You may have seen the animated version of anglerfish in Pixar’s Finding Nemo. However, to spot the deep sea creature washed ashore on a beach is a completely different experience. Doing the rounds on social media these days is a picture of a black anglerfish with its giant mouth wide open, revealing the sharp set of teeth it comes with. The picture also showed a large protruding appendage that was surrounded by a series of tentacles on its end. The body of the anglerfish also had pointy ends as the picture shared by Crystal Cove State Park showed.
The image of this species of anglerfish known as the Pacific football fish was spotted at Crystal Cove State Park by a regular beach goer, Ben Estes. What is more surprising is the perfectly preserved condition of this rare fish found in the depths of the ocean. According to Crystal Cove State Park, the fish that washed ashore was a female, since only they possess a long stalk on the head with bioluminescent tips that is used as a trap to attract its prey in the dark waters as deep as 3,000 feet.
In its Facebook post, the Crystal Cove State Park also mentioned that to see an actual anglerfish intact is “very rare” and it is not known how or why the aquatic animal ended up on the shore. Speaking to Los Angeles Times, Bill Ludt -assistant curator of ichthyology at the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum — said that this deep sea creature is a very elaborate and complex species of marine wildlife that is pretty easy to tell apart from other fishes.
The report further mentioned that the fish was frozen and preserved at Crystal Cove State Park on Monday, as state officials decided on where it would ultimately be placed. John Ugoretz of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife told the Los Angeles Times that he could not speculate on how the rare fish ended up on the beach, but it is not that rare for such species to occasionally show up.