The sea is a pretty terrifying place, if you think about it.
The inky waves, the frothing depths, the deep sea creatures that roam the deep with milk-white eyes and spiky teeth…it’s really no wonder that thalassophobia is a thing. Across the many decades that mankind has voyaged over the seas, sailors have regaled terrifying tales of what lurks within the darkness of our oceans – terrifying sea monsters, alluring sirens, ghosts of ships that crashed at sea and now haunt living vessels to the same watery demise. Whatever you hear, we can all agree that most of these stories are just paranoid hogwash – or are they?
Even in the modern age, our oceans are no stranger to scary rumors and supposed truths. Far from ordinary fish like tuna and mackerel and salmon (you can buy salmon in Malaysia here), the sea seems to bear truly horrific and otherworldly creatures – some real, some fictional, and some in the undefinable, mysterious between.
So for those interested in hearing tales of sunken ships, of deep-sea monsters, of haunted places across the wider sea, here are 3 terrifying marine mysteries and urban legends you should know about!
1. The Mary Celeste
The Mary Celeste is a legendary, real marine mystery that remains unsolved to this day. The name given to an American merchant brigantine ship, the Mary Celeste was found drifting aimlessly through the waters of the Atlantic Ocean in 1872; the vessel empty and stripped of life. The ship was unscathed, the cargo and passenger belongings completely intact – but of all her original crew members, not a single one was ever found.
Dozens of theories have hence been crafted to understand what happened to the ship and the disappearance of it’s crew; from seafaring disasters to health conditions to the intereference of the supernatural. But all of it remains simply speculation, and the mystery of the Mary Celeste will perhaps remain a mystery evermore.
2. The Bermuda Triangle
One of the most infamous quadrants of the sea ever recorded, the Bermuda Triangle is a triangular-shaped section of the North Atlantic Ocean in which all sorts of maritime and air disasters have taken place. According to history, dozens of planes and ships have sailed over the Bermuda Triangle and disappeared, never to be heard from again despite repeated searches as to their possible location. Even more plane and maritime deaths and crashes have been attributed to the Bermuda Triangle, leading many to posit that it’s a place churning with mystery, with supernatural forces, and with a horrible, terrible malignance.
Though many have tried disputing the dangers of the Bermuda Triangle…who can really say?
3. The ‘Ningen’
Born from Japanese folklore, the ‘Ningen’ (literally ‘human’ in English) is a sea monster that purportedly roams the shadows of the watery deep, and has since entered public discussion as a cryptid akin to BigFoot and Nessie. According to sources, this terrifying creature is the size of a whale but with the proportions of a human; with large, long humanoid limbs, pale white skin, and no face.
Much like BigFoot and Nessie, numerous supposed ‘sightings’ have surfaced throughout the years as to this mysterious ocean dweller; with people alleging that they’ve seen a terrifying, white, humanoid silhuoette flounder through the void of the ocean, much larger and bigger than any man. There’s no real evidence to prove or disprove the existence of this sea monster, but few can deny that seeing a disturbingly human-esque, enormous pale figure drifting through the waves is something terrifying indeed.
The ocean is a breeding ground for fear, paranoia, and truly terrifying legends; churning as it is with inky waters, abandoned shipwrecks, and horrific gnarled sea creatures swimming well-beneath the surface. So the next time you book that luxury cruise into the great and unfathomable beyond….well, who knows what you might see?