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