I have a good friend who repairs ships for a living in Washington and he sometimes gets hired to sail ships from where he lives all the way to Alaska and even occasionally to Hawaii.
And those trips sound TERRIFYING to me.
Because being that far away from land out on the open sea is just…spooky.
And these AskReddit users were nice enough to share their creepy ocean stories.
Check out what they had to say!
“Out of a submarine periscope, we saw a fully inflated, pink, unicorn floaty toy.
We were very far from any civilization.”
A brief scare.
“I was on a run between California and Hawaii, and I was out on deck doing rounds on deck equipment, checking oil levels etc.
I saw one of those free fall lifeboats just hanging out in the distance and was like WTF?
I called the bridge, they said a ship accidentally dropped their lifeboat a few years ago and now it turns up from time to time. Was glad to know no one was on it, but it gave me a brief scare.”
Lost at sea.
“I was on a ship that lost a man overboard in the Atlantic.
Reports were that a life saver was thrown immediately after he fell in, the lookout said he saw a swell overtake him as he was going toward the life saver.., and that was it.
We searched for hours, never seeing a single sign.. searchlights in the water.. dark shaped swimming past them. Makes you realize how small we are in nature. Still think about it to this day.”
“Was sailing off the coast of the big island Hawaii in February. We were mostly interested in fishing since the wind had died down. There were no other boats around that were visible and it was a very calm and peaceful day.
Now often you’ll see Humpback whales breaching in Feb and you can also hear them singing if you are underwater. That is cool enough, but this encounter was awesome. I was baiting a hook, and suddenly on the starboard side of the boat a pod of about 20 melon head whales comes up right beside the boat and they just start staring us down.
I lean over and this one dude moves a little closer and just keeps moving his head so he can eye me up and down. They all just kept staring at us with an expression of “WTF are these? Hoo interesting, don’t look like they can swim at all.” They eyed us at close quarters for about 5 min and then just took off.
The weirdest part of the encounter was the close eye contact I had with the first whale was definitely two individuals sizing each other up. Best part of the whole day.”
“I’m not a sailor, but my father-in-law is.
My wife and I have gone on quite a few trips with him over the years. One night, on one of those trips, while we were barely moving along with flat seas and very little wind, he pointed this out to me in the boat’s wake. We sat there watching the blue glow, mesmerized for quite a while. It’s kind of beautiful.
A short while later, my wife pointed out across the water and asked, “What the f**k is THAT?” We looked out to see a MASSIVE bluish-green mass quickly moving toward us. We had no idea what it was, but we definitely entertained thoughts about it being a glowing green sea monster closing in for the kill.
Turned out to be one of the largest dolphin pods I’ve ever seen in my life, swimming through the bioluminescent water and lighting up the surface as they went.
We couldn’t see the dolphins until they were nearly alongside our boat, but that giant glowing patch had to be visible for miles. The pod swam right past us, and we were able to follow its glow as it moved into the distance until it finally vanished nearly at the horizon.
Definitely one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen at sea.”
What is that?
“St Elmo’s fire.
Worked on a 90 ft fishing boat one summer off the coast of British Columbia. One calm and starry night, I went on deck to have a smoke, and I saw faint greenish-blue flames coming off the very top of the radio antenna.
I excitedly ran below to tell my coworkers, and they laughed at me for being such a noob.”
“I was US Navy. Pretty sure we heard siren calls somewhere northwest of the Marshall Islands.
Was on the smoke deck at three separate occasions at night and anyone who was out there heard what sounded like a distant scream/screech echoing over the waves. I remember it well cause it caused several man overboard scares where we’d all have to go muster to make sure those sounds weren’t any of ours.
Never actually saw anything, so I rationalize that it could’ve been some kind of animal or sea bird, but that s**t sounded human… but not entirely human. We joked for weeks after we left the region that Ariel (the Little Mermaid) was gonna k**l us.
This was 2013, but I still remember that sound like it was yesterday. The kind of sound that hits your core like a freezing wind does. Not something I’d want to hear again.”
A smart shark.
“Off the coast of South Africa, I worked aboard a cage-diving boat. I witnessed many amazing things, but one day a 5-plus metre female white shark approached the boat.
She simply hung around and observed us, showing no interest in the cage, the chum, or the baitlines. Every time she returned to the surface, my brain would temporarily refuse to accept what I was witnessing due to how enormous she was.
Like “That is what? It’s so big, Jesus.” She was very composed and observant. It was the first time I truly understood that, despite the fact that it is entirely foreign, there is some sort of intelligence operating in that brain.”
In the Navy.
“Was in the US Navy aboard the USS Tarawa (LHA-1) from 2002-2006
Some unusual things I experienced were the Shellback ceremonies. Basically a sailor who has never crossed the equator is considered a “slimy wog” and those who have crossed the equator were considered “Shellbacks”.
Its a huge thing that usually takes all afternoon where people dress up as King Neptune and his court and induct the new guys/girls into the fraternity. It’s all light hearted and goofy now but back in the day it crossed into hazing territory. I gotta do it twice because I became a golden shellback when we crossed the international dateline.
Other than that I worked night watch generally and standing topside in the middle of the Persian gulf at night was one of my favorite things, the amount of stars you could see in the sky was nuts and just listening to the water was soothing.”
Pitch black night.
“Was gently sailing down the northeast cost of New Zealand heading into Auckland at about 2 or 3 am.
I was on watch and the other crew member was asleep below. It was a pitch black night, no moon and the sea was very still so as soon as you look overboard all you saw was black! Eventually you saw stars but it was impossible to distinguish sea from sky.
As I was keeping a watch I saw what I thought was a shooting star just MUCH bigger! It came again and again agin until there were about 30 of these shining glittering trails shooting around the boat. It was very disconcerting and it took me a few minutes to click what was happening.
We had sailed into a patch of luminescence while dolphins were swimming around the boat planing on both it and our wake. I had not noticed them due to it being so dark!
For something so simple it was a very moving almost spiritual experience and it will remain one of my all time most fondest memories!”
Have you ever seen anything creepy out at sea?
If so, share your stories with us in the comments.
We’d love to hear from you!