When scientists take to Twitter, the Internet becomes a truly magical place filled with wonder and oddity. Take a look at the latest Twitter feed #SpookWar, where some of the most knowledgeable deep-sea researchers are sharing their most "terrifying" underwater nightmare.
Okay, maybe only a handful of them are actually that terrifying, but they are all interesting nonetheless.
First on our list is the unusual orange sea toad (Chaunacops) characterized by its lure apparatus found on the top of its head (it's actually a modified forward-placed dorsal fin) and the strange positioning of its gill opening (behind the pectoral fins). Some species of the Lophiiformes order can even expel water through these openings to create a jet propulsion that allows them to flee from other deep-sea swimmers.
Next up, we have the "colorful kings of the ocean floor," less dramatically known as the squat lobster. According to the Aquarium of the Pacific, Pleuroncodes monodon are found on seafloors around the world near seamounts, canyons, and hydrothermal vents.
If the first two didn't warrant a case of thalassophobia, then Phroima sedentaria will surely do the trick. This midwater amphipod carves out a "home" in dead gelatinous animals to then lay its eggs inside, according to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI).
Then there are the haunting, angry-looking Lophiiformes. These carnivorous bony fish can reach up to 1 meter (3.3 feet) in length and weigh up to 50 kilograms (110 pounds). Named for its luring tactic, the anglerfish uses a natural luring technique reminiscent of your grandpa's fishing pole. There are more than 200 species of anglerfish, mostly in the Atlantic and Antarctic oceans, all of them equally as ugly.
The translucent sea cucumber calls the Gulf of Mexico home at around 2,750 meters (9,000 feet) deep. What you're seeing in the image is what appears to be the animal's digestive tract.
It goes without saying how the fangtooth (Anoplogaster cornuta) got its name. Though they look ferocious, these deep-sea fish measure just 15 centimeters (6 inches) long and typically dine on smaller fish and crustaceans.
Okay, this one needs no explanation.
Sorry, arachnophobes. Spiders exist even in the deepest parts of the ocean. Though they typically measure just a centimeter or less, Pycnogonids in the deep sea grow much bigger by literally sucking the juices out of jellyfish and sea anemones with their straw-like mouths. Fun fact: Their bodies are so small that parts of their digestive tract extend into their legs.
This newly described deep-sea lobster (Dinochelus ausubeli) has adapted to its life at depth by losing its eyesight and evolving some freaky claws.
Last, but certainly not least, the deep-sea lizard fish got its name because, well, it looks like a lizard and a fish made a baby. Bathysaurus mollis can reach up to 80 centimeters (31 inches) in length and lives on the seafloor deeper than 1,500 meters (4,900 feet). This one was spotted at 2,375 meters (7,800 feet) at the Davidson Seamount, according to MBARI.
Worthy of a notable mention is this NOAA captain dressed as Jack Skellington. That's right, you are THE PUMPKIN KING!