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Visitor finds unusual ‘football fish’ washed up on shore at Calif. park

Though the Pacific football fish itself is quite common it's hardly ever found outside their...
Though the Pacific football fish itself is quite common it's hardly ever found outside their environment.(Ben Estes/Crystal Cove State Park via CNN Newsource)
Published: May. 11, 2021 at 10:05 AM CDT|Updated: May. 11, 2021 at 10:06 AM CDT
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NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (CNN) - A visitor made a rare discovery that washed up on shore at a California park.

What is believed to be a Pacific football fish was found at the Crystal Cove State Park, according to the park’s Instagram page.

The type of angler fish normally lives more than 2,000 feet below the surface, in pitch-black water. Though the fish itself is quite common, it’s hardly ever found outside that environment.

The park reported it’s unknown as to how or why the fish washed up on shore.

This specimen is easily identifiable as a female because of the long stalk on its head, which has multiple bioluminescent tips. The appendage is used as a sort of fishing rod to attract prey in the darkness, before the fish’s transparent teeth go to work.

Football fish are capable of sucking up prey the size of their own bodies.

Only the females grow to a large size, reaching up to 24 inches. Males max out at one inch because their sole purpose in life is to mate. They do so by latching onto females with their teeth, and staying put until they wither and die.

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