25 Times People Encountered Strange Stuff In Oceans, As Shared By Peoplle In This Online Group

Published 7 months ago

The vast expanses of the world’s oceans are home to mysteries and marvels that continue to captivate explorers and enthusiasts alike. In a digital age where experiences can be instantly shared, a unique online group has become a hub for sea voyagers and ocean enthusiasts to swap tales of their most peculiar encounters beneath the waves.

Let’s dive into the depths of this online thread, where members share fascinating and sometimes downright strange occurrences from their maritime adventures.

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Image source: A_ShamedMan, Miss-Tina

Not exactly in the water but body parts in a sea chest. (The sea chest is a hole in the hull which is used for water intake)


Image source: BBQQA, pudding7

I was in the US Navy for about 10 years, and have 10s of thousands of miles at sea in an aircraft carrier. Countless nights on the flight deck in the middle of the night and middle of the ocean…

Creepiest: A HUGE patch of the ocean glowing. Like nuclear waste in the Simpsons glowing. I’ve seen bioluminescent algae of a few kinds and this was nothing like it. I’ve never seen anything like it before or since.

Weirdest thing: hundreds of mile out to sea from land and there was a MASSIVE fire on the water. It was like the top of a gas refinery, but on the water with nothing under it but water. Flame going a few stories into the air.

Saddest: a fellow sailor trying to jump overboard. He apparently got a ‘Dear John’ email and pictures from his cheating wife and decided to end it. We were on the smoke deck, he bummed a cigarette, then asked the time, we said 2300… he replied “sounds like a good time to die” and in one motion tried to launch over the chest high wall (with an opening to the water below). Luckily we were faster than him. We grabbed his legs and wrestled him down and laid on him and basically hog tied him till the MAs (Navy cops) got there. Broke my heart because he was a good dude. I never saw him again. He got transferred off the ship shortly after. Not sure what happened to him but I hope he’s doing better.

Funniest: 2 flying fish collide mid-air. I was smoking when we were in the Persian Gulf and saw the fish fly from a pretty far distance towards each other. I remember thinking ‘there’s no f****n way they’re going to hit’ them SPLAT SPLASH! I was in tears laughing but no one saw it. Everyone just thought I was a weirdo, but I got to see a miracle of nature lol


Image source: Outside_Awareness_53, Ryan Klaus

Empty boat far out at sea.


Image source: Darksealicous, Jeffrey Czum

A man swimming alone in the Java sea. He had been floating for a couple of days and although several boats had passed him he didn’t dare hail a ship not from Indonesia because he feared being taken as a slave or something it’s possible he was a little mad but he did seem happy to have us turn up.


Image source: lifesnotperfect, Nadin Sh

Was on a two week cruise on a huge ship and one morning there was a tonne of commotion coming from one side of he ship. It looked like a woman had fallen off the ship and was in the water below, face down in a summer dress – her hair sprawling around her as she lay face down and completely motionless in the water bobbing up and down as she was carried by the gentle waves of the ocean. You think you’re tough until you see some s**t like that. People were crying, taking their curious kids elsewhere, others were frantically trying to find staff to go rescue her. As it turns out a woman had left her sun dress and wig out to dry on her balcony the night before and the wind that morning had blown it into the water. An announcement was made and everyone was so relieved and there was a lot of laughter. It was surreal to see everyone going from such worried, sad expressions (some were outright bawling their eyes out) to completely in hysterics laughing and hugging one another. I think we were all reminded of how precious life was that day, and it really was a HUGE relief. It was terrible in the moments where we thought it was an actual person. What made it believable is that you’re up so high on this ship it’s hard to see details down below because of the distance along with the waves and water obscuring finer details. My friends and I, who were on the cruise together, drank and laughed a lot that night. It was a very sobering event.


Image source: Naturebrah, unknown

A toilet. I mean a literal regular household toilet floating hundreds of miles from land…and why was it floating? I’ll never know.


Image source: MyMomsSecondSon, Sean Hoyer

Somewhere in the Atlantic, nice cold as f**k night, decided to step out and look at stars. About ten minutes on and a boats mast pops up, sits there a few minutes and then back under. No alarms, nothing. Just some sub boys getting a bit of late night o2 in the middle of nowhere next to some friends.


Image source: owengsi, Peachy-Persimmons

Probably a giant squid…well in excess of 10m as a conservative estimate.

Clinging to the bow and hull of our emergency escape vessle which was hanging a few metres out of the water, and a few metres below where I was stood. In the depths of night while i nipped out for a sneaky smoke, and I happened to look down at the rescue boat and could see the shadow didn’t look right in the moonlight.

Stupidly i used my phone torch (big no no when its darken ship) and scared the c**p out of myself. The vessle it was wrapped around is about 15m long, and its tentacles were wrapped up over the gunnels 2/3 of the way down the sides.

Within seconds it had detached and fell back into the ocean.
I can still picture its eyeball, the size of a football, staring right at me before it dropped into the ocean. It still gives me chills now.


Image source: kingbane2, Morksky

i have a friend who works on ships. he said the single scariest thing he had ever seen was looking out a window and seeing a wave that he said looked like it was 100 meters high pass right by their boat and suddenly disappear. he knew about rogue waves but he said seeing one that big, and that close, and watching it suddenly just vanish was so creepy and shocking that he was literally stunned for a minute.


Image source: Sea_Ostrich_4688, Oleg Prachuk

Right. Long time lurker, first time poster here.. I’m no longer at sea but used to as a younger chap with romantic ideas spend months on end on cargo ships. Mostly tankers, crude oil VLCC and refined product tankers but with a little time in oil and gas and towing, I came ashore in 2017 with a Master unlimited ticket, sailing as chief officer. My last ship was a self discharging bulk carrier. Anyway I digress.. it wasn’t so much about what I saw which was creepy I saw plenty of interesting things I wouldn’t have seen anywhere else. However, I was second mate on a tanker distributing refined oil products around the coast of New Zealand. A yacht had sailed from a port on the east coast, bound for another port just down the coast abit but it had disappeared. Solo sailor on board – aside from his dog. None the less, the search proved fruitless and it was suspended. However, for weeks afterwards at about 0130 in the morning the rescue coordination center would broadcast a plea at the end of the weather and navigation warning broadcast asking for the yacht to make contact if it could hear the message and was able to do so. I’d sit in the dark, chain smoking and working on my 7th cup of coffee looking out into the black imagining the guy who’s had a stroke or heart attack on board with the same broad cast playing out on his radio while his dog ate his face to keep from starving.. or imagining him having fallen over the side imagining what it’d be like watching your yacht sailing indifferently off into the distance with your dog in the cockpit pacing and agitated unable to do anything about it. Knowing you were f****d and had a matter of hours – if that left to live before the cold got you or exhaustion. Or, imagining the dog starving and dying on a yacht by itself weeks later listening to the same broadcast in the dark. The places your mind goes in the dark by yourself… They found the yacht in the end. The dog was still alive.


Image source: HUGH_JORGAZM, FormerFruit

USN Sailor. I have seen a lot of remarkable things, but the creepiest was a great white shark that swam (more like drifted) inbetween the two ships during an underway replinishment off the coast of Australia. I could make an educated guess on how big it was, but just let me tell you it was way, WAYYYY bigger than the biggest sharks I’ve seen on the Shark Week shows. Much longer and twice as massive as the “biggest shark ever seen” on the youtube videos I’ve seen. It didn’t move a single inch… it just floated, mouth open, inbetween as everyone on the bridgewing exclaimed “Holy f*****g S**T!” It’s teeth were as big as a man’s head. And it had massive scars down its’ back and tail from a ships propeller. I wouldn’t have believed it if I didn’t see it with my own eyes.


Image source: algunadiana, 20th Century Fox

I was on a 32ft speedboat and got caught by nightfall in between islands. No night lights on the boat, navigating using gps and depth finder. Captain knew the way like the back of his hand since he’d sailed those waters since he was a kid but for me it was my first time in the middle of the ocean at night. Pitch black but for the stars. As above so below, it seemed as if the boat was floating in the blackest void of the universe. Years later I saw the movie Life of Pi and the scene where Pi is in his lifeboat floating in the dark among the stars no above no below : it was exactly like that. I still have dreams about that night. . The engulfing dark and the silence that was not silent. Surreal.

We made it safely to port. Captain fitted the nightlights on that boat the day after.


Image source: Comrade_Fuzzybottoms, tom.st.george

I used to be an oilfield diver in the Gulf of Mexico. I’d say about 80% of the dives I logged were at night. Mostly 500 ft and under DSV’s.

It’s very eerie feeling sitting on the downline doing in water decompression in the middle of night. I’d always ask topside to turn off my headlight.

Like a worm on a hook. Just bobbing in the darkness.


Image source: doublestitch, cottonbro studio

A dead human body. It was the tropics and it wasn’t in good shape. We turned it over to the authorities at nearest land. There were enough teeth left to identify it by dental records. Here’s hoping the man’s family got closure. The body was double bagged and stored in the walk-in freezer until our next port visit. There was quite a bit of cleaning and decontamination involved, but that’s the gist of it.


Image source: Tub-a-guts, ball-_-fondler

The bioluminescent animals (or whatever they are) in the water is pretty amazing. Our toilet would fill up with seawater and if you took a p**s in it in the middle of the night it would agitate the water and it would glow sometimes


Image source: Yorspider, TheAmazingSoSo

A cleanly bit in half great white shark.


Image source: felandaniel, Kostas Exarhos

I was underway from the Port of Houston to Cartagena, Columbia. The vessel cuts all lights off on the outside of the boat, so it’s pretty dark outside. I would always go and sit out on the deck and listen to my headphones, and look at the stars. Well one night, somewhere in the middle of the Caribbean sea, I noticed a swarm of lightning bugs cross the boat. Totally blew my mind to see light out or nowhere. At least I think it was lightning bugs.

On the same trip heading back to Houston from Columbia, I witnessed a satellite crashing. At least, that’s what I think it was. It steadily strobed and lit up the night sky and water for about 15 min till I couldn’t see it anymore.

And on a different trip, I was in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico. No moon, no clouds, no light pollution, the amount of stars that I saw made me cry. Never thought starlight alone could cast a shadow. Definitely mesmerizing I still remember it like it was yesterday.


Image source: Herb4372, Sami Abdullah

In 20 years the weirdest s**t I’ve seen is other people that work out here….

There’s about 40% of the sailors like what they do and are good at it. Another 40% that are good at it, but would do something better if the money was right. But there’s another 20%…. If they lived ashore for more than 6 months a year they’d end up dead or incarcerated. There’s no more “west” for them to go to so they went offshore and became our problem.


Image source: MAGNAPlNNA, cottonbro studio

Creepiest thing I’ve seen has definitely been seeing myself and other crewmates lose our minds.

On one particularly awful voyage, everything that could go wrong went wrong and we found ourselves without food, water, and sleep for a very unhealthy amount of time. It started off with auditory hallucinations. Ships are noisy, and when you’re going crazy, you begin to think those noises are talking to you. I heard children laughing, a choir singing, and creepiest of all, a particular splash sounded like it was calling my name from the sea. Combine that with visual hallucinations and then things get really terrifying. I was convinced we were in the desert at one point with sand all around us and mountains in the distance. Another crew member freaked out and told us we were about to run into an apartment building. The creepiest thing I saw was an all-black flying pig with red eyes on the bow. I think the scariest though was when someone was convinced we lost part of our crew overboard. It turned into a massive, delirious argument over where everyone was even though we were all accounted for. That trip was brutal, and the captain put us all in a terrible situation due to sheer incompetence.

Other than that, there was this one time I saw three gigantic ships in the distance with no lights and they did not show up on AIS. Suddenly they were gone. It was extremely creepy.


Image source: YourGFblewMe, Vincent Albos

I worked on the sailboat one summer in the Bahamas and something that you see a lot when you’re in the ocean is kayaks and life jackets floating around and you always radio them in but they always just fell off a yacht or something and it’s never a big deal.
Once we found a kayak floating and it had a fishing rod in the rod holder which basically meant someone was using it

EDIT: didn’t see how viral this went overnight – some people were asking questions, the coast guard doesn’t really even look into this stuff unless there is a confounding report so we never received an update (not that I would have expected one unless there was a full scale search), we went up close to it and it had the removable seat cushion still in which further convinced us that someone had been using it, there was nothing else to see, the line was in the water, but we never really revisited it, we tried not talk about it because the kids on the boat got creeped out after the adults kinda freaked out and didn’t control their emotions.


Image source: sticfreak, Jeremy Bishop

Former Navy. The Indian Ocean is absolutely infested with sharks. You see nothing but dorsal fins extending all the way into the horizon.


Image source: tigwd, Tom Fisk

It’s not my whole career, but I’ve been out at sea. Ironically, it’s not the bodies of refugees in the water so much as boots, backpacks, etc. that have washed up on shore that stick with me.


Image source: stlubc, moacho1901

I was in the USN back in the late 80s and early 90s. Cruising through the Indian Ocean in 100% blackness then waking up the next afternoon and looking over the rails and seeing 100s of sharks swimming alongside of us constantly. Every now and then we would get a “man overboard” alert. They never recovered even one of them at night. They were usually s*icides.


Image source: Bipdisqs, Mal-De-Terre

I am a recreational sailor who travels for weeks at a time at sea. I once saw a flame on the water not ten yards from me. Just freaking burning at midnight.


Image source: LOUDCO-HD

I was in a glass bottom boat in the 1970’s off the coast of Oahu. We were going out to see a pod of whales. The boat Captain was a grizzled old Hawaiian sun baked to the color of Mahogany. It was an older boat, retrofit with a glass bottom and bench seating. He was narrating over a PA as we left the dock.

We motored out for about 30 minutes and the view out of the bottom of the boat was disappointing, just long streams of bubbles obscuring the view. Finally he stopped the boat, and the view was simply amazing. The Captain pointed out a pod of whales about 1/4 of a mile away. They were cavorting about, diving and jumping. The Captain was explaining their behaviours, but keeping his distance. It was pretty cool.

All the whales suddenly dived and disappeared, emerging moments later, right next to our boat. They were swimming all around us, diving and jumping and splashing us with water, children were laughing, everyone thought it was part of the show. They were right there, almost so close that you could touch them. The Captain told us how lucky we were, to see them up close.

Suddenly, the mood changed when they started bumping up against the hull of the small boat. People were sliding all over the place, some fell onto the floor, children were crying. Most telling, the Captain had stopped narrating and had a look of abject terror on his face. I remember thinking what it must take to make this guy scared, and as he looked terrified we should probably be too.

Suddenly, as quickly as they appeared, the whales disappeared. They were just gone. People picked themselves up and sat back down, mothers consoled children, we started back to the dock. The Captain got back on the PA and tried to downplay the seriousness of the what just happened, but there was a definite quiver in his voice as we headed back to shore.

Saumya Ratan

Saumya is an explorer of all things beautiful, quirky, and heartwarming. With her knack for art, design, photography, fun trivia, and internet humor, she takes you on a journey through the lighter side of pop culture.

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chilling ocean stories, creepy ocean, creepy things, scary things ocean, thalassophobia
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