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Random Most Horrifying Sea Monsters To Ever Terrorize The Ocean

    Stethacanthus, An Ancient And Extraordinary Shark

    Stethacanthus, An Ancient And Extraordinary Shark

    [ranking: 9]
    This bizarre shark wasn??t the largest fish in the sea, but it is noteworthy thanks to one unique trait. Stethacanthus had an extremely unusual dorsal fin, completely unique in the shark fossil record, which scientists are still trying to understand. One suggestion is that male Stethacanthus used their anvil-shaped fin to attract mates, but others believe it could have been used to intimidate potential predators looking to munch on this cat-sized shark. Either way, these small, slow sharks were probably bottom-feeders.

    Megalodon, The Whale-Sized Shark

    Megalodon, The Whale-Sized Shark

    [ranking: 1]
    Measuring at more than 50 feet long, the megalodon was the largest known shark of all time. Their jaws alone were large enough for a full-grown person to walk through with ease, and they used those jaws to hunt whales. To put it in perspective, researcher Peter Klimey with the University of California at Davis said, "A great white is about the size of the clasper, or penis, of a male megalodon.??
    Scientists believe that megalodons hunted whales by first ripping off their tails and fins - immobilizing their prey so they could more easily feast. It is also believed that the extinction of these giant sharks is what allowed whales to reach the enormous sizes that they are known for today. Researchers confirmed that the last megalodon died only 2.6 million years ago, right around the same time the evolution of the first humans began to take place.
    More Megalodon
    #11 of 17 on Which Extinct Species Would You Bring Back From The Dead? #1 of 20 on List Of Extinct Sharks, From Small to Scary

    Plesiosaurs, Almost Too Strange To Believe

    Plesiosaurs, Almost Too Strange To Believe

    [ranking: 8]
    Plesiosaurs are made up of more than one species and lived about 135 million years ago. These long-necked predators served as the main inspiration for the infamous Loch Ness monster, and their unique anatomy has placed it at the center of controversy in the scientific community. Mary Anning, the renowned paleontologist who first discovered these creatures, was actually accused of forgery when she first brought a Plesiosaurus fossil to her colleagues. Interestingly, their iconic long necks were actually not very flexible, making most depictions of them fairly inaccurate. 

    Mosasaurus, A Ferocious Prehistoric Predator

    Mosasaurus, A Ferocious Prehistoric Predator

    [ranking: 4]
    The Mosasaurus became an international celebrity after its breakout performance in Jurassic World, and the real-life version is just as impressive. These giant reptiles could likely swallow most of their prey whole but preferred slicing meals into bite-sized morsels with their backward-bending teeth.
    Paleontologists have been studying these animals for years, and a recent discovery has shed new light on the early lives of mosasaurs. Researchers examined two baby mosasaurs and learned that they actually spent their early lives in the open ocean. This discovery has led some scientists to believe that mosasaurs gave birth to live young.
    More Mosasaurus
    #3 of 12 on 12 Famous Prehistoric Animals You'll Be Surprised To Learn Aren't Actually Dinosaurs #3 of 15 on List of Dinosaurs That Appear In Jurassic World

    Jaekelopterus, A Sea Scorpion Bigger Than You

    Jaekelopterus, A Sea Scorpion Bigger Than You

    [ranking: 6]
    Jaekelopterus reigned as an apex predator nearly 400 million years ago and was probably willing to eat anything smaller than itself - including members of its own species. These arthropods grew to over eight feet long and had huge, spiked claws that could ensnare fish with ease. Experts believe the Jaekelopterus ambushed prey with its claws before tearing the meal apart. Jaekelopterus is the largest discovered species of arthropod, a group that includes insects, arachnids, lobsters, and crabs.

    Leedsichthys, The Largest Fish Ever

    Leedsichthys, The Largest Fish Ever

    [ranking: 10]
    Even though scientists originally overestimated the size of this giant fish by whopping 40 feet, it is still considered to be the largest bony fish ever discovered. In fact, the Leedsichthys was so big that its gill bones have sometimes been mistaken for the bones of pterosaurs. Although they could grow up to 55 feet in length, their great size didn't make them great hunters. Like many sea giants, Leedsichthys survived by feeding on some of the smallest creatures in the sea: Plankton probably made up a majority of their diet, although it??s difficult to pinpoint the feeding habits of an extinct animal. Scientists believe that, even though the largest discovered specimen was around 55 feet, that these animals could likely have grown to be even bigger.

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The ocean is massive - and the creatures lurking beneath its surface can grow to sizes that would be impossible on land. Whales are the largest living creatures in the sea, but these gentle giants were preceded by some of the scariest sea monsters of all time. The fossil record is full of scary sea animals that would make Jaws look like a little guppy in comparison - so many that it’s a miracle that none of them are alive today (maybe). 

Giant fish, sharks, and reptiles dominated the oceans for millions of years, becoming the apex predators of one of the craziest and most diverse environments on our planet. Sea scorpions the size of crocodiles swam in the same waters as massive armored fish who could bite a great white in half. The oldest sea creatures were more terrifying than anything cartographers ever doodled onto their maps. These are some of the deadliest creatures of all time, the ones who epitomize the phrase “there’s always a bigger fish.”

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