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Strange fish with vicious teeth from 3000ft below ocean washes up on shore in 'very rare' sighting
Featured Image Credit: Facebook/Crystal Cove State Park

Strange fish with vicious teeth from 3000ft below ocean washes up on shore in 'very rare' sighting

The mysterious fish washed up on a beach in California

A mysterious fish has washed up on a beach in California.

Of course, fish frequently do wash up on beaches - assuming they don't get snaffled by bigger fish.

But this one is a very unusual one, as normally fish like this one would not be found anywhere near the surface of the ocean.

In fact, fish like this one normally live very deep down in the darkest parts of the ocean.

That's because, with its dark-coloured body, large mouth filled with ferocious teeth, and of course the distinctive lure on the top of its head, this is of course an anglerfish.

There are more than 200 species of anglerfish, which are widely known for their distinctive hunting style.

Anglerfish will have their lure suspended over their mouths. The lure has bacteria living in it which emit a light.

In the darkness of the deep ocean, that light could be mistaken for prey by other animals, but nothing could be further from the truth.

The fish was spotted washed upon on a beach.
Facebook / Crystal Cove State Park

A curious squid might investigate, only to be met with the ferocious teeth of the anglerfish.

The fish also has an expandable stomach, meaning that it can even consume prey which is bigger than itself.

In an environment like the deep ocean where food is scarce, you have to take what you can get.

This particular fish was a Pacific Football Fish, a species that can live at depths of up to around 900 metres below the surface, where little if any sunlight penetrates.

In a Facebook post, a spokesperson for the Crystal Cove State Park in California said: "To see an actual angler fish intact is very rare and it is unknown how or why these fish ended up onshore.

Angler fish typically live very deep down in the ocean.
Facebook / Crystal Cove State Park

"Seeing this strange and fascinating fish is a testament to the curious diversity of marine life lurking below the water’s surface in California’s Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and as scientists continue to learn more about these deep sea creatures it’s important to reflect on how much is still to be learned from our wonderful and mysterious ocean!"

Only female anglerfish actually have the lures, and many species of anglerfish are extremely sexually dimorphic.

Males are typically tiny, many times smaller than females, and will bite into the female and physically fuse themselves to her body.

Eventually all that is left of the male is the gonads hanging off the female giving her a supply of sperm to fertilise her eggs.

Females have been spotted with a number of males dangling off them, literal hangers-on.

Topics: News, US News, Nature, Animals