Login or Register

Sign in with Facebook

The history of our planet is like a carnival of screams. Looking back through the fossil record, we've had everything from carnivorous swimming tanks to giant flesh eating goats. Fortunately, nature has seen fit to kill most of history's monsters with evolution and extinction events. So we're in the clear, right?

Sure, as long as you stay on land. It turns out that the "kill all monsters" message didn't travel so well underwater, and many of these prehistoric horrors are still waiting down there to eat your head and snack on your soul.

Goblin Shark

Look, sharks are terrifying enough already, but at least mankind was lucky enough not to have suffered through God's Cubist period, during which He designed, among other things, a shark with a circular saw for a face.


Those might be long dead, but you know what is very, horribly alive? This:

Goblin sharks are hideous, pink, 11-foot long servants of evil, which Wikipedia describes as having an electrosensitive, trowel-shaped, beak-like rostrum and protrusible jaws. That is science-talk for: "Oh God, God no."

They've been around since the Middle Eocene, which means they survived alongside Megalodons. For context, the Megalodon was a great white shark the size of a bus, one of the largest and most terrifying marine predators ever to exist. It did not survive. The goblin shark did.

Jesus! Where Do They Live?!

The bad (worse?) news is that they have been found in most of the world's oceans, so it's possible that you're never far from one, though it can be argued that there is no such thing as being far enough away from goblin sharks. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they were originally discovered off the coast of Japan.

No shit.

Since then, they've been cropping up all over the place, so it is possible that in the depths of the ocean, there has been a population explosion of monstrous terror-sharks from the past. It may be time to start investing in real-estate around Denver.

Giant River stingray

Stingrays have already solidified their place in the annals of terror by doing what so many bigger and more venomous animals had failed to do in the past: kill Steve Irwin. But there is one out there that probably would have kept the Crocodile Hunter out of the water altogether.

We're sorry to inform you that that is in no way Photoshopped or modified, and is, in fact, a 16-foot long stingray. It seems Mother Nature was both lazy and malicious when she sculpted what is basically a king-sized bedsheet, and and then put a 15-inch serrated poison spike on its ass. That barb, by the way, has been known to impale body parts, sometimes skewering them completely and even penetrating bone.

The giant river stingray is an abomination faxed directly to us from the Jurassic era, 100 million years ago. See? We don't need a team of God-playing scientists to bring horrors back from the Jurassic, they are already here.

Jesus! Where Do They Live?!

Thailand, New Guinea, Borneo and, surprise surprise, Australia. They live exclusively in rivers in a part of the world where rivers are uniformly murky, making these giant poisonous fish invisible as well. As if you really needed another reason to avoid the Southern Hemisphere.

This one was 770 pounds, making it the largest freshwater fish in the world,
and caused the world's third largest pants-shitting.

Continue Reading Below

Frilled Shark

It's official: We as a species have no business in the ocean. You win, we're done. The frilled shark has been terrorizing the oceans for at least 95 million years, looking something like a dragon that was bitten by an eel that was also a zombie for some reason.

They usually live in the deep sea, but apparently they occasionally rise to the surface purely to remind human beings that only terror awaits us in the briny depths.

They have upwards of 300 three-pronged teeth, which one unnecessarily foreboding scientist described as "providing almost a thousand sharp hooks on which to trap struggling prey." They can also open their mouths extremely wide and can swallow something up to one and a half times their length. In case you're wondering, that means they could have swallowed Andre the Giant and the midget he was, for whatever reason, giving an ocean-bottom piggy back ride to in one horrifying gulp. Basically, they're just giant floating stomachs with a chainsaw at one end.

Jesus! Where Do They Live?!

Everywhere, deep under the waves. We don't know much about them because their natural habitat is so far below the ocean and, frankly, there are enough horrors in the known world that we don't need to go out of our way in search of more.

Alligator Gar

Disney's The Princess and the Frog would have us believe that bayous and swamps are home to adorable amphibians and cowardly reptiles with a love of jazz. Oh, how cute of you to believe that. Let's bring you back to reality for a moment:

As ancient as they are ugly, alligator gars have been around for 100 million years, and strike fear in the heart of anything that is afraid of large animals with hundreds of sharp teeth. Double-rows of sharp teeth, because back in ancient times you needed all the teeth you could get in order to combat all the tyrannofrogs and velociturtles that shared the swamp with you.

They also have pointed scales that are big enough to be used as arrowheads, and hard enough that they cause sparks when struck with an axe. They also have primitive lungs, so they can live for hours out of the water, which is exactly what you do not want in your oversized armored toothy demon fish.

Jesus! Where Do They Live?!

All over the Southern U.S., in rivers along the Gulf Coast. Their tendency to feed on valuable game fish and your children means that fishermen kind of hate them. So much, in fact, that in the 30s in Texas, a man named Colonel J.G. Burr rigged up an "Electric Gar Destroyer" to electrocute the shit out of the swamps in order to kill them off, which just goes to show you that what nature has failed to kill off for millions of years can still be beaten by a dipshit with a ridiculous weapon.

Continue Reading Below

Giant Chinese Salamander

Coming in at a tie with the panda bear in the list of real animals most resembling Pokemon, giant salamanders have been plodding around for about 30 million years, which means they survived giant bears and hyenas as big as cows.

Fortunately for us, they are the one creature on this list least likely to devour you and everyone you care about, being nearly blind and feeding mainly on smaller salamanders, worms and crayfish. Although they do get aggressive around mating season, when the males fight over the holes they have dug in the mud, often killing each other in the process. We're scratching our heads over how something this stupid could survive long enough to be a living fossil.

Jesus! Where Do They Live?!

China, the the land that eats monsters. We're still a little nervous about this, because on the one hand, we think they're kind of cute. On the other hand, that's probably just how they sucker you in. After all, something killed all those dinosaurs.

"Dear god, why China? They ate Godzilla's mom! What chance do I have?"


Quick, is that the name of a prehistoric, three-eyed, hell-shrimp, or a He-Man villain? If you guessed hell-shrimp, you were correct.

Incidentally, every time we watch a horror movie about genetically engineered parasites that escape the lab, there is at least one scene where a human body bursts like a pinata and releases three hundred of these into the world:

Triops have been haunting our waterways and nightmares since the Triassic period, about 200 million years ago, meaning they sent some of the first dinosaurs screaming out of the ponds. Their eggs are damn near indestructible, and if the conditions aren't right, they can just go into suspended animation, lying dormant and unhatched for decades like the alien conspiracy from The X-Files.

Jesus! Where Do They Live?!

Basically everywhere, including your living room, because you can order them online. For those of you whose idea of the perfect pet is "like sea monkeys, but evil."

We're pretty sure Dio songs echo from the tank 24/7.

Continue Reading Below


There's really no way to ease you slowly into the following analogy, so we're just going to go ahead and say it: condoms full of teeth.

If you're thinking those are tiny little worms you might find sucking on the side of your aquarium, think again. These bastards grow to about three and a half feet long, and feed by literally eating their way into the sides of fish until their guts come out the hole.

Lampreys are so old, evolutionarily speaking, that they are barely considered vertebrates, and hardly even fish. The closest thing we have to genuine Lovecraftian elder gods, Lampreys are upwards of 360-million-years old, and are basically the missing link between fish and whatever came before fish. We're guessing devils.

Jesus! Where Do They Live?!

Coasts and freshwater around the world. In the great lakes, they have become a disgusting plague feeding off of other fish, mostly the delicious ones like trout. On the other hand, countries like Finland, South Korea and Sweden consider the blood-sucking spineless worm-fish a delicacy.

But don't worry, lampreys are unlikely to try to eat humans. Unless they are starving.

You can find more from David at Associated Content.

Do you have an idea in mind that would make a great article? Then sign up for our writers workshop! Know way too much about a random topic? Create a topic page and you could be on the front page of Cracked.com tomorrow!

For more living terrors, check out The 6 Deadliest Creatures (That Can Fit In Your Shoe) and The 5 Creepiest Serial Killers (Who Were Animals).

And stop by our Linkstorm (Updated Today!) to see what's destroying the Internet at this very moment.

And don't forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get sexy, sexy jokes sent straight to your news feed.

To turn on reply notifications, click here


Load Comments