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Random Most Horrifying Sea Monsters To Ever Terrorize The Ocean

    Stethacanthus, An Ancient And Extraordinary Shark

    Stethacanthus, An Ancient And Extraordinary Shark

    [ranking: 9]
    This bizarre shark wasn??t the largest fish in the sea, but it is noteworthy thanks to one unique trait. Stethacanthus had an extremely unusual dorsal fin, completely unique in the shark fossil record, which scientists are still trying to understand. One suggestion is that male Stethacanthus used their anvil-shaped fin to attract mates, but others believe it could have been used to intimidate potential predators looking to munch on this cat-sized shark. Either way, these small, slow sharks were probably bottom-feeders.

    Dunkleosteus, An Armored Death Machine

    Dunkleosteus, An Armored Death Machine

    [ranking: 2]
    This ancient fish lived 400 million years ago, but its bite has stood the test of time. Scientists believe the Dunkleosteus had the strongest bite of any fish ever discovered - one that could be compared to the bite of a Tyrannosaurus rex. Scientists have crunched the numbers and determined that, just at the tip of its fang, this fish??s bite could measure at 8,000 pounds per square inch. They were absolute apex predators, preying on sharks and basically anything it could catch (everything). Dunkleosteus was also 33 feet long from tooth to tail and covered in thick armor-like plating, making it one of the ocean??s first giant predators.

    Livyatan Melvillei, The Whale That Ate Whales

    Livyatan Melvillei, The Whale That Ate Whales

    [ranking: 7]
    Named after Herman Melville, the author of Moby Dick, Livyatan melvillei was a massive species of sperm whale that is believed to have preyed on primarily baleen whales. This creature lived only 12-13 million years ago, which is frighteningly recent when it comes to the span of geological time. And while it is estimated to have been about the size of a modern sperm whale, it had foot-long teeth that suggest its food of choice was quite a bit bigger than your average squid.
    Modern sperm whales hunt by using suction - basically sucking prey directly into their giant mouths. Livyatan, however, most likely hunted in a fashion similar to that of orca whales, biting and tearing at their prey. And, yes, a human being could easily fit inside of Livyatan's mouth, making the whale in Melville??s beloved novel seem a lot less fictional.

    Jaekelopterus, A Sea Scorpion Bigger Than You

    Jaekelopterus, A Sea Scorpion Bigger Than You

    [ranking: 6]
    Jaekelopterus reigned as an apex predator nearly 400 million years ago and was probably willing to eat anything smaller than itself - including members of its own species. These arthropods grew to over eight feet long and had huge, spiked claws that could ensnare fish with ease. Experts believe the Jaekelopterus ambushed prey with its claws before tearing the meal apart. Jaekelopterus is the largest discovered species of arthropod, a group that includes insects, arachnids, lobsters, and crabs.

    Helicoprion, The Spiral-Mouthed Killer

    Helicoprion, The Spiral-Mouthed Killer

    [ranking: 3]
    Terrorizing the seas nearly 300 million years ago, the Helicoprion was a bizarre species of shark that sported one of the craziest sets of teeth in natural history. This unusual feature has been the subject of widespread debate in the scientific community for a century, and it??s easy to see why. The only fossils that have been found of this animal contain sets of spiraled teeth, and scientists are still trying to figure out just how they would have possibly fit into the shark??s mouth.
    What they do know is that, like many modern sharks, the Helicoprion most likely had to replace their teeth pretty regularly. And although many illustrations show the Helicoprion with a buzz-saw mouth, some scientists believe that the tooth-spiral may have actually been located inside the shark??s throat. Others claim it was more like a ratfish than a shark, with its teeth positioned at the rear of its jaw.

    Plesiosaurs, Almost Too Strange To Believe

    Plesiosaurs, Almost Too Strange To Believe

    [ranking: 8]
    Plesiosaurs are made up of more than one species and lived about 135 million years ago. These long-necked predators served as the main inspiration for the infamous Loch Ness monster, and their unique anatomy has placed it at the center of controversy in the scientific community. Mary Anning, the renowned paleontologist who first discovered these creatures, was actually accused of forgery when she first brought a Plesiosaurus fossil to her colleagues. Interestingly, their iconic long necks were actually not very flexible, making most depictions of them fairly inaccurate. 

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The ocean is massive - and the creatures lurking beneath its surface can grow to sizes that would be impossible on land. Whales are the largest living creatures in the sea, but these gentle giants were preceded by some of the scariest sea monsters of all time. The fossil record is full of scary sea animals that would make Jaws look like a little guppy in comparison - so many that it’s a miracle that none of them are alive today (maybe). 

Giant fish, sharks, and reptiles dominated the oceans for millions of years, becoming the apex predators of one of the craziest and most diverse environments on our planet. Sea scorpions the size of crocodiles swam in the same waters as massive armored fish who could bite a great white in half. The oldest sea creatures were more terrifying than anything cartographers ever doodled onto their maps. These are some of the deadliest creatures of all time, the ones who epitomize the phrase “there’s always a bigger fish.”

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