Humans have explored less than five percent of the ocean, which covers 70 percent of our planet. Whether these creepy objects came from the watery depths or were manmade, you’d hate to be the beachgoer that stumbles across them.
A British family took a peaceful day trip to the beach. The parents snapped photos of their children as they played around a metal ball that was half-covered in barnacles.
Everyone thought it was abnormal to see such a large buoy. Then they noticed the writing on the side. It was an unexploded bomb, washed up on the beach of Pembrey Country Park in South Wales.
The weapon hailed from the bygone World War II era. Thankfully, the Royal Navy painlessly detonated the 70-year-old U.S. military mine bomb in a controlled explosion.
The size of a grapefruit, this eye looks like it belongs to the Kraken. The blue eyeball washed up in Florida in 2012, fully intact and bleeding. It was quickly put on ice and sent off to the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida for analysis.
The eye belonged to an Atlantic Ocean swordfish, which probably weighed around 1,000 pounds. The swordfish is the only member of the Xiphiidae class, uses its “sword” to cut large prey, and eats smaller meals whole. Swordfish rely on environmental heat sources instead of producing their own warmth. Even though they are ectothermic, they have special organs next to their eyes to heat their brains and improve their vision. Of the 25,000+ fish species, only 22 can conserve heat.
National Geographic likened the swordfish eyeball to the eye of a giant squid, the biggest invertebrate on Earth.
Speaking of Squid…. A LOT Of Squids
When the sun rose on Newport Beach, California on January 19, 2005, 500 alien-like creatures lay scattered across the sand. Some were six feet long and weighed 100 pounds. In the water, the Humboldt squids flash rainbows of color, but on land, they are an ominous and pale sight. Hundreds more would surface in September 2011.
Humboldt squids hunt in schools of over 1,000 and live in the Pacific Ocean at depths of 660 to 2,300 feet. Mexican fishermen call them “red devils” for their notorious aggression. The squids use barbed suckers on their tentacles to stab a fish and drag it to their sharp beaks, where they tear it to shreds. They also cannibalize other squids. This particular school could have washed up while chasing prey in the low tide, or due to a sudden shift in the weather.
At Least 16 Human Feet
In 2011, a girl from Washington picked up a Nike shoe on the beach of Canada’s Salish Sea. Still tucked inside it was a human foot.
As of February 2016, 16 washed-up feet have been discovered in the area. Several of the feet have matched each other, adding up to at least five men and one woman. This bizarre case has gathered so much media attention that people are now planting hoax feet on beaches.
Speculation of the origin of the feet ranges from natural disasters to serial killers, while some suspect they are the remains of plane crashes, gang crimes, or human trafficking. Criminologists say that seawater is probably naturally detaching the feet from suicide victims. Two of the identified corpses suffered from mental illnesses.
Think twice about picking up a shoe on the beach!
Black Market Drugs
Back at it again, Florida.
Finding trash, lost cargo, or even large amounts of marijuana washed up on the beach is a common occurrence in the sunshine state. Still, the 25 kilos of cocaine discovered on Jupiter Beach in March 2016 probably sets a new record.
The drugs, packed in bricks and wrapped in black and plastic, were estimated by the sheriff’s office to be worth $600,000 wholesale, or $2 million on the streets. The creepiest factor of this discovery lies in its mysterious origin. Where did the drugs come from, and how were they smuggled into the U.S.? How did someone allow so much potential profit to be lost to the sea?
Nobody has come forth to claim the loss.
Toxic Balls Of Tar
When huge, sticky black globs started materializing out of the water in May 2015, almost every beach in the Los Angeles South Bay was quickly closed off. The balls of tar reeked and were even flammable.
Cleanup crews removed over 55 gallons of “petroleum-based product,” which they knew was highly unusual. While the ocean can carry tar for hundreds of miles, turning it into denser clumps over time, this substance was fresh and more of a liquid tar.
David Valentine, a UC Santa Barbara professor studying oil and gas dispersion in the ocean, realized that the toxic jelly-like substance was crude oil that had been sent floating down the West Coast. A pipeline had ruptured in Santa Barbara earlier that month, spilling as much as 21,000 gallons of oil into the Pacific. Biologists noted that the black tar killed at least 115 birds, 46 sea lions, and 12 dolphins.
Creepy Messages In Bottles
Timeless pages penned by hand, sealed in glass, and tossed into the waves. A message in a bottle must be a flowery love letter, or a confession of someone’s deepest secrets. Right? Wrong.
Reddit user mariahkl13 discovered a message in a glass jar at a beach in Oceanside, California. But when she opened it, it was anything but romantic.
The bottle was filled with bright pink liquid, which she immediately poured out. She unrolled the thick black tie to reveal a washed out photograph of a woman. Someone had put pins into the picture, voodoo-style, and launched it, probably while muttering a Latin curse, into the sea.
The Forest Of Borth
This particular treasure wasn’t washed up so much as uncovered. After coastal storms stripped away sand from the shore, the prehistoric Borth forest arose in Cardigan Bay, Wales. The petrified pine, alder, oak, and birch trees were alive 4,500-6,000 years ago, and there are signs that people lived on the oceanfront property as well. As water levels descended, archaeologists discovered a timber walkway and remnants of ancient hearths.
Cardigan Bay is said to be the location of a legendary sunken kingdom called Cantre’r Gwaelod, which is described as the “Welsh Atlantis.” The myth says that Cantre’r Gwaelod was lost when a well-maiden named Mererid neglected her duties and unleashed a flood that destroyed the kingdom. She must have finally found a way to change her fate, drawing water back into her well.
In March 2016, an enormous 13-foot long grey-white blob washed up on the shore in Acapulco, Mexico. Onlookers immediately wondered if it was a piece of colossal squid or an undiscovered sea creature. The fleshy mass had no smell or even distinguishing features.
James Mead of the National Museum of National History determined that the sea monster was actually the top half of a sperm whale. The head makes up 1/3 of a sperm whale’s length, and spread out on the beach were connective tissues that had been separated from a skull. Sperm whales can grow up to 70 feet, and Mead estimated this whale to have been 40 feet long.
Rather demonic in appearance, only a few adult Goblin sharks have ever been caught alive. The largest was caught in 2000; it was nearly 20 feet long, and are probably bigger Goblins lurking in the depths of the sea.
The most recent shark was caught at 700 feet by a fisherman near Eden, off Australia’s southeast coast. He got quite the shock, and his catch became the fourth Goblin to be acquired by the Australian Museum in Sydney.
The Goblin shark’s jaw is on a hinge and can project forward out of the mouth when it is feeding, in a similar motion to a frog’s tongue. Its jaws let it snatch prey in its teeth and swallow whole fish. Its scientific family, Mitsukurinidae, dates back to the Cretaceous period. As the last member of an ancient line, the goblin shark is a true living fossil.