The ocean is filled with wonderful and bizarre life. Especially when it comes to deep-sea fish, some of the creatures that lurk down below are quite frightening, however. Like the angler fish, for example. This creepy-looking ocean dweller lures in its prey with their light which is actually made of bacteria that causes it to glow as if its looks weren’t scary enough! Now, imagine taking a stroll down the beach and finding a washed-up deep-sea fish such as the angler fish? This guy did, and it’s quite a rare occurrence considering how deep under the sea they live!
Deep-Sea Fish Found on Shore
While visiting the Crystal Cove State Park in Southern California, someone stumbled across one of these monstrous-looking fish on the shore. Usually, these guys live between 2,200 and 3,300 feet deep under the ocean. This particular anglerfish was a female; the males do not have the stalk lures on their heads. Crystal Cove Park officials say it is most likely to be a Pacific football fish. One of more than 200 species of anglerfish worldwide.
According to Crystal Cove State Park
Last Friday morning an incredible deep sea fish washed up on shore in Crystal Cove State Park’s Marine Protected Area (MPA). There are more than 200 species of angler fish worldwide. And, this particular fish is most likely the Pacific Football Fish. Only females possess a long stalk on the head with bioluminescent tips used as a lure to entice prey in the darkness of waters as deep as 3,000 feet! Their teeth, like pointed shards of glass, are transparent. Their large mouth is capable of sucking up and swallowing prey the size of their own body.
While females can reach lengths of 24 inches males only grow to be about an inch long and their sole purpose is to find a female and help her reproduce. Males latch onto the female with their teeth and become “sexual parasites,” eventually coalescing with the female until nothing is left of their form but their testes for reproduction. Wild! To see an actual angler fish intact is very rare and it is unknown how or why the fish ended up on the shore. Seeing this strange and fascinating fish is a testament to the diversity of marine life lurking below the water’s surface in California’s 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 ocean.Crystal Cove State Park – Facebook
Other Strange Deep-Sea Fish
As if the Anglerfish was not scary enough, there are plenty of other deep ocean monsters that lurk! Here are a few of them!
Possibly one of the ugliest looking creatures around is the blobfish. While these creepy-looking cartoon-like fish might scare you, they are not really scary at all. Aside from the fact that they have no bones. All that holds these fish together is the force of the water they lurk in!
This fish ambushes its prey by lurking beneath the sand. It waits for something tasty to swim by and then attacks, gobbling up their dinner so fast you can barely see it happen. It’s back in its hiding spot as soon as it’s done, waiting for its next snack to arrive.
- “Deep-Sea Anglerfish.” Oceana
- “A monstrous-looking fish normally found thousands of feet deep in the ocean washed up on a California beach.” CNN. Amanda Jackson. May 12, 2021