A TERRIFYING marine creature that usually lurks 3,000ft under the sea has washed up on a beach in Southern California.
The bizarre-looking 18-inch monster – with teeth “like shards of glass” – was found by a startled tourist who was enjoying a walk on the sand in Newport Beach.
The Pacific Footballfish – a type of anglerfish – was already dead when it was discovered on May 7, but its body was strangely intact and well-preserved despite rising from the depths of the Pacific Ocean.
It was hailed “an amazingly rare find” by an employee from nearby business Davey’s Locker Sportfishing & Whale Watching.
“This is not something we pulled onto the boat today but still an amazingly rare find off of local Newport Beach,” he said.
“It is not known yet why this fish washed ashore almost perfectly preserved but our partners from Crystal Cove Conservancy explained that it’s unclear where the rare find will end up.
“The fleshy long dorsal fin, called an illicium, extends in the front of the mouth and has a phosphorescent bulb on the end which can emit light to attract unsuspecting prey closer to it.”
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife officers collected the fish to study it, but they have not yet said where it will permanently be housed – either in a museum or an educational institution.
Anglerfishes are bony fish named for their unique mode of hunting where a modified luminescent fin ray attached to their head acts as a lure for other fish in the dark seabed.
Crystal Cove State Park shared snaps of the creature on Facebook, describing is a “strange and fascinating fish”.
“Their teeth, like pointed shards of glass, are transparent and their large mouth is capable of sucking up and swallowing prey the size of their own body,” they added.
“To see an actual angler fish intact is very rare and it is unknown how or why the fish ended up on the shore.”
It comes after hundreds of bizarre sea creatures armed with toxins “deadlier than cyanide” were found washed up on a beach.
Scientist Tess Gridley made the terrifying discovery at Muizenberg Beach in Cape Town, South Africa, while out walking with her family.
Meanwhile, a diver got a little more than she bargained for when she discovered a bizarre phallic-shaped creature at the bottom of the ocean.
Josie Jones, 48, was left blushing after stumbling upon the “penis worm” while out on a marine trip with her underwater camera in Victoria, Australia.
And in South Carolina, a gruesome creature with no eyes, big teeth, and a bizarre-shaped body washed up on a beach – leaving locals desperate to find out where it came from.
Erika Constantine found the strange beast while out walking her dog in Melton Peter Demetre Park, near Charleston, last year.
View more information: https://www.the-sun.com/news/2871131/deep-sea-monster-transparent-washes-up-beach-california/