In Newport Beach, California, a very rare discovery was made recently at Crystal Cove State Park.
A man named Ben Estes was walking along the beach when he came across a “weird-looking fish” that was lying in the sand.
The fish looks somewhat frightening, with dark-colored scales and a mouth full of teeth that look more like needles than anything else.
So what is this bizarre find?
Facebook; pictured above is a photo that Ben Estes took of the strange fish
“It’s been identified as a deep-sea Pacific Footballfish, which is a species of anglerfish that are normally dwellings at depths more than 3,000 ft below the surface,” Davey’s Locker Sportfishing & Whale Watching explained on Facebook.
“It’s one of more than 300 living species of anglerfish from around the world. Though the fish itself is not rare, it is extremely rare to see one this intact along a beach in southern CA.”
“The fleshy long dorsal fin called an illicium extends in the front of the mouth and has a phosphorescent bulb on the end which can emit light to attract unsuspecting prey closer to it.”
According to the California Academy of Sciences, female Pacific Footballfish are significantly larger than their male counterparts, with some of them reaching 10 times the size of the males.
“The males of some anglerfish species, including the football fish, have evolved into “sexual parasites.” Using well-developed olfactory organs, they find and fuse themselves to females, eventually losing their eyes, internal organs, and everything else but the testes,” the California Academy of Sciences pointed out.