What’s The Strangest Thing You’ve Seen/Heard On The Open Ocean?


open oceanhowtocookawolf

I do quite a bit of saltwater fishing, and any time I’m on a chartered boat, I ALWAYS ask this question to the captain.

On a blackfin tuna trip out of Key West three years ago, I asked the question, and without thinking…or blinking really, the captain said “A dead elephant in the middle of the ocean.”

I’ll never forget that. Same captain also told me that while tied behind a shrimp boat not far offshore, his client pulled up a large grouper with a human knee joint (and muscle/flesh) inside its mouth. They went back to shore, and contacted the appropriate authorities to let them know a shrimper had possibly dismembered someone and tossed them into the ocean. Weird stuff.



I have been out in the open ocean (no land or other boats around) and the sea was perfectly calm on a clear day. Our boat was only small and it was not moving at all – it was perfectly still, there was no wind, the water surface looked like glass. It was eerie and slightly disturbing. Only comfort was I was not alone and we were not a sailboat.


open oceannlderek

While on a sailing cruise returning to Miami from the Bahamas I was permitted to pilot the boat while the crew sat down for dinner. I was told to simply follow a certain heading on the compass. As we were going along I noticed the position of the sun was rather rapidly changing as I was chasing the heading on the compass. I returned to what I thought was the correct heading and watched in amazement as the compass began to spin in circles. We had been scuba diving so several of us had compasses and they were all exhibiting the same behavior. The heading on the GPS was unaffected.. After maybe 10-20 seconds the spin slowed to a stop back on the correct heading. The crew logged the coordinates of the anomaly. The best guess we had was that we’d crossed over an old shipwreck, perhaps something hauling a large amount of some magnetic metal over to the Bahamas.



My dad owns a fishing boat so we used to go offshore fishing very often when I was younger, I have a few not so creepy stories.

First one was on our trip in the Florida keys, we were maybe 30 miles offshore, no land or other vessels in sight. We were hauling a** away from some a quickly approaching storm cloud when I saw a funnel cloud appear. It was kind of eerie being an 8 year old and seeing this s**t a few thousand feet behind you, knowing that if it got close enough to us and we didn’t make it, no one would ever know for a long time and there’s nothing we can do about it.

Another time, when I was about ten, we were trolling for fish 40miles or so off the coast of bimini (bahamas) and this large lump floated within a few feet of our boat. It was a dead sea turtle, a pretty big one too. We gaffed it, flipped it over in the water, and there was a huge baseball sized hole through its underside, and it went all the way through its body until it reached its shell area. It was like a neat cylinder had been carved out of its body, and it looked flat black. I don’t know if it was just rotting, but it almost looked charred. Turtle also had numerous hooks and cut lines coming out of its mouth, which is pretty normal for dead ones. We set it loose, still no idea what happened to it.

This last story I thought I had dreamt or something until I asked my dad about it recently and he confirmed it. I was around the same age as my last two stories, and we were offshore fishing for mahi pretty much all day. I don’t remember if we were on the gulf side or Atlantic side, but the water was seriously deep and blue. We must have been many miles offshore and looking at the sonar I remember it being much deeper than 2000 feet. Anyway, about midday, bored 10 year old me was sitting on the roof of our center console, and I see this dark shape about 20 feet under the surface. It was seriously huge and definitely not a whale or anything. It was man-made, a gigantic a** submarine, and it was RIGHT next to our boat. Like 20 feet away. It stayed next to us for about 60 seconds, then submerged slowly and went on its way. It was so creepy seeing it out in the middle of absolutely nowhere, and knowing that there were people right inside of it.


open oceanbg-j38

I was on a dive boat off the coast of the Big Island in Hawaii last week. It was after dark and a pod of dolphins was spending a lot of time playing around off our stern. They were pretty interested in us it seemed since every once in a while you could see a head pop up and just sort of look at us for a few seconds.

Pretty much everyone was hanging out on the dive platform on the stern when suddenly this huge manta ray comes right up to the surface about five feet away from the boat. It was easily 10 ft. wide. It did a quick flip and was gone in a few seconds. It wasn’t too freaky as we’d been night diving with them a few nights before that. But I could see how someone who wasn’t aware of them would get really freaked out. The ocean has a lot of weird stuff in it.



Out off Bermuda back in the 80s or early 90s we saw a huge piece of rocket fuselage or aeroplane floating vertically 5-6 feet out of the water. It was out in the Gulf Stream and was moving quite quickly. This was before Internet so we never knew what it was part of.


open oceanrusty_L_shackleford

I was about 40 miles off the coast of the carolinas, and see a watermelon bobbing along in the water next to the boat. So random.



Not a deep sea fisherman, but I was in the Navy. We were a few hours off the coast of Thailand, I was in the hangar bay of the carrier for morning muster and there were trees floating in the ocean. like they had been cut down and thrown in, bobbing right side up with their bare branches sticking out of the water. It was really weird to me.


open oceanstanfan114

Back in the 80s I was in the Bahamas, where the water is crystal clear to the bottom and pretty shallow. We were going spearfishing, and had a spotter plane locating the spot, I was on a boat on the bow spotting coral reefs so we would not crash. The plane tips its wings and we find the spot, I look down and there is a World War 2 fighter plane sitting on the sand about 30 feet down. It was surreal. We got in the water with our Hawaiian slings, and attached the boat anchor to one of the wings. The boat pulled the wing up and hundreds of these lobster like creatures scattered across the sea floor, but they had no claws. I snagged about 3 of them and had them for dinner that night.



I do a lot of fishing at night, the weirdest things I’ve seen / caught are the greater hammerhead sharks. They look downright creepy in person at night.