Pacific footballfish: Beachgoer finds odd, ugly fish washed up on shore

Imagine walking along Newport Beach, California, and coming across this!

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The fish wasn’t someone’s catch of the day, instead, it had washed up onshore.

It’s a species of anglerfish called the Pacific Footballfish.

There are actually thousands of different species of anglerfish living all around the world.

While the fish itself isn’t rare, seeing it on the beach in California is, since they normally live about 3,000 feet below the ocean’s surface, the Crystal Cove Conservancy said.

The long stalk on the head of the fish ends in a phosphorescent bulb, also known as an esca, used by the fish to lure prey close to their mouths filled with needle-sharp teeth, the California Academy of Sciences said.

Most are smaller than 12 inches, USA Today reported.

The bulb is filled with bacteria that reproduce and illuminate, the group said.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute recorded an anglerfish swimming at depths of 2,000 feet and captured it so it could be studied, USA Today reported.

The California Department of Fish & Wildlife took control of the remains which may be sent to a museum or educational institution, according to Crystal Cove Conservancy.