40+ Eerie Images That Could Trigger Thalassophobia Even In Those Who Don’t Have It

By Anthony K

This article was originally published on bettermanly

These days, it’s not unusual to come across someone (or some people) with anxiety or some type of phobia.

The first step to facing and conquering your fears is to identify the source and symptoms of your anxiety. When speaking of phobias, you may be quick to think about arachnophobia, claustrophobia, trypanophobia, glossophobia, aerophobia, or social phobia.

Before exploring the depths of oceans and seas, one may not even know that they have thalassophobia, a name that can make your condition seem more complicated. Fear of the ocean (Thalassophobia) is pretty understandable, given all the strange and mysterious things buried deep under the waves.

When exploring the oceans, one may come across peculiar creatures, plants, and remnants of human activity from a long time ago. Items you come across make exploring the sea’s depths a unique experience that makes you feel like you’re in a different world, even if it’s not that pleasant of an experience sometimes.

In this article, we’re going to share some eerie images from the depths of the ocean. But be warned: some of them may trigger thalassophobia even in those who don’t have this condition!

1. A Shiver Of Sharks

A single shark is enough to send chills down your spine. Imagine encountering a swarm of majestic sharks within their territory. This image is both terrifying and lovely. Given the shark’s reputation of aggressiveness, you should steer clear of shark territory.

Photo Credits: Chocolatecows88/Reddit

What is it about folks who go scuba diving to watch sharks swimming and interacting underwater? We believe they must have some sort of death wish because no one in their right mind would do anything like this for fun. While sharks aren’t inherently dangerous, it’s still a terrifying sight.

2. Eye See You

Most people that dive deep underwater are mostly intrigued by what they see down below. Unfortunately, they’re not the only ones with the ability to see underwater. Other animals and fellow divers can see every move you make. You may even come across lifeless objects watching you.

Photo Credits: 4acodimetyltryptamin/Reddit

The image above shows a strange statue immersed underwater. It features a giant eye watching from deep within. The eye seems to be staring directly at the viewer in a manner that would make anyone uneasy. Some folks will argue that this eye can spot even John Cena from a distance.

3. Killer Croc

Many threatening animals can be found in the ocean, but don’t forget about the rivers. The next time you decide to go for a brief paddle, keep this image in mind and look out for possible predators lying in wait. Avoid notorious masters of disguise and camouflage like the crocs.

Photo Credits: the_dark_knight_ftw/Reddit

The crocodile’s camouflage is quite impressive. We are shocked that anyone dared to keep swimming and snap the scary beast lurking beneath the waters. We didn’t notice it right away, to be sure. Crocodiles are bloodthirsty creatures that you should consider avoiding at all costs.

4. Too Many Arms

Most animals we interact with have two or four limbs. Maybe it’s because we’re not used to them, but creatures with more arms are outright scary. If animals with eight tentacles or more make you scared, diving deeper may not feature on your to-do list.

Photo Credits: HO/National Science Museum

Before watching various documentaries about the deep waters and the animals that call it home, you may have difficulty identifying some creatures coming your way. For instance, the image above features a squid that might be mistaken as an octopus to the untrained.

5. Colossal Shadow

We’ve already seen some terrifying animals, but what about those we can’t see? Nothing is scarier than seeing a giant shadow, let alone the creature itself. An unidentified shadow can send chills down your spine, given that it means you’re unaware of what may be lurking below the surface.

Photo Credits: PointsBeforeKarma/Reddit

We sincerely hope that this photograph is a hoax. Take a look at how massive that whale is! The figure of a tiny little sailor in the boat next to the whale’s shadow speaks volumes of how small humans are compared to whales patrolling the deep sea.

6. Cliffside Photo-Op

Some people go to any length to snap a good photo, including risking their lives! To be willing to pose for the camera as heart-attack-inducing as this, this woman must have a steel heart. We wonder what was going through her mind during the photoshoot.

Photo credits: @valentinethomas/Instagram

Take a look at the pit’s edge! It’s terrifying not knowing what is hiding on the other side. We doubt that any image is worth feeling as terrified about as this one. She seems to be in good spirits, though. One may wonder how many takes it took to get the perfect shot.

7. Warning: Sign

We strongly advise you to obey any warning signs instructing you to do, or not do, something, irrespective of the temptation. Boundary warnings should not be ignored, whether you’re on land or at sea. Avoid such a region unless you have a death wish.

Photo Credits: World Adventure Divers

Something awful must have occurred beyond these rocks if they needed to add a sign. The warning also includes the image of a skull and crossbones, sending a clear message to nearby divers willing to explore the water further than the previous expedition.

8. All’s Quiet On The Waterfront

We have already spotted some creepy things under the water and even some eerie shadows. Can you think of a scarier sight? This photo reminds us that the deep blue ocean may seem like a desert with no end. The total lack of visible life makes it seem scarier!

Photo Credits: HollieMariee/Reddit

Such regions appear ideal for sea creatures or large animals like the gigantic whales to dwell in without being disturbed. Devoid of life, animal or vegetative, makes you appreciate a sight such as this. The silence is unnerving because you don’t know what to expect.

9. Squid Game

Scientists believed that colossal squids were nothing more than a product of sailors’ hyperactive imaginations, thus ruling out a possibility of their existence. After in-depth research and exploration of the deep waters, scientists discovered that squids are real creatures rather than misidentified octopuses.

Photo Credits: Guitamnandakumar/Reddit

This photo proves the existence of colossal squids and their temperance towards humans! We are curious about what additional mysterious animals might be lurking beneath the seas, hidden from human sight. The discovery of colossal squids proves that further exploration will help us discover creatures hidden away from the water’s surface.

10. Perspective

We all know how huge boats are, but we may not fully appreciate how big they are at close range until we see a photo like this. This image emphasizes how small we are compared to the massive structures we construct.

Photo Credits: MegapythonVSGatoroid/Reddit

You may be quick to believe that the human in this photo is a replica. However, it is actually a fully-grown male posing underwater on a boat’s propeller. What do you suppose Mother Nature has in store for us if we can create something as enormous as this boat?

11. What Goes Up Must Come Down

Astronauts usually land in the ocean when they return to Earth after space expeditions. The water provides a safe landing spot for the vessels descending at high speeds. While the humans are always brought to shore, their equipment doesn’t always come along for the ride back.

Photo Credits: ThatRacerGuy/Reddit

This is a piece of the Liberty Bell 7 spacecraft, which landed in Earth’s atmosphere in 1961. It took nearly 35 years to recover this spacecraft 16,000 feet below the tides, but fortunately, the astronaut that was in the craft was discovered almost immediately after landing.

12. Nightmarish Replica

Although this image may depict a fictitious dinosaur, we can promise you that the terror is genuine! It’s frightening to consider how a monster as large as this once swam the seas millions of years ago. Fortunately, you are unlikely to encounter such a creature while exploring.

Photo Credits: Squeakachu_15/Reddit

We have no idea what we would do if we encountered something like on a dive! Hopefully, this isn’t a picture of the Loch Ness Monster or another cryptid, but rather someone’s idea of a prank that will send you sprinting back to the surface for safety.

13. Terrifying Titanic

There is little to be done when the vessel fails in the middle of the ocean. Looking at this image, it’s tough to fathom how horrified the Titanic’s passengers must have been when the ship began to sink. This image is from The Titanic, Hollywood’s retelling of the infamous voyage.

Photo Credits: Paramount Pictures (20th Century Fox)

We pity anyone on board at the time, as witnessing the water cover the steps and the rest of the boat would have been terrifying. It must’ve felt like a horror movie unfolding in real-time. The survivors were very strong to have lived through such a horrid ordeal.

14. Free Dive

This is even more evidence of how far thrill-seekers are willing to go in search of their next adrenaline rush. Seeing a massive hole in the seabed or swimming towards it is a big no-no for most folks. We’d surely be swimming away from the hole at first sight.

Photo Credits: Guillaume Nery/YouTube

The first thing that came to the diver’s mind was to swim into the pit rather than away. We don’t advocate doing this because you may not know what’s lurking inside. For the diver’s sake, we hope it’s not a sea monster’s habitat.

15. Darker Than Space

At a glance, this may look like a beautiful picture that makes us appreciate nature’s beauty. It is quite fascinating how the rocks beneath the water reflect the ones above. However, a closer look will reveal other scary details that may not be as captivating.

Photo Credits: AristonD/Reddit

The extreme darkness underneath is not what most people would consider beautiful. There are not many people brave enough to consider diving across such horrors. It is unclear what kind of creatures may live down there in the pitch darkness under those massive rocks.

16. Surfs Up

After studying the above pictures, you might think that staying on the beach, closer to shore, is your best approach. You may believe the beach is a safe haven where there is nothing to hurt you or your loved ones. Unfortunately, the beach may be as safe as we thought.

Photo Credits: BeardedGlass/Reddit

Near the water’s edge, you might find long, creepy arms that appear ready to grab you into the water. Lucky for you, this is only a bunch of scary-looking seaweed and nothing harmful. However, after several encounters, you will get more familiar with seaweed that may still give you the creeps.

17. Smile For The Camera

Venturing out on a boat in the day may be quite enjoyable, especially if it’s hot outside. On the other hand, heading out on a boat at night gives a different and more unique experience, as the image depicts. Without adequate lighting, you may not notice scary figures lurking in the dark.

Photo Credits: Deleted User/Reddit

There are plenty of other species hiding in the sea, including sharks, eager for their next meal. We’re amazed that this user could get a photo of what must have been a terrifying nighttime encounter. Though, according to the Internet, goblin sharks don’t have a winning smile in broad daylight either.

18. Fearsome Fish

Unless you’re talking about piranhas, most fish are small and harmless, at least when it comes to humans. You wouldn’t think any of them would cause concern, but you’d be mistaken. Take a look at this guy’s size. Others are outrightly frightening and able to keep you out of the water for longer.

Photo Credits: Iamnotburgerking/Reddit

We have no idea exactly what sort of fish this is, but one fact is certain: it is massive! It also appears to have a large set of teeth ideal for gnawing on your flesh. You can avoid creating a horror movie scene by staying safe in the deep waters.

19. Daddy Long Legs?

Usually, the term “daddy long legs” refers to the family of spiders with notoriously long legs, as compared to their small bodies. But now, this oceanic creature will be the first thing to come to mind next time someone mentions daddy long legs.

Photo Credits: NOAA Photo Library/flickr

In a weird way, this king crab is actually scarier than others of its species. Spiny crabs usually have more spikes, covering more of their body. In a way, they usually look like fuzz. This crabs spines, however look more like a sea urchin!

20. Underwater Forest

This image is both lovely and terrifying. The way these trees appear to emerge out of nowhere in the ocean, roots dangling in the waves and foliage soaring above, has a mystical quality. You can only wonder how they got planted there and how they stay afloat.

Photo Credits: @Josiahwg/Instagram

It is also startling to realize how insignificant humans are, especially when compared to these huge trees. This image is a work of art. Some folks may not believe that it’s an actual image of real trees in the water.

21. Blades Of Glory

We’re not sure why so many swimmers seem to be drawn to old ship components. We suspect it has to do with their sheer size and how easy they are to find. As you can see in the photo, human beings are but tiny creatures, compared to the size of a boat.

Photo Credits: Pastafarnianism/Reddit

In the picture, a human diver may be seen standing on the turbine blades of a ship. We have no idea why they’re exploring so far below the surface. After all, who knows what kind of dangers are lurking beyond the bow of the ship.

22. Skeleton Crew

Whales are commonly thought of as kind animals. They are generally inoffensive to humans and can frequently be heard singing in the sea. But once we stop to think about how enormous these animals are, they don’t seem like gentle giants anymore.

Photo Credits: MintyBobas/Reddit

You could think the massive white object in this photo is a prop from Jurassic Park. In truth, it’s a whale’s backbone floating on the top of the water in Norway. Judging by the sight, one can only imagine how big it was when it was alive.

23. The Smiling Jet

While seeing a boat submerged beneath the surface of the waves might be bad enough, seeing a plane is even more frightening. An underwater plane is the definition of something falling out of place. To make it scarier, an underwater wreckage is a clear indication of a previous disaster.

Photo Credits: @maevenable/Twitter

Something is downright unnerving about this image. The way the plane’s cockpit looks in the water resembles a giant animal, such as a grinning shark, not unlike Bruce in Finding Nemo. We certainly wouldn’t want to be caught unawares on a dive like this.

24. The Deep Green Sea

Suppose seeing a pitch-black expanse underwater was not enough, then how about witnessing total greenness instead? It is hard to decide which one is less comforting, other than the certainty that both situations are rather scary to find yourself in without the right preparation.

Photo Credits: zootia/Reddit

Since the waters are quite thick and cloudy in this picture, there’s nothing visible other than the sheer greenness all around. Hopefully, the diver pictured above swam immediately to safety after their business was complete in such depths before getting lost in the deep sea.

25. Hello Rosie

The fact this picture was a person’s creation is truly a nightmare. One can’t help but wonder who would consider making something as horrific as this. This image features a real, preserved shark. However, the fact that it’s not alive doesn’t make it any less scary.

Photo Credits: OnTheOctopusRide/Reddit

This photograph was taken in Devon Meadows, Australia, at the Crystal World Exhibition Centre. Meet Rosie, a great white shark that died in 1998. After her death, an artist kept her body, and we can just assume that the sole purpose was to terrify the living daylights out of people.

26. Unsafe Waters

Before we proceed, we’d want to state unequivocally that this image has been completely photoshopped. There won’t be sharks in the pool with humans anytime soon! Nonetheless, this image symbolizes a very real worry. Sharks are known to be dangerous, and humans avoid them at all costs.

Photo Credits: Felhammr/Reddit

It may appear to be an illogical phobia, yet we would be dishonest if we said we have never been terrified of something like this happening. There is nothing you could do in this circumstance but swim away, call out for help, and hope for your rescue.

27. Grin Or Grimace?

Stories tell us that sharks and gigantic squids are horrifying creatures, so it seems normal to be terrified of them. But what about the seals? They appear adorable on the surface, but they transform into unpredictable monsters under the water’s surface.

Photo Credits: Deleted User/Reddit

This seal, for instance, appears to be staring at the camera with a sinister expression. It’s as if it’s seeing deep into our soul! Fortunately, we’re too big to be a seal’s meal, and it presumably swam away soon after the picture was taken.

28. A Nightmarish Prank

What is it with people building terrifying monster structures and then abandoning them in the water?! Real sharks are frightening enough, but this fake one wins hands down for being the most upsetting. For starters, take a look at those razor-sharp teeth!

Photo Credits: 1091drawde/Reddit

It looks like it belongs in the movie Jaws, not hundreds of feet below the water in real life. The empty black sockets where its eyes should be just adds to the spooky atmosphere. We can only imagine how terrified these divers were when they discovered this counterfeit beast!

29. Fanged And Furious

If the fake shark wasn’t convincing enough, check out the real thing. Those fangs appear to be capable of tearing into anything! It’s no surprise that so many of us are afraid of these terrifying creatures. Against them, we don’t stand a chance, especially without backup.

Photo Credits: Morc-Glork/Reddit

The fact that this image is in black-and-white adds a whole new level of creepiness. Humans, fortunately, are not a shark’s food, and sharks mainly bite people by accident. Regardless of their intention, or lack thereof, it’s best to refrain from sharks when exploring the waters.

30. Who’s Hungry?

This image serves as a stark warning that we should be wary of things beneath the surface. The critters near the surface are just as frightening as this terrible water serpent. Most animals patrolling the waters are creatures you shouldn’t want to cross paths with. So take care next time you go exploring at sea.

Photo Credits: ingreenlight/Reddit

With this fish, this snake appears to have gotten a very good dinner going by the looks of it. Humans, we hope, aren’t on the menu. And hopefully, the photographers didn’t try to go fishing for the snake, as it may be too poisonous for humans.

31. Going Down

We have no clue how long the chain in this photo is, but it appears to be unfathomably long. This fact adds to the frightening nature of the image, as you realize how vast and deep the ocean is. There are some depths that humans have yet to explore.

Photo Credits: Detonator212/Reddit

Did you know that we understand more about outer space than we do about the creatures beneath our oceans? Given how quickly we lose sight in this picture, it’s not difficult to understand why the sea is considered dark and unpredictable, yet quite mysterious.

32. On The Hunt

Instead of thalassophobia, we believe this list has instilled in us galeophobia — a fear of sharks! They are arguably terrifying creatures that live in the waters. What could be worse than a single shark circling the area? Behold, a slew of them!

Photo Credits: alwaysthecat/Reddit

It’s tough to put into words how anxious we’d be if we were there with the photographer. It seems impossible that you’d make it out alive if caught with so many sharks swimming around you. We hope that the brave photographer made it back to the surface in one piece.

33. Portal To Nowhere

Although the person in this photograph did not dive into the water, they took a significant risk by dipping their leg into the water. They could be eaten by any violent creature that emerges from the darkness to devour them or risk falling into the deep waters.

Photo Credits: @sashajuiard/Instagram

That isn’t even the most perilous aspect of this image. Because the rocks around them are fairly slippery, they could easily fall into the river and cut themselves on edge. We advise everyone to avoid such establishments given the numerous risks.

34. Strike A Pose

Here is another person who, based on this image, we presume has a death wish. Either that or they are quite bold! We hope that sitting for a photo on the edge of the rock was quite meaningful for them, instead of posing on solid ground.

Photo Credits: @deepfreediving/Instagram

Few individuals under the sun would be caught doing something like this. There could be animals lurking in the darkness, ready to suffocate you. It is almost unbearable to consider what could happen to you in this situation and how you could swim out of it unscathed.

35. Final Resting Place

It’s extremely unsettling to see anything man-made so far removed from human surroundings, like in this photograph. Seeing a boat abandoned to rust away at the bottom of the ocean is tragic and bizarre. It raises several questions and speculations as to what befell occupants of the boat.

Photo Credits: WashedUpNothingness/Reddit

You can just make out a diver swimming among the rubble in the corner of the image. We are curious about how they may have felt as they explored this mysterious location. We’d be terrified of what we’d find here.

36. So Close Yet So Far

According to the photo’s source, they were on their way to an Air BNB island and chose to take a little paddle in the boat. At first, they believed it would be quick, but this photo tells a different story.

Photo Credits: MrMalta/Reddit

Instead of what you’d normally expect, he appears to have traveled quite a distance! It’s enough to make anyone uneasy about being this far from the water’s edge. We hope they were able to get home safely. At the very least, they have a way to get back.

37. Go Towards The Light

A terrifying aspect of this image is not the darkness but the light — and how little of it there is! Although it appears that the diver possesses a powerful flashlight, it is powerless to combat the surrounding darkness of the deep waters.

Photo Credits: WashedUpNothingness/Reddit

It is quite astonishing that someone would travel this deep beneath the ocean alone, with only a flashlight for company. We hope this is merely a video game and not an actual person exploring down below at the sea bed.

38. Aquatic Art Exhibition

Creating artworks in unusual locales, including underwater, is a new trend in art. These sculptures can be seen near Cancun, Mexico, on the seafloor. We’d like to know more about how they were made and how they made it down there!

Photo Credits: Grenever88/Reddit

Is it possible that the artist simply tossed them into the ocean and hoped they would sink? Or did they bring them down one by one? In any case, we’re happy this isn’t our job – it’s far too terrifying.

39. Brave Explorers

We’ve discovered so far from these photos that the ocean floor contains a large number of massive holes. Divers are willing to explore anywhere in the sea, and that includes these gigantic crevasses. This doesn’t mean, however, that anyone should venture into the unknown. Who knows what you’ll find lurking in there?

Photo Credits: Player82222/Reddit

One thing is for certain: these divers are considerably braver than we can ever be. Why are people so eager to dive in and see what’s inside? While there is only one way to find out, there is no guarantee that you will live to tell the tale.

40. Under The Surface

It is quite a spectacle to see an iceberg as they appear to be so majestic floating on the surface. However, it is not so much lovely as it is rather terrifying when viewed from below. How is all of this hidden beneath the surface?

Photo Credits: Mooseborgoer/Reddit

Do you notice that small little black mark near the bottom? It is a rover dispatched by scientists to study the iceberg. We hope they found what they were seeking and that no one lost any sleep over this nightmarish image that keeps us up at night.

41. The Little Mermaid

Although she is just eight years old, this little girl has the tenacity of an experienced diver! We adore the fact that she chose to go diving in her mermaid outfit into a cave that is so deep and dark. Most people will shy off from taking risks of such magnitude.

Photo Credits: Madcat207/Reddit

However, something is disconcerting about seeing anything bright and glittering next to something dark and ominous. Ginnie Springs in Florida is the place to go if you want to experience it for yourself and explore your wildest fantasies. Don’t forget to bring your flippers if you go.

42. Photo Bomb

Looking at the top half, you would believe this photo is a simple holiday image. After all, the sky is clear, and the ocean is blue. What’s the worst that might happen? Look a little further down, and you’ll see why we aren’t calling it picture-perfect just yet.

Photo Credits: NMDA_GABA/Reddit

You will notice that a massive shark is lurking on the surface! Its teeth are wide open as if it is ready to feast on whichever unfortunate person swims by. The sight should make you wary of trying certain adventures, considering the outcomes awaiting if you are unlucky.

43. Mind The Sign

This image demonstrates how terrifying words can be. We have many questions concerning what objects are buried under the ocean – and why they’re so deadly! Nonetheless, we believe that following the guidance of the sign is the wisest course of action.

Photo Credits: Olliejolly93/Reddit

It might be anything down there, such as sharp rocks or bits of debris, that could gravely harm any divers. However, the presence of the notice indicates that there was previously an accident. Thus, it would be wise to steer clear if you encounter such a sign.