Imagine a cold, dark abyss five times longer than the Grand Canyon and 7,000 feet deeper than the height of Mt. Everest. A cold, dark void underwater that goes on for literally forever. This is Mariana trench, the deepest and scariest part of the ocean. It is located in the western Pacific Ocean near Mariana Island. It is about 6.8 miles deep and 43 miles wide.
The trench was formed due to a slow and steady collision of two massive tectonic plates, forming a huge V shaped void between them. The mere vastness of Mariana is scary!
The temperature of water adjusts just above the freezing point. The trench remains pitch black because sunlight does not reach deeper than 1,000 meters below the water surface. The water pressure is around 10,000 times greater than that at sea level. This is enough pressure to crush humans like a tin can.
Such extreme conditions make it hard to explore the trench. In fact, a large part of Mariana is still unexplored. The dearth of sunlight and scarcity of food make it inhospitable for ordinary marine life, but life still prevails in its darkest depths.
The animals found in Mariana are as bizarre as the trench itself. These creatures never fail to remind us of the old sea monster legends that sailors used to whisper about in the dark of the night! Let’s have a look at some of the strangest creatures found in this mysterious trench.
Dumbo octopus has a cute, cartoonish look due to its large ears and a short body of just 30-inches. It has round, wiggly eyes and small, thick tentacles. It has been after the famous Disney character, Dumbo-the -elephant.
Dumbo may be cute to look at, but it is still a notorious killer. It is strong enough to survive in the extreme condition of the trench and has thick skin that can withstand the higher pressure. Another interesting fact about Dumbo is that it does not chew its prey like all other octopus species, instead Dumbo prefers to swallow his prey whole!
Deep-Sea Dragon- A Glowing Killer
Deep-sea Dragon fish is as bizarre as it gets! It is small with a length of just 15 centimeters. It is typically found at the depths between 213 to 1,828 meters.
Although it is a fish, it has no scales and looks like an eel with an LED light bulb attached to its head. It relies on its bio luminescent body parts for communicating with other fish, hunting and providing camouflage. Some deep-sea Dragons have evolved the ability to glow in different colors other than white light.
Barreleye Fish – Natural Plastics of the Ocean
With a transparent head, this fish looks like it is made out of plastic! Scientists believe it has a transparent head to help it look better in the dark icy depths by collecting more light through its clear head. Natural habitat of Barreleye fish is around 762 meters below the water level.
Scientist have been studying this fish since from 1939. However, even in 2018, the enigma continues and very little information about its evolution and reproduction has been unveiled.
Seadevil Anglerfish- A Fish Straight From Hell
This 8-inch-long fish is named Seadevil due to its horrendous looks. With protruding, razor sharp teeth and an oddly shaped body, this is a fish from a sailor’s nightmare. It lives in pitch black water and attracts its prey in the dark with the help of its glowing body parts.
An interesting characteristic of this specie is its weird reproduction pattern. The male fertilizes eggs by fusing its body into the female! Ultimately, the male disappears by completely merging itself into the female.
Not to sound like a devil’s advocate, but this fish is a marvelous wonder of nature despite its looks!