Don’t forget, this is what’s also swimming around in the oceana> with you this summer.< recently washed up on the shores of a state park in California. What makes this particular fish such an impressive find is that it’s a deep-sea fish and it is reportedly rare for humans to see a member of its species fully intact.
The Crystal Cove State Park shared photos of the fish to social media, where it identified the specimen as an angler fish, likely a Pacific Football Fish. According to the post, this type of fish usually lives in waters that are 3,000 feet deep.
“Their teeth,” the post says, “like pointed shards of glass, are transparent and their largemouth 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.”
The post then describes the species’ mating habits, which apparently involves the much smaller males attaching themselves to the females’ bodies and then “coalescing with the female until nothing is left” but the reproductive organs.
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“To see an actual angler fish intact is very rare and it is unknown how or why the fish ended up on the shore,” the post continues. “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.”