Ben Estes via Crystal Cove Park Facebook
This fish is the stuff of nightmares!
A fish with teeth as sharp as glass and a black, football-shaped body washed ashore in Laguna Beach last week – and the photos are terrifying. The fish was found at Crystal Cove State Park’s Marine Protected Area and the park shared photos of the “incredible deep sea fish” on Facebook.
While there are over 200 species of angler fish in the world, the park is fairly certain the fish that washed ashore is known as the Pacific Football Fish. Females can grow to be up to 24 inches long and have teeth that look like shards of glass. They also have a long stalk on their heads with bioluminescent tips, which is “used as a lure to entice prey in the darkness of waters as deep as 3,000 feet!”
Males only grow to be one inch because their only purpose is to mate. According to Crystal Cove Park’s Facebook page, “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.”
The park also says that it’s super rare to see an angler fish intact because of how deep in the ocean they live, and they have no clue how or why this 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,” they wrote.
See the terrifying photos below.