Football fish: A monstrous-looking fish normally sits thousands of feet deep in the ocean washed up on a California beach

The black-colored creature with its gaping mouth rested on the sand on the shore of the Crystal Cove State Park Marine Protected Area in Laguna Beach last Friday. the shared images park fish on social media and identified him as most likely the fish of Pacific football.

“It is very rare to see a real angler intact and it is not known how or why the fish ended up on shore,” the Facebook post read.

The Pacific football fish is one of more than 200 species of monkfish in the world, according to California State Parks, and is normally found in the dark depths of the ocean. The creature’s teeth are sharp and sharp like shards of glass, and their “large mouth is capable of sucking and swallowing prey the size of their own body.”

Due to the size of the creature and the protruding rod on the top of the head, California State Parks have declared it to be a female.

“Only females have a long rod on their heads with bioluminescent tips used as a decoy to lure prey into the darkness of waters as deep as 3,000 feet!”, According to the post of Crystal Cove State Park.
The rod on the head of the fish is used to attract prey.

They added that females can grow to lengths of 24 inches while males are only about an inch long. The sole purpose of the male fish is to help a female reproduce, the post read.

“The males cling to the female with their teeth and become ‘sexual parasites’, eventually fusing with the female until nothing remains of their form except their testes for reproduction,” reads -on in the post.

The body of the fish is held by the California Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, according to CNN KFSN affiliate. It should be studied for research and teaching purposes.

“Seeing this strange and fascinating fish is a testament to the diversity of marine life that lurks beneath the water’s surface …” reads the message from Crystal Cove State Park. “… and as scientists continue to learn more about these deep-sea creatures, it’s important to think about how much more to learn about our wonderful ocean.”

About Patricia Kilgore

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