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The Extremely Rare And Fearsome-Looking Pacific Football Fish Recently Washed Up On An Oregon Shore

dhbphotographs - stock.adobe.com - illustrative purposes only

The deep sea is filled with creatures that could be easily mistaken for monsters. For instance, a very strange and frightening specimen called the Pacific football fish recently washed up on the shores of Cannon Beach in Oregon.

The football fish is one out of 300 species of anglerfish that swim in the deep ocean. According to Seaside Aquarium, “only 31 specimens have been recorded around the world.”

So, it is exceedingly rare for humans to encounter one, and maybe it’s best if things stay that way.

The fearsome creature lives a couple thousand feet underwater, which explains why we almost never encounter one.

It can grow up to 24 inches long. It has tiny eyes, razor-sharp teeth, and an antenna-like stalk protruding from its head.

At the tip, there is a bulb called an esca. It produces light and is used to attract prey, such as squid, crustaceans, and other fish.

The glow of the esca comes from photobacteria that flow into the bulb through small pores. Once the bacteria are inside, they start to multiply, creating the glow that tempts the prey closer.

The football fish will remain motionless until its prey comes within range. Then, it strikes lightning-quick, sucking its victim into its mouth. The fish’s inward-pointing teeth trap the prey inside its mouth, preventing escape.

Only females have the distinctive stalk. The fish that washed up on the beach was a female. Female football fish are much larger than males, which are around 10 times smaller.

dhbphotographs – stock.adobe.com – illustrative purposes only

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