for an example of a hunk of metal that’s doing its part.
Good Ship Reefy
The USS Oriskany has had a busy life: it worked in the Korean War and the Vietnam War and eventually sank to the depths of the ocean. But now, in its next life, it is serving an even more important role.
Since 2004, the ship has been a part of the largest artificial coral reef in the world, just off Florida in the Gulf of Mexico, working to create life instead of destroy it.
Get Ready To Shudder
In more WWII-related news, there is a site in the Pacific Ocean (the Chuuk Lagoon) that holds the remains of almost 40 vehicles that were destroyed in the war (along with the remains of their final occupants). Their lives may have ended in battle, but at least they’re at peace now.
Well, except for the fish.
It's a Mystery. NOT.
There is an ancient city in Qiandao Lake in China. Or rather, the construction company that created it wants people to think it’s ancient. But as it turns out, the company actually created the little city with the goal of sinking it in the lake. Can anyone say tourist trap?
Don’t stop now, though — the next weirdo water thing is a little more uplifting.
Ghost Ship True Story
It’s easy to dismiss ghosts and ghoulies until you hear the story of the Kaz II. The boat set sail from Australia in 2007 with three crew members. They never made it to their destination. The boat was found — laptop powered on and working, motor running, table set for dinner — completely void of people. No bodies or signs of foul play have ever been found.
Even if the boat wasn’t manned by ghosts, the story is pretty bizarre.