7 Strange Things in the Ocean that Scientists Can’t Fully Explain

Dive deep below the surface of the ocean and you enter a world of profound mystery and darkness, where creatures and phenomena defy imagination.

The depths of our planet’s oceans hold secrets that are as alien as they are astonishing.

From glowing seas to mysterious underwater sounds and bizarre creatures that inhabit these abyssal depths, each discovery seems to raise more questions than it answers.

Explore seven of the strangest things found in the deep ocean that continue to puzzle and fascinate scientists worldwide.

1. Brine Pools

brine pool
Illustration, Image Credit: Viral Chatter

These underwater lakes are extremely salty and toxic, often found on the ocean floor. They can be up to 5 times saltier than regular seawater and contain unique bacteria with potential medical and industrial uses.

Some pools in the Gulf of Mexico are up to 12 feet deep and 100 feet wide. Scientists are still investigating the microbes and creatures thriving in these deadly environments (ref).

2. Milky Seas

milky seas
Illustration, Image Credit: Viral Chatter

Occasionally, large areas of the ocean surface emit a milky white glow at night, a spectacle caused by bioluminescent bacteria.

First reliably recorded in 1995 by a British vessel in the Indian Ocean, these glowing waters can stretch over 15,400 square miles. The specific conditions that trigger these massive bacterial blooms remain unknown.

3. Unidentified Sounds

Illustration, Image Credit: Viral Chatter

The deep ocean is home to mysterious sounds like the “Bloop,” “Julia,” and the unique 52 Hz whale call.

Detected by NOAA’s underwater listening systems (ref), these sounds range from ultra-low frequencies audible over 3,000 miles to calls from unidentified whale species. While some noises have been linked to natural phenomena like ice quakes, others have no clear explanation.

4. Underwater “Crop Circles”

underwater crop circles
Illustration, Image Credit: Viral Chatter

Discovered off the coast of Japan in 1995 (ref), these intricate circular patterns on the ocean floor are thought to be created by male pufferfish over 7-9 days to attract mates.

Spanning up to 6.5 feet in diameter, the purpose of these sand ridges and grooves continues to perplex scientists despite being linked to mating rituals.

5. The Baltic Sea Anomaly

baltic sea anomaly
Illustration, Image Credit: Viral Chatter

In 2011, researchers stumbled upon a 60-meter circular rock formation in the Baltic Sea. Originally sparking theories of sunken UFOs, this 210-foot diameter structure, likely a glacial deposit (ref), sits at a depth of 300 feet.

Its unusual shape and mysterious origin continue to ignite speculation.

6. Mariana Trench

mariana trench ss1853507206
Image Credit: DOERS/Shutterstock.

Known as the deepest part of the ocean, the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench reaches a depth of over 36,000 feet, where the pressure is more than 1,000 times that of the surface.

Home to unique lifeforms like xenophyophores and amphipods, this region remains one of the least explored, possibly hiding undiscovered species.

7. Deep-Sea Creatures

ANGLER FISH ss1036974175
Image Credit: Neil Bromhall/Shutterstock

The dark depths of the ocean are inhabited by bizarre animals such as the anglerfish (pictured), vampire squid, and gulper eel. These creatures exhibit extraordinary adaptations like bioluminescent lures and the ability to inflate their stomachs to consume large prey.

Despite ongoing discoveries, much about their behaviors and life cycles remains shrouded in mystery.

Martha A. Lavallie
Martha A. Lavallie
Author & Editor | + posts

Martha is a journalist with close to a decade of experience in uncovering and reporting on the most compelling stories of our time. Passionate about staying ahead of the curve, she specializes in shedding light on trending topics and captivating global narratives. Her insightful articles have garnered acclaim, making her a trusted voice in today's dynamic media landscape.