If you think our oceans are full of horrible and terrifying creatures today, then you should build a time machine and check out what the oceans held in prehistoric times. At that point in history, the oceans were teeming with the most frightening killing machines of all time.
While we might blanch at the thought of great white sharks today, those creatures would’ve been the least horrifying ones in the bunch back then. Let’s meet of a few of these ancient terrors, shall we?
While technically these monsters didn’t hang out in oceans, I included Deinosuchus on this list because it was an absolutely insane beast. This giant crocodile was so large that it ate dinosaurs for breakfast. At 40 feet long, the Deinosuchus was nearly as big as the Tyrannosaurus. Just imagine seeing a battle between those two.
Want to guess what modern creature the Mosasaurus is most closely related to? The Komodo dragon. This massive killing machine actually had two sets of jaws, and it was 60 feet long. For a demonstration of the deadliness of this beast, you can check one out in the latest Jurassic Park movie. You’ll know which one it is when you see it.
Even though they were on the smaller side compared to most of the creatures on this list, the Anomalocaridid was a fearsome predator. It sat at the top of the oceanic food chain for millions of years before more complex predators evolved.
Jaekelopterus was a sea scorpion of the most terrifying variety. In Earth’s early life, these massive crustaceans stomped on everything in their path. As they stood at around nine feet tall, that doesn’t really come as a shock.
About 85 million years ago, the North American continent was split into three large islands. Connecting them all was a huge inland sea. It was in this sea that Xiphactinus reigned supreme.
The great white shark can’t even hold a candle to the deadly wrath of the Edestus. This prehistoric shark was a killing machine. Modern estimates put its length at around 22 feet. Their razor-sharp teeth were what sealed the scary deal.
I know this shark looks like the product of a bad Photoshop job, but according to researchers, this is how Helicoprion actually looked. Freaky, right? Just be thankful that you weren’t one of the poor fish that wandered too close to that jaw.
While many horrifying creatures of the deep had sharp teeth to do their bidding, Dunkleosteus just had one massive tooth. This beast used its mouth like a guillotine when it was hunting.
Even though it has “saurus” in its name, the Basilosaurus wasn’t actually a lizard. According to researchers, the monster was actually a type of whale…and it was massive. Estimates gleaned from fossil evidence put the Basilosaurus’ length at around 60 feet. It likely snacked on massive sharks.