This Is What Makes Fangtooth Fish So Horrifying

As you prepare to venture out into the ocean deep this summer, small fish are likely the least scary thing that comes to mind. While keeping an eye out for sharks and an ear open for incoming murder hornets, you just might miss the pint-sized fangtooth fish. That's exactly what makes this little maritime creature so creepy.

Swimming at just 6 inches in length (via Smithsonian), this bite-sized fish is armed to the gills ... with fangs. This little guy might be tiny but his fangs are actually the longest found thus far in the ocean when measured in proportion to the size of its body. To put things into perspective, this fish's teeth are so enormous that, were it not for a crafty adaptation, the fangtooth fish would never be able to close his mouth. Oceana claims these teeth make it easy for the fish to take a bite out of prey of any size — which could even mean taking a bite out of you.

Fangtooth fish venture out to the shallow end of the sea

The ocean is wrought with mysteries, most of which are far beyond our reach. In some ways, this is true for the fangtooth fish. According to Oceana, scientists have encountered difficulties pinning down this maritime marvel's erratic behavior due to its efficiency in swimming thousands of feet beneath the surface. In other words, the fangtooth fish is pretty unpredictable.

What we do know is that he's a deep-sea swimmer with an appetite for crustaceans. That appetite sometimes lures this otherwise deep-ocean dweller to the shallow shores. This is right in your vicinity. While in the shadows of the shallow end, fangtooth fish are known to be as patient as they are vicious, taking a "sit and wait" approach to hunting for their prey. Their extraordinarily long teeth combine with a keen sense of smell and a tiny size perfect for blending into the waves inconspicuously. Anyone familiar with the ocean knows what an incredible weapon camouflage can be for capturing unsuspecting morsels.