Deep-sea monster! Rare Pacific footballfish that has only been seen out of the ocean 31 times is found dead on San Diego beach
- A 13-inch-long Pacific football fish was found dead on a San Diego beach
- The specimen, found on Dec. 10, is a female that weighs about 5 pounds
- This is the third deep-sea creature found dead on a California beach on a month
- One was a lancetfish fish found this month and the other was a Pacific footballfish that was discovered last month
A frightening-looking fish which lives at depths of up to 3,300 feet has washed-up dead on a California beach in what is only the 31st sighting ever made of it.
Known as a Pacific footballfish, the creature has a jet-black body covered in prickly skin and a mouth full of needle-sharp teeth, but its iconic feature is the bizarre stalk on top of its head.
The stalk has a bioluminescent tip that lures prey to the fish in the darkness, as it lives in a part of the ocean too deep for sunlight to penetrate.
The latest discovery was found at Swami’s Beach in Encinitas, San Diego, on December 10.
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A 13-inch-long deep-sea monster has been found dead on a San Diego, California beach, which is typically found in the Pacific Ocean at depths of 2,000 to 3,300 feet
The specimen is a female that weighs about five pounds and is now in the hands of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, which intends on preserving it, Fox5 San Diego reports.
This Pacific footballfish is the third deep-sea fish to wash up on a California beach this month.
A previous Pacific footballfish was spotted on November 13 near Black’s Beach in La Jolla.
The deep-sea fish was discovered by Jay Beiler, who was walking along the shore at Black’s Beach in Torrey Pines, 10News reported.
Known as a Pacific footballfish, this creature has a jet-black body covered in prickly skin and a mouth full of needle-sharp teeth, but its iconic feature is the bizarre stalk on top of its head
The specimen is a female that weighs about 5 pounds and is now in the hands of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, which intends on preserving it
Beiler spotted an odd-looking object on the beach on Saturday, November 13, and initially thought it was a jellyfish.
After a closer look, he realized it was something much more rare and reported it to Scripps, which determined it to be a Pacific football fish.
The most recent find was a four-foot-long, cannibalistic lancetfish that was also found dead on San Diego’s La Jolla Shores.
This skinny fish typically lives between the ocean’s surface and about 6,000 feet below.
The lancetfish is not a particularly rare sight, but this is the first to be preserved by the institution since 1996 and only the 17th preserved from a San Diego beach since 1947.
A previous Pacific footballfish was spotted on November 13 near Black’s Beach in La Jolla. The deep-sea fish was discovered by Jay Beiler, who was walking along the shore at Black’s Beach in Torrey Pines
A four-foot-long, cannibalistic lancetfish washed up on the shore along California this month and although dead, the fish was found intact with its long silver body, ridged black fins and piercing blue eyes
Manager Ben Frable told CNN the fish was found at La Jolla Shores alive by beachgoers but did not survive too long after.
He suspects the fish wound up on the beach after trying swim away from a predator and getting caught in the current.
Along with feasting on its own kind, lancetfish are also hermaphrodites, animals with both male and female reproductive organs.
Scripps spokeswoman Brittany Hook said in a news release: ‘Experts don’t have any evidence to theorize why these fish are washing ashore in Southern California, but are interested in learning more about the specimens that have been collected or any new ones that might wash up.’
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