The darkness of space is only rivaled by the inky blackness of the deep oceans. We are just now beginning to understand the ecosystems and the creatures that live in the deep recesses of Earth’s water. We have sent more people to the Moon than we have to explore the deepest portions of the sea. With William Eubank’s Alien in the sea flick set to premiere Friday it begs the questions, what monsters could be underwater waiting to be released.
The deepest known point in the Earth’s oceans is in the Marianna Trench. The Trench is located in the western Pacific Ocean and the deepest point is called the Challenger Deep. It is seven miles below sea level. To put that into perspective if Mount Everest was placed inside the Trench the peak would still be one mile below the surface. This trench and other ocean grooves like this are formed by the colliding of tectonic plates.
The Trench including the Challenger and Sirena Deep are cloaked in absolute darkness and are just a few degrees above freezing. The pressure at the bottom is a whopping eight tons per square inch. This is roughly 1000 times what the pressure at sea level is. Humans descended to the bottom one time more than fifty years ago. No one has been to the bottom since. The animals that call this inhospitable place home are some of the wildest found on the planet. What should be an environment that prohibits life, has spawned the most amazing life forms.
In addition to microorganisms that could hold the secret to how life first began on Earth, larger shrimp-like creatures, translucent worms, and sharks. The Frilled Shark considered living fossil life 5000 feet below sea level. The Giant Spider Crab can grow to as large as 12 feet long from tip to tip. That would make the Crab larger than Shaquille O’ Neal. The Fangtooth Fish is not a huge fish, but his teeth are. They have been found swimming in crushing depths of 5,000 meters down and have a mouthful of razor-sharp chompers. The scary needle toothed Angler Fish from Finding Nemo is an example of the aesthetic.
Giant Tube Worms thrive in deep waters particularly near hydrothermal vents that spew toxic chemicals and intense heat. The diminutive Vampire Squid has adapted to living in parts of the ocean with oxygen levels below what was once thought necessary. The Pacific Viperfish lures fish into their nasty teeth with their bioluminescent bellies. The largest animal is the Dumbo Octopus who swallows fish whole as he floats along the Trench. He is named for the adorable giant ears that float from the top of his body.
In addition to all of these are other sharks, the comically skinny and bioluminescent Hatchetfish, Zombie Worms, and Barreleye Fish which have completely sea through tops of their heads. It is believed their eyes that are constantly pointed upward make the most of the meager light where he lives. Albino shrimp, boneless creatures, and microbiology that feels more alien than terrestrial all find homes in these hellish landscapes.
There are blind lobsters, symbiotic anemones living on hermit crabs, spiky Starfish, and eels and jellyfish found in all regions of the Trench. New lifeforms are being found all the time. What other monsters could be underwater? Might there be humanoid aquatic life? Likely they would be cartilage instead of bone in skeletal structure. Similar to a shark form animals like this would be able to survive the crushing depths.
Calcium in bones is liquified at the deepest depths of the ocean so bone from Calcium would not be an option. As a result of scarcity of life, many of the creatures have already developed hermaphroditic capabilities allowing them to mate with any gender of their species they come across. Any Apex predators found on the bottom of the Trenches would almost certainly have that capability as well.
The creature just barely seen in the shadowy background of the Underwater trailer show what appears to be an alien humanoid creature with massive eyes. All of those things have been found in the life forms already discovered, save the large humanoid form. Where spider crabs can grow twelve feet long, human fish could also grow to extraordinary sizes. The fingers are spindly crab leg like and the face features a beak similar to a squid.
Not only are all these things plausible, but they have also been found in the monsters of the deep already. In a battle for supremacy humans would be lower on the food chain as our bodies are ill-equipped and under practiced in these environments. let’s hope we never come face to face with anything like the kinds of things Underwater shows.
The extreme adaptability of life should be a strong reminder to us all that life finds a way. We have only started to explore these regions and discover the incredible things that call these extreme environments home. Is it really all that farfetched that a deep-sea mining accident or earthquake would disturb something stronger, faster, smarter, and hungrier than us? There very well may be monsters waiting underwater for us to let them out. Read our review of Underwater out Friday. If Underwater scares are your thing, here are the Best Underwater Horror and Sci-fi Movies.
As the Managing Editor for Signal Horizon, I love watching and writing about genre entertainment. I grew up with old-school slashers, but my real passion is television and all things weird and ambiguous. My work can be found here and Travel Weird, where I am the Editor in Chief.