'Amazingly rare': Beachgoer's terrifying find on the sand

A man walking along a beach in southern California stumbled upon "weird looking fish" but it turns out what he came across was quite rare.

Davey's Locker Sportfishing & Whale Watching, a tour boat company, shared the remarkable photos of the bizarre creature Ben Estes came across.

The company explained the "amazingly rare find" washed ashore on Friday morning at California's Newport Beach.

After Mr Estes found the fish, state park rangers and lifeguards were called.
"It’s been identified as a deep sea Pacific Footballfish, which is a species of anglerfish that are normally dwelling at depths more than 3,000 ft below the surface," Davey's Locker Sportfishing & Whale Watching explained on Facebook.

"It’s one of more than 300 living species of anglerfish from around the world. Though the fish itself is not rare, it is extremely rare to see one this intact along a beach in southern CA.

"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 company shared three photos of the Pacific Footballfish in all its glory and said the fish measured in at 18 inches and was "perfectly preserved".

It's not known why the fish washed ashore but there are plans for it to end up at a museum or educational institute. In the meantime it is with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

While the team at Davey's Locker were clearly impressed by the fish, not everyone was.
"It is HUGE, this is why i’m scared of the ocean," someone said in the comments.

Another person was shocked by its teeth and said the creature looked "prehistoric", and there were a few references to Finding Nemo, where a similar looking fish makes an appearance.

"That’s what tried to eat Marlin and Dory," someone said.

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