Some of the oldest and most ancient species on the planet earth are also the most terrifying. These animals have stood the test of time and are some of the longest surviving species in the world. They are also some of the most terrifying!
1.) Alligator Gar
Image: Fishing Headquarters
As ancient as they are ugly, alligator gars have been around for 100 million years, and strike fear in the heart of anything that is afraid of large animals with hundreds of sharp teeth.
2.) Martialis Heureka Ant. 120 million years old
Martialis heureka is a species of ant was unknown for the last 120 million years and discovered in 2000 from the Amazon rainforest near Manaus, Brazil.
3.) The Goblin Shark.
The goblin shark is a rare and one terrifying fish, poorly understood species of deep-sea shark. The goblin shark has been caught in bottom of all three major oceans and are 125 million years old.
4.) Frilled Shark. 150 million years old
The frilled shark was first scientifically recognized by German ichthyologist Ludwig Döderlein, who visited Japan between 1879 and 1881 and brought two specimens to Vienna. It hangs out as deep as 1,570 m (5,150 ft), although it is uncommon below 1,200 m (3,900 ft).
5.) Horseshoe Shrimp. 200 million years old
Horseshoe Shrimp is virtually the same today as it was 200 million years ago, when the first dinosaurs evolved. Horseshoe shrimp are very small in size (2 to 4 millimeters in length) with an elongated body. They have a large head with no eyes, the hind edge of which covers the first thoracic segment.
6.) Sturgeon. 200 million years old
Humans love the taste of sturgeon. Hopefully they’ll survive and live for another 200 million years. In England and Wales, the sturgeon, along with whales and porpoises, is a royal fish, and every sturgeon caught in those countries is the property of the Crown.
7.) Coelacanth. 360 million years old
The coelacanth was found off the east coast of South Africa, off the Chalumna River (now Tyolomnqa) in 1938. These fish thought to have evolved into roughly its current form approximately 360 million years ago.
8.) The Lamprey.
Lampreys are any jawless fish of the order Petromyzontiformes. Currently there are about 38 known extant species of lampreys. As you might imagine, they use those scary teeth for boring into the flesh of other fish to suck their blood. They’ve done this for around 360 million years. Horrifying.
9.) Horseshoe Crab. 450 million years old
Image: National Geographic
These creepy sea critters live primarily in and around shallow ocean waters on soft sandy or muddy bottoms. Because of their origin 450 million years ago, horseshoe crabs are considered living fossils.
10.) The Nautilus. 500 million years old
Beautiful nautiluses are only found in the Indo-Pacific sea. They inhabit the deep slopes of coral reefs. They survived three mass extinctions over the last 500 million years. It also happens to be the least terrifying creature on this list. The greatest depth at which a nautilus has been sighted is 703m.
11.) Jellyfish. 550 Million years old
Jellyfish have roamed the seas for at least 500 million years, and possibly 700 million years or more, making them the oldest multi-organ animal.
12.) Sea Sponges.
Sponges are a special kind of marine animals of the phylum Porifera that look like a plant. They appeared on world oceans before 580 million years ago, although one unsubstantiated report exists of spicules in rocks dated around 750 million years ago. Sponges do not have nervous, digestive or circulatory systems. Instead, most rely on maintaining a constant water flow through their bodies to obtain food and oxygen and to remove wastes.
Bacteria are one of the most basic and oldest forms of life on Earth. There are typically 40 million bacterial cells in a gram of soil and a million bacterial cells in a milliliter of fresh water. These tiny creatures ruled the world for the last 3.5 billion years. They’re also terrifying because the most common fatal bacterial diseases are respiratory infections, with tuberculosis alone killing about 2 million people a year.