If it is nothing more than "generic monster cooked up for bad B-movie", I can settle for that. Please provide an explanation of how it can only be such.

If there is more to it (and the characters do hint at it in a few places in the movie) please explain it.


Wikipedia says that the thing is a member of a genus of sea worms, but this thing has eyes, a beak, and tentacles which, apparently, have mouths at the end. I do not think this counts as a general reference, since it clearly cannot be correct.

And don't even get me started about the island at the end.

No good images are available of the boss creature, but here is the best I could find: the head with the eyes is roughly the size of a small apartment:

enter image description here

Izkata also found these pictures of the smaller ones:

enter image description here enter image description here

  • Are the images here shots from the movie or just possible versions from before the movie was released? – Izkata Oct 10 '12 at 0:35
  • dude,I am pretty sure in the movie they deduced it is an Ottoia.. Giant mutated one though.. The modus operandi and description matches.. Plus the characters themselves speculate it.. Posted my findings as answer as well.. – RicoRicochet Jun 10 '15 at 3:40

13 Answers 13


The creature in Deep Rising is a giant mutant octopus. If you watch the scene in the gallery, Treat Williams actually tells a story about putting a fish in a jar then closing the lid, giving it to an octopus which was able to open the jar and climb in and consume the fish. To which Famke Janssen replies "we're the fish".

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    I am not 100% certain you are correct, but I find the answer plausible. You deserve the rep for this, marking it accepted. – John O Oct 31 '12 at 2:20
  • 2
    i think the octopus thing is a metaphor, Canton deduces the monster as an offshoot of Ottoia family.. tells it himself after the captain of the ship dies.. – RicoRicochet Jun 10 '15 at 3:43

Borrowed from Yahoo Answers (3 years ago - looks like it's since been removed from Wikipedia):

Courtesy of Wikipedia:
It is revealed that the ship has become infested by creatures that resemble giant worms, which swallow and digest their prey alive. Canton speculates that they are members of the Ottoia family of deep-sea worms which have evolved to immense size in the extreme depths of oceanic trenches.

However, the summary goes on to say this:
Finnegan and Trillian discover that the creatures are actually the tentacles of a much larger octopus-like sea monster.

When I checked up on Ottoia, I found this:
So, it looks as if they based their monster on the prehistoric creature. I've always been curious about the Ottoia, but I never stopped to look it up before. So, we're left to wonder if this is a separate sea creature or a really enormous example of the other animal mentioned.

Aaand courtesy of Wikipedia, this is a reconstruction of an Ottoia in its burrow: Ottoia drawing

Additionally, eHow suggests it was at least partially based off of H.P. Lovecraft's mythos.

| improve this answer | |

I'm curious as well, but I found one possible source for the creatures design.

enter image description here

| improve this answer | |
  • That is interesting, and does look vaguely like the creatures depicted. Thanks for the link. If you have a name (or even a genus) for the organism, please edit it in. – John O May 2 '13 at 21:41
  • @JohnO The creature in the gif is identified in marcus's answer: it is a bobbit worm, eunice aphroditois. – Beofett Sep 6 '13 at 13:17

I think it was modelled off a bobbit worm "eunice aphroditois". The attack style and speed etc are very similar and they reckon they can grow to 3M long

| improve this answer | |

There seem to be at least two creatures; Joey is chased off the boat at the same time Finnigan is fighting the big one in the banquet hall. Also of note is that the tentacle that eats Hanover seems to taper down toward the rear as if it were a worm. My best speculation is that the large adults spawn by parthenogenesis, growing smaller clones as tentacles until they are big enough to break free and move about on their own like the one that got Hanover.

| improve this answer | |
  • Speculative, but thoughtful. If so, though, does this suggest that the giant octopoid in the banquet hall is a mature specimen, and its own tentacles are budding off the smaller worm creatures shown elsewhere throughout the movie, is that what you mean? Or do you mean two different species? – John O Apr 20 '13 at 16:33

It seems to be something invented entirely for the film, albeit inspired by bobbit worms and the works of H.P. Lovecraft. The "Ottoia" references Canton pulls out of thin air are a red herring, and it can't be an actual cephalopod because they don't have mouths in their tentacles, don't drain their prey's fluids, have pupils in their eyes, and have beaks rather than teeth.

| improve this answer | |

Well finally found some dialogues of the movie --

Canton: [Captain Atherton has just been eaten by one of the monsters] I'm beginning to fear that our friends here may be some kind of strange off-shoot of the Archaea Ottoia family.

Pantucci: The Ottoia family? To think I was startin' to worry.

Canton: These creatures are actually part of a larger body... something we haven's seen yet. They live deep under the surface of any ocean. At 4,000 feet the Ottoia are only as long as a pencil, with bodies about the size of a golf ball. But those at 20,000 feet have been known to eat full grown sharks! At 30,000 or 40,000 feet...

[to Pantucci]

Canton: Well... you do the math.

Trillian St. James: This is not good.

Pantucci: Are we talkin' some kind of mutated sea monsters here?

Mason: Who gives a shit what they are? Just tell us how to kill these motherfuckers.

Canton: The Ottoia are very crafty. They hide in burrows. They catch their victims with spiny living tentacles. Then they crush them between massive jaws.

Trillian St. James: Then they eat you, right?

Canton: No, they drink you. They drink you alive. Sucking all the fluids out of the body before excreting the skeletal remains.

And this is exactly how we see the monsters killing the targets.

So my answer is MUTATED OTTOIA...

| improve this answer | |

The Ottoi and Bobbit wyrm are two creatures but mutated into one ,theory: the bombing testing in Asian waters( spoiler Godzilla Area ) radiotherapy gave new DNA growth to the creatures(jaws is said to be a Asian great white will link sources ) a scuttle fish or ottoiwas devoured by a bobbit wyrm during test, granted mutation for 20 years or so Theory to be the orgin of known monsters blockbuster

| improve this answer | |

Vampire squid is what it's called, it looks actually like that creature in Deep Rising, except mutated.

| improve this answer | |

Actually it is known as the Octalus, the tentacles are attached to the body like an octopus. The tentacles end in mouths and have an esophagus that connects to the body. In the movie the man who owns the Argonautica says they consume bodily fluids and excrete the skeleton. That's why the corpses still have tissue on them and why that man that fell out of the tentacle they shot was mangled, he was partially digested. It is most likely a mutant Vampyroteuthis infernalis (vampire squid) or an undiscovered invertebrate because of the depth at which it is. It would suck if they were real.

| improve this answer | |

Coming from a non-biblical standpoint, it's a Leviathan. These creatures are in myths and legends since the dawn of sea travel. We know of ancient sea creatures only because of skeletons and corpses brought up by accidental fishing. This creature doesn't seem to have any bones. It's extremely possible that this creature does in fact exist, we simply don't know it's feeding schedule. for creatures that big, they need to either eat a shit-ton daily or do massive feedings and then enter a kind of dormancy or sleep cycle. The creature's tentacles seem to act as secondary mouths. Act it uses vibration to hunt. In deep sea, there can't be much light, so even though we see its face and eyes, I'm sure it's completely blind.

| improve this answer | |
  • Do you have any evidence that the filmmakers actually intended it to be a Leviathan? – Null Jun 10 '15 at 2:59

It is possible the creature was an amalgamation of multiple creatures that live or have lived in the real world, now they could have tried making a Kraken like animal that has been destroying ships for a long time, this theory could explain the island at the end of the movie this being the sea of monsters of greek mythology and that was possibly Scylla

| improve this answer | |

It is definitely glop usi octasqid. They grow to extreme sizes and easily swallow a double decker bus hole. They live in underwater canyons.

| improve this answer | |

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.