A truly scary deep-sea creature with a long body and a giant mouth lined with sharp teeth washed ashore on an Orange County beach minutes after a sonic boom sounded in the area.
The creature, a lancetfish, is usually found deep underwater in the Ocean Twilight Zone, USA Today reports.
The lancetfish was still alive. And it can be seen thrashing about along the shoreline in a video taken by Goff Tours, a Surf School in Laguna Beach. After filming the fish for a bit, Tours pulled the fish back into the water. It then swam away, looking none the worse for wear.
Watch a video of the creature here:
Ocean Twilight Zone Is Key to Regulating Global Climate
The Ocean Twilight Zone sits 650 to 3,300 feet below the water’s surface. It covers the whole planet, according to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. And it is cold and dim because it lies just past the reach of sunlight.
However, it enjoys bursts of bioluminescence given off by creatures that populate the zone. Recent studies point to the possibility that the total mass of fish there might be ten times greater than previously thought. And more may exist there than in all the rest of the ocean put together.
The organisms in the Ocean Twilight Zone help to calibrate the global climate by carting carbon from the surface waters to the deep ocean. The zone is mostly pristine, untouched by commercial fishing. But Woods Hole reports that commercial interests are now preparing to extract biological resources from it, with untold consequences.
Sonic Boom May or May Not Have Anything to Do with Lancetfish Appearance
Meanwhile, residents near the Orange and San Diego County coastlines reported hearing a boom or seeing their doors and windows shake last Monday, CBS Los Angeles reports.
The boom was most noticeable along the coast from La Jolla to Malibu. Officials in Laguna Beach had to send out a text message to the public acknowledging that they were aware of a seismic-like event in the area beginning at 8:20 a.m. They added that the event was unconfirmed and there were no reports of damages.
The CalTech Seismic Lab took to Twitter to inform the public in the wake of the event.
“Sonic booms are the most common cause of people feeling an event that doesn’t show up in the ground,” the Lab tweeted.
A spokesperson for Camp Pendleton told CBS they had no training happening at the base that could’ve caused the noise and rattled windows experienced along the coast.