27 People Share The Creepiest Things They’ve Witnessed On The High Seas


Seeing the green flash is always cool.

Looking out on the sea from a periscope is pretty neat, having dolphins play with your sub and you can seem them all around you, but your point of view is at sea level is one of the coolest things I’ve ever experienced. It’s like they were playing with me!

The strangest thing I’ve ever seen though was off the coast of Africa the sea and the sky all just became the same. Not just the same colour, but the sea and the sky visually became just one thing. Other ships in the vicinity just appeared to be floating in the air. Our ship at the waterline just dissapeared into the same uniform gray. It’s what I imagine things would look like in space. I have no idea what caused it and can’t find any pictures of it. It was the single weirdest thing I have ever seen at sea.



Not so much seen, but definitely heard. I’m in the Navy and about 12 years ago I was standing watch in a Submarine engine room. We were underway, can’t for the life of me remember where to, from, or just making circles. It was the mid watch and I sat down to catch up on some logs.

That’s when I heard a woman’s voice and felt the hairs on my neck stand straight up. (No women on subs then) I got up, looked around and found the other watches shooting the shit or doing their daily tasks. I thought maybe I had dozed off and dreamt it. I sat back down and heard it again, and it sounded like it was coming from outside the hatch I was sitting under. I said “fuck this shit” out loud and went to just be around the other guys on watch. I still get chills thinking about it, even now.



My Dad spent years at sea and has many stories from his time on tanker ships as an engineer. One time the ship was being slowed down by something they couldnt explain, mechanically fine, turns out they had a large dead whale wrapped around the bow of the ship slowing them down.

But the creepiest story was a simple one, the crew was shark fishing off the bank of a smaller tanker ship, basically attaching meat chunks to hooks and throwing them off the back to trawl in the ocean (South east asia/australia area). My dad for fun made up this large (steel alloy? Described it as being incredibly durable) hook to use. They attach a large chunk of meat too it and throw it off the back. A while later they haul it back in, only to find the meat is gone and the hook is bent completley straight. There was nothing it could have snagged on in the deep ocean as the boat was driving through. My dad and the crew were sufficiently unerved, to think that something large down there could bend a large hook like that.



Former submarine sonarman here. No windows, so it falls outside the creepy things I’ve seen requisite. More of a creepy thing we heard.

I was stationed on the west coast. Whenever we would transit near a particular Californian city, within a specific area, we would hear over the headphones the something that started off sounding like a woman screaming and ended sounding like bullfrogs on a hot summer night. None of the sonar techs up through our chief knew what to make of it.

We chalked it up to just being a Merfrog and carried on.



A friend of mine (known as ‘Damo’) was an avid fisherman and he and his dad used to go out sea fishing whenever they could. A few years ago he told me this story and it creeped the hell of me so this seems like an appropriate place to tell it!

Damo and his dad were on the 2nd night of a trip deep sea fishing and they decided to get some sleep in the early evening so they could go for whatever fish they were after at around 1 am (the best time to get this fish apparently). Anyway they only had a small-ish boat but the weather was extremely pleasant and the sea was calm to the point of stillness so they figured it would be a great nights fishing for them.

Around 12:30 am they started to set their gear up and, as they were on the starboard side getting bait ready, they heard a loud splash on the port side.
As there was almost no swell they figured it was either a large fish or some gear had somehow fallen in so they went over to have a look.

Floating face up in the water only a few feet from the side of the boat was a young woman (they reckoned she couldn’t have been more than about 30 at the most). She showed absolutely no signs of decomposition/bloating and there was nothing tangled in her hair (all of which would normally suggest she had been in the water for some time). She was wearing a simple white skirt and a blue coloured strappy top, both of which were ‘clean’ and apparently looked barely wet (again, all indicating she had only just gone in the water).

She showed no signs of ‘damage’ like having been beaten or attacked and her eyes and mouth were shut. Damo said she looked totally peaceful and like she was simply asleep and just floating on her back in the water.

They were both totally freaked out by the whole thing but reacting more to the need to make sure she was ok (instead of just standing there trying to work out where she came from) they tried to wake her up (shouting to her etc) and they threw a line to her hoping they may catch her enough to pull he back in.

She showed no signs of movement and the splashing around they were making with the rope served only to let her body drift further away from the boat. When she was a few meters away, Damo ran off to grab a fishing rod, hoping they could pull her in that way and his dad ran to the cabin to try and call a coastguard for help.

When Damo got back to the side, she had vanished.

He frantically searched around and splashed into the water with the rod (thinking she had bobbed under water or even drifted under the boat somehow) but the body had vanished.
Eventually his dad, figuring they couldn’t just leave a potential dead/unconscious body floating in the water, jumped in and swam over to where she had last been, hoping he may find her under the surface but they couldn’t find anything.

They did eventually drive the boat around in a good half km circle but they never saw the body again. The coast guard did come out (and obviously Damo and his dad were kind of interrogated to make sure they hadn’t murdered/dumped the body) but nothing came of it all.

The freakiest thing about it all was that the boat was thoroughly checked before they had set out fishing the day before so they could say with certainty that there had been no woman on board when they set off (either a dead body or a stowaway/homeless woman). The apparently ‘fresh’ state of the body kind of removed the possibility that she had been in the water a while and that they just found the body and they were far enough out from land (and nowhere near any other boats) that her appearance there was just totally unexplainable, as was the way the body just disappeared.

Damo and his dad hadn’t been gone more than 20 seconds from the side of the boat but in that time the body just vanished.

They were both really shaken by the whole thing and were most terrified by the fact that her appearance was pre-ceeded by the heavy splash in the water, to them suggesting the body had only just entered the water from their own boat.

They tell the story now as a kind of “you won’t believe what happened to us once” type thing, but it shook them badly and neither has been back to the same fishing spot since.



Not the strangest on here but here is my tuppence worth.

Last October I was on a survey vessel between the Shetland Islands and the Faroe Islands.

The sea was like a mirror, unusual for the Atlantic and a thick fog had surrounded us for days. We were collecting core samples from the sea floor and I was working nights. Out of nowhere, thousands of tiny birds appeared out of the fog. Some settled on the boat, all silent. Others flew clockwise around the boat, darting in and out of the fog.

This continued for a few hours until around 4am the birds just started dropping dead out of the sky. Thump! And a tiny, fragile dead bird next to me. This continued until daybreak when the fog finally lifted and the birds dissappeared along with it.

We were finding the bodies for days afterwards.



So I used to deep sea fish a lot. I’ve seen all sorts of big fish, but the constant that you always see is the barracuda.

Barracuda are great predators- they move at lightning fast speed, and their teeth cut so clean and fast they can take your finger and you won’t notice until there’s blood all over the boat.

Anyways, barracuda love deep sea fishermen. Fishermen give them an easy meal of a tired fish who is too weak to get away.

I feel sorry for the boat that gets stuck above a school of barracuda. They’ll wait until your fish is just in sight range, and BOOM! You’ll reel up nothing more than a fish head. You see a large shadow, longer than you slowly fade into deeper water, with your dinner in his belly.

It’s not the strangest thing, but it scares new fishermen to feel nothing but a gentle tug, and then reel up just the fish head.



Former commercial fisherman here. The amount of sharks circling oil rigs is pretty harrowing. Mostly hammerheads, but the sheer volume makes you plant your feet.



Did some sailing in the past with my family in the Carribbean, and one night we anchored by Norman Island, the island that is allegedly Treasure Island from the Robert Louis Stevenson tale. The typical anchoring area in deeper water was pretty full by that point so we ended up going to a less sheltered area closer to the beach, but it wasn’t a big deal as it was fairly calm.

Anyway, as night fell, the water became luminescent. There were these jellyfish that would light themselves from inside in what looked like a glowing green clover- thousands of them. I’d never seen or heard of anything like it, and it was only happening near the shore where we were- it made us happy the deeper anchorage was full as we never would have seen it! They died down after about a half hour when it was getting truly dark out, but before bed I dipped my foot in the water and the jellyfish nearest me started all lighting up again. One giant NOPE and my foot was out of the water before they got any ideas.

Come to think of it, that was also the night of the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, so we spent it listening to the BBC report over the shortwave radio in the dark, watching these luminescent jellyfish all around us. What a surreal evening.



On a 41 foot sailboat in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay, with about 7 other men, doing a shake-down/ test cruise, planned to be out for about 12 hours. Mid 1980’s, not as reliable weather prediction resources. We get caught in a tropical storm, winds gusting into the 50 mph range, just this short of a weak hurricane. We had just barely rigged storm hawsers and storm sails because the one fellow onboard who was the best sailor sensed the storm was almost on us, otherwise we would have died. During the storm itself, I expected to die at any time. In fact we made a “Securite, securite….” call on the radio (if you have time at sea you know what I’m talking about, if not, it’s not that important). For what seemed like 15 minutes, we were in a maelstrom, no visibility, but then it passed. We would live!

This was at about 3pm, and although there was cloud cover of course, the ambient light was such that you could see 2 miles or so in any direction.

If you’re familiar with the sea, you know that such storms, particularly in shallower depths near land masses, dredge a lot of things of the sea floor.

The sighting:

We’re all on deck, working lines, checking damage, etc. and the bay around us is choppy and churning and foaming. Old timey sailors often used the saying “the sea is confused.” I look about 15 feet of the starboard side and something swims to the surface, breaks the surface, looks at us, then submerges again.

It was like a thin man, with humanoid shape, arms articulated like a man, a human head, but its skin was covered in scales like a snake. It looked at us, blinked its weird, heavy-lidded eyes, then dove back under.

So maybe you need to know a few things about me at that moment. No drugs, no alcohol, no injuries. I was elated because I was glad to be alive, but my senses in that situation were sharpened, not dulled. I had, at that time, about 6 years experience on ships and fishing boats, and had seen squid, octopi, flying fish, sharks, skates, etc. all around the world. I’m not the type of guy to see a patch of seaweed and call it a sea monster.

I made an instant decision that I was not going to say anything. What could I say? “I just saw a strange creature, take my word for it!” The men on this boat were all mechanics and engineers and professionals. Why get a reputation as a flake? At the time it was important for each of us to get “D” skipper or OOD qualifications, and saying something like that would be frowned upon.

And as I stood there in my life vest, soaking wet, hooked onto the steel lifeline, glad to be alive, one of the other sailors, a USN Captain J_______ S________, with over 30 years experience in the surface navy, piped up and said,

“I just saw a brown thing pop up on the surface! It looked like a lizard man, with a scaley face. It blinked at us with these big eyes and then went back under!”

“Yeah, I saw it too,” I said. No one else said that they had seen it.

Then we sailed back to the pier later that day and didn’t speak of it again.



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