People Share Stories About the Strange Things They’ve Seen Far Out in the Ocean

I remember someone asked me once what branch of the military I’d join if I had to join one and the first one I mentally crossed out in my mind was the Navy.

I love the beach and I love the ocean, but something about being far out in the water, miles and miles from land just creeps me out.

And these stories made me think the ocean is even creepier!

Check out these spooky stories that AskReddit users shared.

Off shore.

“Just south of Jacksonville FL, not far off shore.

Relatively calm day, and a hundred yards away from us, a Giant Manta Ray with a wing span of maybe 15 feet jumped a good eight feet or so out of the water. Thing looked like it weighed 1000 lbs, I think it could have crushed/sunk our 27 foot boat if it happened to land on us.

I spoke to some saltier types in the area and they said what I saw was not too common, but far from unheard of. Apparently the largest one found had nearly a 30 foot wing span.

I simply had no idea such creatures existed, and was awed almost to the point of disbelief (and almost to the point of wetting my pants) to see one in that setting.”

This is scary.

“A pirate attack on a ship 5 miles behind us. This happened in Malaka strait close to Indonesia about 15 years ago.

This place was known for piracy and we had taken our safety measurements (roll out water hoses, extra lookout, make sure all doors are locked). There was a tangible tension on the ship when all the sudden a panicked call came on the emergency channel about small boats approaching quickly.

We found the ship on our ecdis and looked back through binoculars to see the whole drama unfold.

The ship had their hoses spraying water all over, the pirates were randomly shooting at the ship with machine g**s. There were 3 boats, one stayed at a distance, the other 2 came in quickly and boarded.

There were 2 more panicked calls from the ship and then it went quiet. The ship changed course soon after and I never heard what happened.”

Like glass.

“D**d calm, glass-like water and low cloud.

So perfectly flat water and no discernible features or horizon, almost pure silence too, it’s weird, so weird.”


“Migrants from Haiti.

Litterly floating on a makeshift raft constructed of soda bottles and spray foam.”


“1986, USS New Jersey, nearly 900 feet of battleship in the Bering sea during a storm. 50-60 foot seas.

3 of us went up to the 0-12 deck(weren’t supposed to be topside) and I have a picture ofa third of the ship under water.

It was intense.”

Nightmare fuel.

“Volunteering to help search for survivors when the Swiss Air plane crash of “98.

Grim s**t, still gives me nightmares.”


“I was camping on the beach in Baja with some friends when I noticed the moon was going to be setting over the ocean in a few hours. The moon that night was just a sliver, almost like a finger nail.

We had actually gotten kind of skunked wave wise that day and into the night the ocean was almost completely flat. Like a lake flat. No wind as well. Just sheet glass. Not a cloud in the sky.

Just when the moon lowered to the horizon, it started to glow bright orange. And just when it hit the edge of the ocean, the reflection shimmered all the way to the sand. It looked as if the moon was floating on the sea for just a few minutes. It was one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen. Far more beautiful than any sunset.”

What happened?

“Charter fisherman for 16 years on Lake Michigan.

The lake was glass and we were out fishing. I was up top getting ready to do a slight course change for the autopilot and notice a single wave line stretching from horizon to horizon coming from the south west (im on the west side of Michigan. The single wave was at least 5 feet.

There was no boats ANYWHERE near me. I even spun up and maxed out the garmin radar to 75 miles and not a single blip except for all the boats close to shore to my east. Still the strangest experience ever. Rogue wave? Underwater earthquake who knows.”

Navy life.

“In the Navy and outside of Hawaii.

I had flight deck watch from 6pm to 6am. Basically standing on the flight deck trying to sneak naps in the intakes of chained jets. We are outside of Hawaii waiting for high tide so we could get on shore. I see the Hawaiian islands as the sunrises.

Then I see a bunch of humpback whales breaching between the ship and the shore. Probably the most surreal amazing thing I’ve ever seen. And I was alone just watching and basically tripping at how f**king awesome it was.”

Not of this planet.

“My dad and I rarely tell this to anyone because they laugh it off but this really happened.

We were both sober, awake and alert, and nothing we can think of in our world can explain it: We were motoring into an anchorage at about 10pm one night. The sea was perfectly still and the waves gently washed against the pebble beach.

That was the only sound, apart from the quiet engine noise coming from underneath the floorboards. We both had our head through the top hatches, because it was quite nice weather.

All of a sudden, a weird ball of cloud or mist with a faint light in it floats in from out of the night, like just materialised, hovers for long enough for both of us to see it, pauses, and then just accelerates upwards and away at about a 45 degree angle and completely disappears into the night sky.

I s**t you not. That was almost 7 years ago and we both remember it exactly the same as the other. Nothing explains it. As far as Im concerned, that wasnt something from this earth.”

Close call.

“My ship saved a guy who was sailing a small sailboat by himself from South Carolina to Ireland.

The lamination in his hull started to come apart during a storm. He started to take on water. It was just fast enough that he could bail it out but he had to be constantly bailing.

He couldn’t stop the flooding, he couldn’t stop to sleep, he couldn’t navigate. After three days he threw in the towel and called for help and we were the closest ship to him so we saved him. Gave him a big trash barrel to put anything in it that he wanted to save.

He used his small engine to come up to us and when he got on the ladder he threw the tiller so the boat sailed away, engine on, nobody home. We lost sight of it before we could watch it sink.

I think journeys of that magnitude in such a small boat (maybe 25-30 foot) are stupid anyway, but if you are going to do it please for the love of god don’t do it alone!”

Do you have any stories like this?

If so, please share them with us in the comments.

Thanks, friends!