There are countless mysteries hiding under the surface of the ocean. But despite the fact that a whopping 71 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered in water, we don’t know all that much about marine life. Over 80 percent of the planet’s oceans remain unexplored even though they represent the vast majority of the biosphere. We might be landing rovers on Mars, but there are still lots of things to uncover here back home as well.
However, there are some people who help shed some light on the secrets beneath the waves. One of them is photographer and deep-sea fisherman Roman Fedortsov from Russia who spends most of his time on fishing trawlers. He takes photos of some of the most intriguing creatures he encounters in his line of work and posts them online where they often go viral for their bizarre beauty and their intriguing creepiness that you can’t help but look at.
Scroll down to go deep into the abyss, dear Pandas, and upvote the photos by Roman that you enjoyed looking at the most. Bored Panda reached out to Roman and he was kind enough to go into detail about his work and life. Scroll down for our interview with him. And if you’d like to see more mysterious catches from the depths of the ocean, you can read Bored Panda’s earlier articles about the fisherman’s photography right here and over here.
A small note of warning, dear Pandas: some of these undersea fish and other creatures look a tiny bit disturbing. Others... are pure nightmare fuel. So keep that in mind and don't be scared. Remember, just because something's different doesn't make it bad.
"Gorgonocephalus Is A Genus Of Marine Basket Stars In The Class Ophiuroidea"
"Members of this genus are found in coldwater environments including the Arctic, the Antarctic, and deep-sea habitats.
Members of this genus have a central disc with five arms which repeatedly bifurcate, dichotomously branching into smaller and smaller subdivisions.
The branches and branchlets twist and coil and may ensnare small crustaceans that come within reach such as the northern krill."
"Now I Am Very Sorry That I Did Not Take More Pictures Of This Sea Creature - Deep Sea Angler"
On his social media profiles, fisherman Roman writes that “the abyss is a little deeper than you think” and that “the sky behind the stern is always beautiful,” showing that he has a very romantic and down-to-earth appreciation of sailing, nature, and the sea.
The fisherman works in Murmansk in the Northwestern part of Russia and started sharing his unusual photographs back in 2016. He has around two decades of experience working on a trawler.
Roman told Bored Panda that he is an expert in fish processing, so his main task is preparing fish for freezing and then delivering that to the customer. That is his main focus at work on the trawler where he manages a group of workers.
"Wolffish, Also Known As Sea Wolves Or Wolf Eel"
"Wolffish are not aggressive. They feed on slow-moving or sedentary prey such as sea urchins, crabs, molluscs and large snails.
The largest specimen recorded measured 1.5 m long and weighed almost 25 kg"
When not managing his other colleagues who help with processing fish on the trawler during their six-hour watches, Roman spends his time resting, socializing, or focusing on his hobbies. "We usually spend Our free time having a meal, watching TV, and sleeping. But I usually take photos of strange deep-sea creatures," he shared.
His job takes him sailing across many different areas, including the Atlantic Ocean, the Norwegian Sea, and the Barents Sea. He explained to Bored Panda that he and his fellow fishermen work in six-hour cycles when aboard a trawler. That means that they work for six hours, rest for six hours, and then repeat everything.
Roman said that it has been so long since he saw his first strange sea creature, that he can't remember the exact time anymore. "It was too much time ago when I caught my first deep-sea fish. I think it looked like any of the fish that I am catching now," he told Bored Panda.
According to the fisherman, the strange creatures that they catch on the trawler live between 300 meters and 1 kilometer underneath the surface of the ocean. "Some of the sea creatures are still alive when they are on board the ship, and we set them free. But mostly, they do not survive, unfortunately," he was very open about the fact that not every peculiar fish makes it back to their homes in the dark ocean depths.
"I Think That Whitening Strips Will Not Help In This Situation (Wolffish)"
"Today's Fish Of The Post Is Redfish. it Is Also Called , Rockfish, Ocean Perch"
"I've Met A Very Unusual, Interesting Fish!"
"I was able to find how it is called in English, Latin, but NOT in Russian language...⠀
The specialist from PINRO was very surprised when he saw this fish for his very first time, but, anyway, he was able to tell me what kind of fish it is...⠀ He also, mentioned that, that type of fish is very uncommon to find here, that is why this fish has no particular name in Russian language...⠀ Here we are!⠀
Jaggedhead gurnard (Gargariscus, Armored searobins or armored gurnards)⠀ Sounds like knight!
You can find him in Eastern part of Indian ocean, as well as, in Western part of Pacific ocean. This is a deep ocean fish, he lives up to 300 m down in a deep. His length is up to 30 cm long. It is the only known member of its genus.⠀
This is all the information you can find in the Internet about Jaggedhead gurnard, not more..."
"I have been sharing my photos of deep-sea creatures for some years and of course, I was surprised by the popularity of my accounts at the present moment," he said that he wanted to spread awareness about how some of these creatures look like across the internet because they left a very deep impression on him. Roman has always had a very curious outlook towards these fish and other denizens of the deep: they don't scare him, even though they might frighten us.
Roman has been working onboard trawlers for the past two decades. “I live in Murmansk, Russia. It is a big port, and that's why I enrolled in the Marine University after school. My specialization has a lot to do with fishing technology. I know how to prepare fish for freezing and further delivery to the customer,” he told Bored Panda during an earlier interview.
"We are to catch commercial fish such as Cod, Haddock, Halibut, Redfish, Herring, Mackerel, and so on. The most extreme fish I have ever caught are Frilled Shark, Rabbitfish, Big Sunfish, Angler, Stoplight Loosejaw," he said earlier.
"During my watch, I work at the fish factory. I'm responsible for processing the fish, so I have to control other seamen while they're working, too," Roman explained what his job on the trawler was.
"Sea Anemones (Sea Anemones) Are Predatory Invertebrates"
"They have no skeleton. The supporting function of them takes the intestinal cavity. At the pole of the body is a slit-shaped mouth, surrounded by a nimbus of tentacles. Their tentacles have gills that are poisonous. Although sea anemones are mainly poisonous only for their prey, some species are toxic to humans. There are more than 1000 varieties. They feed on zooplankton, mussels, fish and shrimps. Sea anemones feed on food and excrete waste products through the same hole."
Roman’s photography has earned him a very solid following online. He has over 644k fans on Instagram, as well as 137.6k additional followers over on Twitter. However, some people take issue with Roman’s photos, believing that deep-sea creatures should be left alone and shouldn’t be brought up to the water surface. The photographer takes things in stride and says, “Politics is politics, but you have to fish.”
"These Are Real Starfish. But They Look Like Cookies"
Previously, Bored Panda wrote about various phobias related to water and the ocean and interviewed DSD Divemaster Alastair Bailey. He shared with us that he completely trusts his gear, so he never had any qualms or fears about learning to dive underwater.
"For me, it was just having faith in the equipment. Same as anything, you trust a microwave won't blow up in your face, or your car will start. Yeah, accidents happen but as long as you do everything correctly then you minimize those risks," he explained.
"The Point Is To Choose The Right Perspective! Then Ordinary Fish Will Look Like A Monster"
"I had a couple of people lying about their air when I first started guiding people. For me, it was scary because I didn't think people would be that stupid. Running out of air puts everyone in that group in a dangerous and stupid position," the DSD Divemaster revealed how some diving amateurs aren’t open and honest and this harms everyone.
"I have had a person start vomiting underwater while guiding a group and other stupid behavior or panicked divers, but you train and get taught how to deal with those things which makes it more manageable. I have never had a gear failure, ripped hose, broken regulator, or anything, so all in all pretty lucky," he said.
"I had a humpback whale swim over us which was pretty awesome," the diver said. "And diving with manta rays is always stunning. Unfortunately, I have never found any treasure, but I have found some shark's teeth."