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Bizarre Deep-Sea Creature Found in California

Bizarre Deep-Sea Creature Found Stranded on US Beach
Image by Global News via YouTube

‘Strange and fascinating’ Pacific Football Fish Found Stranded on Southern California Shore.

In October 2023, beach enthusiasts in California were treated to a surprising spectacle as they witnessed an angler fish, normally dwelling 2,000 ft beneath the ocean’s surface, wash up on a Southern California shoreline.

Introduction

Bizarre Deep-Sea Creature Found Stranded on US Beach
Image by Global News via YouTube

A beachgoer exploring Crystal Cove State Park in Newport Beach, California, had a remarkable encounter on Tuesday when they stumbled upon a Pacific football fish. This is a distinct species of angler fish. Encounters with these fish are exceptionally infrequent; the previous sighting of a Pacific football fish in this region was back in May 2021.

The Fish

Angler Fish 
Angler Fish. Image by NOAA via Unsplash

Crystal Cove State Park authorities report that the Pacific football fish belongs to a vast category of angler fish encompassing more than 200 distinct species globally.

Furthermore, they discerned that the stranded Pacific football fish was a female, a determination made possible by the extended stalk on its head. This unique feature is exclusive to females and serves a vital purpose in their habitat. The elongated stalk possesses bioluminescent tips, which these female fish employ to entice prey in the profound, dimly lit waters where they reside.

Size

Bizarre Deep-Sea Creature Found Stranded on US Beach
Image by Global News via YouTube

Females can attain sizes of up to 24 inches, whereas males, with a mere inch in length, have a singular mission of locating a female to assist in reproduction. Males employ a unique tactic by affixing themselves to the female with their teeth, adopting the role of ‘sexual parasites’ and eventually merging with the female, leaving behind only their testes for the purpose of reproduction, as noted by park officials on their Facebook page. Quite astonishing!

Rare Sighting & Lifestyle

angler fish
Ancient angler fish – computer illustration. Image via Depositphotos

A “highly uncommon” fish acquired for research purposes, the Pacific football fish has adapted to a lifestyle of devouring anything it can grasp within its mouth. This adaptation is due to its residence in the lightless depths. Which extend from 2,000 to 3,300 feet, as verified by the California Academy of Sciences.

Hunting Strategy

deep ocean
Image via Depositphotos

In order to capture its typical prey, such as squid, fish, or crustaceans, the Pacific football fish employs a strategy of remaining utterly still until it can swiftly vacuum its prey into its mouth.

Discovering a Pacific football fish in an entirely undamaged state is an exceptionally uncommon occurrence. Park authorities are uncertain about the reasons behind the fish’s appearance on the shore.

Conclusion

YouTube video
“Horrifying deep-sea Pacific “football fish” washes up on California Beach,” Source: YouTube, Uploaded: Global News

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