The deep sea is a strange place, largely unexplored and full of fascinating creatures. On Nov. 17, researchers from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) in Moss Landing, California, captured video of an anglerfish, dubbed the Black Sea Devil, at an ocean depth of 1,900 feet. The anglerfish is just one of the many bizarre deep-sea creatures that have inspired tales of sea monsters.

"This is the first time we've captured this fish on video in its habitat," Bruce Robison, MBARI senior scientist, said in a statement. "Anglerfish, like this Melanocetus, are among the most rarely seen of all deep-sea fishes. The shining spot at the tip of the 'fishing pole' projecting from the fish's head is a glowing lure. The anglerfish uses its light to attract prey in its deep, dark habitat."

Most recently, a mysterious "sea monster" began washing up on California shores. Two giant sea serpents, measuring 18 feet and 14 feet, respectively, washed ashore in October 2013. These rarely seen oarfish can grow to more than 50 feet and can be found in depths around 3,000 feet.

Aside from oarfish and anglerfish, there are also "killer sponges" hanging out on the ocean floor, notes MBARI. The institute found four new species of carnivorous sponges in April 2014. The sponges have thin hairs covering their branches that trap tiny crustaceans, or amphipods, which are soon digested.

There are also deep-sea worms known as Osedax that feast on bones of fish and whales; these "bone worms" can also be found on land. "We now know that the worms are capable of subsisting on a variety of bones from cows, pigs and seals, but this new discovery of Osedax on fish bones forces us to take a fresh look at their nutritional limits and evolution," MBARI scientist Bob Vrijenhoek said in a statement.

For more terrifying creatures, you can't go wrong with the fangtooth fish, the Pacific viperfish or the Atlantic wolffish. Fang-like teeth and bulging eyes are common features of deep-sea fish due to the small amount of light that penetrates the ocean at such depths. The deep sea is also home to strange types of squid, crabs, such as the Yeti crab, and plenty of translucent creatures.

No discussion of deep-sea fish would be complete without a mention of what may be the world's ugliest animal. The poor blobfish gets a bad reputation, Smithsonian.com argues, due to its appearance outside of its natural habitat 2,000 to 4,000 feet below the ocean surface, where it looks like a regular fish.

The decade-long Census of Marine Life discovered 17,000 species in the deep sea, and new technologies, including manned and unmanned underwater vehicles, have also improved our understanding of the deepest parts of the oceans.

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