Every day could be Halloween in the ocean with animals like the goblin shark and vampire squid swimming around. Scientists are continually documenting species that seem like creatures out of our childhood nightmares — have you seen the recent videos of the gulper eel and headless chicken sea monster?
Even New England has its fair share of spooky ocean dwellers. Here are some of our favorites.
Wolffish: These toothy predators love the Gulf of Maine’s chilly waters – including Cashes Ledge – and actually use natural antifreeze to keep their blood flowing. Wolffish lurk in rocky outcroppings or small caves to catch prey and stay safe from predators. The scariest thing about wolffish, though, is that their populations have declined dramatically due to the impacts of commercial fishing and are listed as a “species of concern.”
Ghost Shark: Boo! More formally known as chimaera, these fish actually diverged from sharks about 400 million years ago. They find their home in the twilight zone, from hundreds to thousands of meters deep. Also, scientists recently observed chimaera in Lydonia Canyon – part of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument.
Monkfish: Monkfish look like they’re from straight out of a monster movie. These fish can camouflage with the ocean floor, and sometimes bury in the sand, in order to surprise their prey. Monkfish are a commonly caught species in New England and a delicacy in some countries. People most often eat the tail of the fish, which is likened to lobster.