Aquaphobia would be the fear of water. However, there is a separate phobia called thalassophobia, which would be the fear of deep water. This makes sense because it is the fear of what can be found in those deep waters as much as those deep waters themselves. After all, something like 80 percent of the ocean remains unexplored, so who knows what could be lurking within. For that matter, if we were ever to come face-to-face with the entities of our ocean-themed nightmares, well, suffice to say that we aren’t exactly at our most capable when we are submerged within the waves. Of course, there is a lot of media that plays with that fear. To name an example, look no further than the Subnautica series, which features both the wonder of the sea and the terror of the sea in equal measure. Subnautica: Below Zero is different from its predecessor in that it features a fair amount of land. However, interested individuals should know that it has plenty of both above-ground and under-water horrors as well.
Chances are good that interested individuals can guess that Pengwings were based on penguins. Naturally, that means that they are very cute. However, if one thinks about it, Pengwings are rather unnervingly alien as well. This can be seen in how their beaks open sideways rather than up and down, thus making them distinct from their terrestrial counterparts in an instant.
9. Spikey Trap
Spikey Traps aren’t that scary when people get the chance to take a good look at them. This is particularly true because it isn’t even clear whether they are fauna, flora, or something else altogether. Instead, the issue is that Spikey Traps are ambush predators, meaning that they are a source of very unpleasant surprises. Sometimes, that can work very well.
8. Brute Shark
In real life, no one would want to run into a hostile Brute Shark, which has what is clearly the mouth of a meat-eater that goes after animals of considerable size. Unfortunately, they lose points because the same can be said for just about everything else on this list, particularly since they are on the slower end of things as well.
Predators aren’t necessarily very brave animals. Generally speaking, they need to continue hunting if they want to survive. As a result, predators can’t afford to get injured, meaning that they can be quite risk-averse for very sensible reasons. The Cryptosuchus is an interesting reminder of this, seeing as how it will back off if the player is willing to put up even the slightest fight. Still, it does have a very intimidating roar that is more than a bit reminiscent of Leviathans, which could very well be intentional.
Crashfish were in the original Subnautica as well. Generally speaking, they aren’t too scary. After all, Crashfish are small, one-eyed fish with a rather dopey-looking grin, meaning that they aren’t the most physically-intimidating of creatures that can be found out there. However, they can be a component of a very effective jump scare, seeing as how it is very easy for their Sulfur Plants to be placed somewhere that is either hard-to-see or out-of-sight. It can be very unpleasant to be confronted by a Crashfish out of seemingly nowhere in the close confines of an underwater cavern, particularly since the player doesn’t have a lot of good options for dealing with these very explosive, very fast-moving menaces.
Squidsharks are pretty much exactly what they sound like, which is to say, a horrible combination of squids and sharks. They are particularly memorable because they have a mouth-part that can extend to catch their target, whether by spearing them or by trapping them in a cage of teeth. On top of that, Squidsharks can disable machines, meaning that vehicles aren’t quite as reliable against these monsters as what interested individuals might like.
4. Snow Stalker
Bears are adorable-looking. However, they are big animals with big muscles, meaning that they can do a horrific amount of damage to humans within a very short period of time. Still, there are bears and then there are bears, as shown by how polar bears are hyper-carnivores that have no fear of humans whatsoever. People who spend some time watching Snow Stalkers will realize that their motions are based on polar bear motions. Even worse, they have giant crocodilian jaws. Never mind the fact that Snow Stalkers also move quite a bit faster than what people might expect based on their appearance.
The Chelicerate is a whale-shaped monster crustacean that is more than capable of swallowing a human whole. Even worse, they like to live in poorly-lit waters, which makes it very unpleasant to see their red eyes moving about in the darkness.
2. Ice Worm
Dune is very influential, which in turn, means that Dune’s sandworms are very influential. For proof, look no further than the Ice Worm, which is pretty much an ice-based version of said creatures. To be fair, that makes it pretty terrifying. After all, players can’t do much about these creatures while they are still moving beneath the surface. Instead, the only way to move past them is the classic anti-sandworm strategy, which would be sneaking through while deployed Thumpers create a distraction. As for those who don’t do this, well, Ice Worms are big enough that it should come as no surprise to learn that every single attack other than the swipe is a guaranteed one-hit kill.
1. Shadow Leviathan
There is something extremely uncomfortable about being in the mere vicinity of a super-massive predator. As such, Subnautica’s Leviathans are pretty much guaranteed spots at the top of lists of the series’s scariest creatures. There are those who would argue that the Shadow Leviathan is particularly bad for a number of reasons. For example, they are uncomfortably reminiscent of centipedes, meaning that they are rather off-looking in a way that unnerves. This is particularly true because their mouth is positioned at their belly rather than their head, which is a reminder that it is supposed to be an alien rather than anything even tenuously related to us. Similarly, the Shadow Leviathan is more aggressive than its counterparts. As such, the player should be well-prepared to run.