Jay Beiler was walking along the shoreline of Blacks Beach in San Diego, California on Saturday when he walked up on a rarely seen deepsea fish that had washed up onto the sand.
Blacks Beach is a nude beach located near Glider Port in Torrey Pines and the specific species of this fish that was found was a Pacific footballfish. Beiler said the fish was found sometime around 4:40pm.
“I have never seen anything quite like this before,” Beiler told CBS 8 San Diego. “You know, I go to the beach fairly often, so I’m familiar with the territory, but I’ve never seen an organism that looked quite as fearsome as this.”
The Pacific footballfish is a deep-sea anglerfish that has a little bioluminescent light on top of its head it uses as a lure to get smaller fish to come near its mouth so that it can capture and eat them.
“At first I thought it was a — like a jellyfish or something, and then I went and looked at it a little more carefully, and some other people were gathered around it too, and then I saw that it was this very unusual fish,” Beiler said.
The fish was nearly a foot long and had a mouth that looked like it had blood on it. Beiler said that the fish looked like something out of a nightmare.
He took a few photos and sent them to NBC 7 San Diego showing some wicked-looking spikes on the side of the fish. The photos also showed the fish had a mouthful of scary pointy teeth with an arm-like tentacle protruding from its forehead.
“This is one of the larger species of anglerfish, and it’s only been seen a few times here in California, but it’s found throughout the Pacific Ocean,” Ben Frable, the collection manager of the marine vertebrate collection at Scripps Institution of Oceanography said.