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Rare Fish Seldom Seen by Humans Found Washed Up on Oregon Coast for the First Time


A unique deep-sea anglerfish has washed up on an Oregon beach for the first time in recorded history, according to the Seaside Aquarium.

The Seaside Aquarium, located in Seaside, Oregon, shared the remarkable discovery in a Facebook post on May 18. The dead Pacific footballfish was found by local beachgoers near Cannon Beach.

“Living in complete darkness at depths of 2,000 to 3,300 feet, these fish are rarely seen,” the aquarium explained. “In fact, only 31 specimens have been recorded worldwide.”

The aquarium told Fox News Digital that, to its knowledge, this fish is the 32nd Pacific footballfish ever observed by humans.

“While a handful of footballfish have been recorded in New Zealand, Japan, Russia, Hawaii, Ecuador, Chile, and California, this is the first one reported on the Oregon Coast to our knowledge,” the Facebook post reads.

“Little is known about their life history, but what is known is unusually fascinating. Like other anglerfish, they use a light that shines from a phosphorescent bulb on their forehead to attract prey.”

The post also noted that these sea creatures “are not picky eaters” and consume whatever they can find at the bottom of the sea.

“Food at the depths these guys inhabit can be very sparse, so footballfish are not picky eaters,” the Seaside Aquarium said. “They eat anything that can fit into their mouths.”

Pacific footballfish also have an unusual male-female dynamic, where females are 10 times larger than males and are the primary hunters. The aquarium described male Pacific footballfish as “parasites.”

“Only females actively hunt, as the males are actually more like parasites,” the aquarium explained. “Males, being 10 times smaller than females, find a female to fuse themselves to.”

“They lose their eyes and internal organs, getting all their nutrients from their female partners. In return, they provide females with a steady source of sperm.”

Seaside Aquarium told Fox News Digital that its experts are unsure why the fish washed up on the beach. It was not collected for inspection.

“There is no theory on why the fish washed up,” the aquarium said. “The folks who found the fish wanted it to become part of the natural lifecycle and asked that we respectfully leave it on the beach.”