The ocean occupies 70% of the earth, and humans have only explored about 5% of it. There is a lot more we need to learn about the ocean because it is no secret that our knowledge is limited.
Recently, a strange sea creature washed ashore on a California beach and raised some interesting questions. Keep reading to find out everything that happened…
There are countless creatures in the deep ocean that are yet to be discovered by human beings. Our limited knowledge of the ocean and the sea creatures that exist within it is because of the expanse of the oceans and their depth, which makes it nearly impossible for human beings to be able to explore the oceans in their entirety.
A deep sea creature that washed ashore in California last week was another reminder of how little we truly know about the ocean.
On October 13, a strange creature washed ashore at Crystal Cove State Park in Laguna Beach. It was identified in a Facebook statement by the California park as a Pacific footballfish. The fish typically dwells in the dark depths of the water and is rarely ever spotted by humans because of the harsh environment it is found in.
The statement conveyed surprise at its discovery, “Guess who washed up just in time for Friday the 13th? It’s angler fish #2 at Crystal Cove State Park!” It continued, “In May of 2021, the same species of angler fish, Pacific Football Fish, was found onshore by a park visitor, creating quite the buzz. Two years later, the same species of fish washed up again last Friday, October 13th. What does it all mean?” they asked in a bone-chilling fashion, prompting thought on how this event could have occurred.
The eerie-looking creature has been taken by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife “for further research,” according to the statement.
There are over 200 species of anglerfish known to roam the oceans globally, the statement said. It also mentioned, “only females possess a long stalk on the head with bioluminescent tips used as a lure to entice prey in pitch-black water as deep as 3,000 feet!”
The Anglerfish have teeth that resemble “pointed shards of glass” and a massive mouth that allows them to swallow prey, which is “the size of their own body,” the statement shares.
As for how they reproduce, it is fascinating. Males of the species grow to only an inch as compared to females who can grow up to 24 inches. The statement mentioned how the reproduce, saying, the male “latch onto the female with their teeth and become ‘sexual parasites,’ eventually coalescing with the female until nothing is left of their form but their testes for reproduction.”
Spotting such a fish on the shore while it is completely intact is “very rare,” according to the park, the statement also noted “it is unknown how or why these fish ended up onshore.”
“Seeing this strange and fascinating fish is a testament to the curious diversity of marine life lurking below the water’s surface in California’s Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), and as scientists continue to learn more about these deep sea creatures, it’s important to reflect on how much is still to be learned from our wonderful and mysterious ocean!” Crystal Cove concluded in their post.
It is fascinating how a creature that dwells in the deep sea made its way to the shore. It raises a lot of questions about what could have prompted its migration to more shallow waters. All of this currently remains a mystery!
According to the park, there was a similar incident two years ago, and the fish found in May 2021 is being kept in the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles.
If you found this story interesting, check out the one below about a boy finding a fish with human teeth!