California beachgoer discovers deep-sea footballfish
A Southern California beachgoer recently intercepted a “weird-looking” creature known as a footballfish while strolling along Newport Beach.
Ben Estes made the stunning discovery Friday at Crystal Cove State Park, according to a local boat tour agency.
The black, bulbous beast was identified as a deep-sea Pacific footballfish, a species of anglerfish that are usually found at depths of more than 3,000 feet.
“Though the fish itself is not rare, it is extremely rare to see one this intact along a beach in southern CA,” Davey’s Locker Sportfishing & Whale Watching wrote on Facebook.
The fish is characterized by its long, fleshy dorsal fin that extends in the front of its mouth, as well as its phosphorescent bulb, which can emit light to lure in unsuspecting prey.
It’s not known how the 18-inch fish ended up on the shore almost entirely preserved.
Its carcass is being housed with the California Department of Fish & Wildlife but could end up at a museum or another educational institution, news station KABC reported.