PHOTO: Terrifying Fish Described as the ‘Stuff of Nightmares’ Washes Up on San Diego Beach

by Lauren Boisvert

Last November, a deep-sea fish that hardly ever sees the light washed up on a California beach. Beachgoers were shocked and confused about what they were seeing, gathering around the creature to take pictures. The fish washed up on Torrey Pines State Beach in San Diego on Nov. 13, 2021. According to NBC 7 out of San Diego, resident Jay Beiler was out on the beach when he came upon the fish.

“At first I thought it was a — like a jellyfish or something,” Beiler told NBC 7, “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…It’s the stuff of nightmares — mouth almost looked bloody!”

The creature turned out to be a Pacific footballfish. It’s one of the larger species of anglerfish that live in the deep waters. There are about 300 species of anglerfish in the oceans. They live about 2,000 to 3,300 feet below the ocean’s surface, in the frigid waters that sunlight never touches. The footballfish will eat anything that fits in its gaping maw full of razor-sharp teeth. It uses the bioluminescent light on the stalk on its head to lure in prey, meaning it stays absolutely motionless while hunting. Its teeth actually point inward, so whatever goes in this fish’s mouth never gets a chance to get out.

According to Ben Frable, a collection manager at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, marine biologists and scientists wish beachgoers would let them know when they come upon an anglerfish on the shore. “We don’t know much about the biology of these fishes,” Frable told NBC 7. Finding one intact would lead to more research and better understanding.

Lobster Fisherman Hauls in Terrifying Wolf Fish That Tries to Bite Him

Lobster fisherman Jacob Knowles posted a video in late July showing off the bizarre wolf fish he accidentally caught in one of his lobster traps. The fish is grey and fleshy and doesn’t look like a real fish at all, in my opinion. It’s totally strange, and Knowles handled it like a professional.

He picked up the wolf fish from the deck and showed it off for the camera, taking the time to educate his Instagram followers on what a wolf fish actually is. “Oh look, it’s trying to bite me,” he said, as the fish reared its head back and bared its weird teeth. “And they can bite, too.

“It killed everything in the trap,” Knowles continued. “We don’t get them very often. They’re protected, we let them go as soon as we get them.” Often, wolf fish are attracted to lobsters in traps, get inside, and kill all the crustaceans in there. They eat urchins, crabs, large sea snails, and lobsters. And they definitely have the teeth for breaking those hard shells.

When throwing the fish overboard, Knowles lets it have one of the lobsters it killed from the trap. The fish bites down with a loud, audible crunch, and then he’s thrown back to the sea. Just another day in the life of a wolf fish.