Cute or creepy?

Transparent eels and fanged fish: 10 deep-sea monsters captured in a new expedition

It's weird down there!

Museums Victoria/Ben Healley

Museums Victoria Research Institute

Deep below the surface of the Indian Ocean, this patch of seabed teems with life.

Museums Victoria Research Institute

Translucent eels, fanged fish, and other peculiar creatures wriggle between corals and rock formations off the coast of Australia’s Cocos (Keeling) Islands.

A recent deep-sea expedition just captured never-before-seen views of this part of the seafloor.

Earlier this month, a crew of scientists on board the research vessel Investigator returned to mainland Australia after 35 days of exploring the deep.

CSIRO

Researchers from several organizations, including the Museums Victoria Research Institute and CSIRO, departed from Darwin on September 31 and sailed to the far-flung islands.

Museums Victoria Research Institute

They probed up to 5500 meters (18,044 feet) below sea level, collecting data on undersea volcanoes and surveying the species that live there.

Museums Victoria Research Institute

Museums Victoria/Ben Healley

The researchers also brought back numerous deep sea specimens — some of them creepier-looking than others.

Here are 10 peculiar deep sea creatures recovered from the expedition:

Museums Victoria/Ben Healley

Museums Victoria/Ben Healley

10. The deep-sea Viperfish sports glassy icicle teeth and a marbled eye with a shimmering blue ring around it.

9. Eerie, transparent skin covers the body of a blind eel that was previously unknown to science.

Museums Victoria/Ben Healley

Museums Victoria/Ben Healley

8. An up-close view of the craggy maw of a conger eel.

Museums Victoria/Ben Healley

7. The Highfin Lizardfish has a similarly menacing set of teeth designed to snatch prey as it swims by.

6. It’s not a full Great White Shark, but the researchers did snag one of its lost teeth from the seafloor.

Museums Victoria/Ben Healley

5. The tiny Tribute Spiderfish uses its long appendages to stilt-walk across the seafloor.

Museums Victoria/Ben Healley

Museums Victoria/Ben Healley

4. Which way is this flatfish looking?

Its asymmetrical face makes it hard to tell.

3. This is the flexy Synaphobranchyus eel, wrapped in a neat spiral.

Museums Victoria/Ben Healley

2. Though known as a cusk-eel, Lamprogrammus is actually a genus of fish that look surprisingly eel-like.

Museums Victoria/Ben Healley

1. Shaped like a dumpling, Batfishes like this one shimmy across the deep seafloor with their fins.

Museums Victoria/Ben Healley