The high seas are both incredibly beautiful and utterly ferocious, often with little time between the two. They’re also places so vast it’s easy to feel alone in the great expanse, with eerie feelings quickly creeping in—particularly at night!
The following 27 people share the creepiest things they’ve witnessed on the high seas.
I’ve been on large container ships up and down the coast here. Whenever you’re in the middle of a storm its quite exciting. Its hard to describe the sea in the middle of a storm. The swells get huge and rough. When lightning hits the sea you see it light up a huge area and start to froth.
The scariest though is being on the bridge in a trough between two swells and seeing the water rising up on either side of you like a wall.
On the Pacific side of South America, I believe we were off the coast of Peru or Chile, can’t quite remember…….I was working night shift so I was out on the flight deck to watch the sun come up. Strangest damn thing I’ve ever seen….the ocean was dead calm like a lake. Seriously, no ripples, no waves, just dead calm. Like you found a small pond up in the mountains that was completely undisturbed.
The moon was bright in the sky still as the sun had not yet begun to rise but there was still a lot of light from it. The moon made it feel all the more eerie. And besides the noise from the ship, it was completely silent. One of the weirdest experiences I’ve ever felt.
I was caught in an electrical storm while fishing. This was in Lake Ontario, running 8 foot graphite rods on downriggers. I was standing on the deck watching the rods, and I noticed blue sparks start jumping from rod to rod. A split second later, lightning struck directly behind the boat. That was probably the loudest natural sound I will ever hear in my life.
This story is terrifying and awesome at the same time. I enjoy sailing and like to take long trips on my uncles boat. We usually try to sail along the East or West coast of the US, but one year he was stationed in Japan, and I got the opportunity to travel to Japan. (Great place to visit)
I was sailing by the coast of Okinawa, when a thunder storm started up in the middle of the night. Strangely, the ocean was completely still and the weather was giving us a wonderful light show. Lightning would strike the water and light up everything around us. Suddenly, lighting struck near our boat and we saw the most incredible sight. Jellyfish. Jellyfish everywhere. There’s were not the usual jellyfish that you see around the US, these things were HUGE. The lightning would strike the water, and the jellyfish would light up. The ocean literally looked like it glowed purple and red that night.
When I was younger, my dad and I went deep sea fishing all the time. The creepiest thing that ever happened to me was when we decided to do a little more surface fishing further out on the open ocean, rather than fish for grouper and whatnot. So I’m sitting with my feet off the edge of the boat, and my dad hooks a fish. It seems pretty big, based on the way it was pulling, so I look over to see if he needs help.
Then something slowly brushes my legs. I looked down and there was a 4-5′ barracuda brushing against my legs. I froze, and seconds later it shot off. When my dad felt the line go slack, he started reeling in faster. The barracuda had bitten off most of the fish. It was only a mouth on a hook, really. Pretty creepy.
I am in the US Coast Guard, and I recently was assigned to a ship. I was going through our log books to look up something and noticed that on the bridge a “Unknown Blue Light” was observed beneath the waters surface the night before. This intrigued me so I started looking through more of the logs.
Apparently every 2-3 weeks they enter lights of varying colors in places you would not expect. Usually white, red or green lights are on the horizon, or in the sky (ships and aircraft). But they seem to report colored lights under the water, sometimes moving around, sometimes stationary. Lights in the sky moving at extreme speeds then immediately stopping or disappearing altogether. Sometimes lights are visible to the naked eye but when we try to look at it with FLIR or Night vision they are undetectable.
I dunno, not that creepy but was pretty interesting to me.
During my time in the Navy, we once transited through the Bermuda Triangle at night. Being the Navy, there was plenty of people playing on the whole errieness of our location as it was. But at one point I stepped outside to have a look. It is typically quite dark on a Navy ship in the middle of the ocean at night, so it was quite a shock to see the water actually glowing green where we were. It looked a lot like we were sailing through an ocean full of the chemicals you find in light sticks. It’s pretty wild to see, especially in the triangle. I found out later that it was most likely bioluminescence from plankton in the water.
Merchant seaman here. I have travelled world wide with over 50000 miles under my belt having crossed the Atlantic, Indian and pacific oceans multiple times.
The thing I have seen a few times that really creeped me out were whilst on watch at night. And on several occasions witnessed meteorites similar if not bigger to the ones caught on dash cams in Russia. Also seemingly close to the ship. Even audible to the human ear if outside on the bridge wings.
Spectacular sights but also kinda terrifying.
Nothing particularly specific. I’ve been sailing all my life and have somewhere around 6,000 sea miles as well as years and years of inland dinghy racing experience.
The sea just does strange things sometimes. Wind against tide and underwater obstacles causing weird currents create unnatural waves and it starts to feel like the sea is just throwing water at you at random.
Fog at sea at night really fucks up your senses too. Everything is quiet and you can’t see anything but the boat immediately around you. You keep looking for lights on other ships and listening for fog horns or the sound of engines in the distance and your brain starts playing all manner of tricks on you. In a busy shipping lane it’s a serious business and in a very real way it could be life or death if you miss a ship that hits you and sinks you. You start to see lights everywhere around you, hearing engines creeping up on you. You stop your boat and cut the engine to see if you’re hearing anything real and you enter an even stranger world of sensory deprivation. It’s eerie as hell.
Also, I’ve just remembered: A full solar eclipse.
We saw one in the middle of the English Channel and it was the strangest thing. There was thin cloud but the sun was visible through it. We were within the total eclipse zone and could see the shadow coming from miles away. It looked like the biggest, most angry storm I’ve ever seen. Generally the darker the clouds the more it’s going to hurt. This was a darkness as dark as is possible at sea during the day. Talked to my dad about it afterwards and we both felt a real uneasiness getting worse and worse the nearer it got. Our bodies and subconscious were readying us for dealing with a really shitty/dangerous situation.
It was just like how people sometimes describe sending a ghost. A cold chill and feeling really on edge. It really was like a ghost storm.
A lot of sailing becomes instinctual after a while and you get a feeling about what’s coming from watching the clouds and waves off on the horizon. The eclipse gave off every sign of absolute nastiness but passed without any real world effect other than darkness. Really creepy.
This was maybe 10 years ago, and I was sailing with my family, moving a sailboat from the Connecticut shore to Boston, and this happened on an extremely foggy day. I also remember the day being pretty windless as well so we were just motoring along instead of sailing.
Now, the general procedure for sailing in such thick fog is to use radar and foghorns to try to prevent any collisions from happening. At some point we started hearing huge, loud horn blasts, just repeating from somewhere to our right in the fog. It seemed normal enough, someone signalling their position to anyone in the vicinity, then after maybe 15-20 minutes of sailing and listening to these horn blasts, we eventually came upon what was making them. Maybe 100 feet from our boat, a huge ass submarine appeared, and looked like it’s just sitting still. The weird thing was the suddenness of it’s appearance.
Maybe not the creepiest thing in this thread, but an enormous black shape appearing out of the fog at sea was pretty creepy to me at the time.
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