June 14, 2024 at 6:40 am

A Terrifying Footballfish Was Found Washed Up On Oregon’s Shore. – ‘Only 31 specimens have been recorded around the world.’

by Trisha Leigh

Source: Facebook/SeasideAquarium

I maintain that whatever terrifying image pops into your head when you think of aliens, it probably exists in the depths of the ocean.

Or honestly, probably something even scarier.

The Pacific footballfish (Himantoliphus sagamius) is pretty much a case-in-point, and the people who discovered one on Cannon Beach in Oregon likely agree.

Sightings of the deep-sea-dwelling fish are extremely rare, according to the Seaside Aquarium’s post on their Facebook page.

“Only 31 specimens have been recorded around the world.”

The footballfish is one of over 300 species of anglerfish that live in the depths. This one exists at between 2,000-3,000 feet, in total darkness.

The specimen found in Oregon is female, and is larger by about 10x than the male of the species. Scientists believe the males are “sexual parasites;” they fuse themselves to the female until they become a pair of testes attached to her.

Source: Shutterstock

The protrusion atop the females head is a modified fin called an illicium. It ends in an esca, a bulb that contains light-producing bacteria that acts as a lure for their prey.

The fish, though rare, have been washing up with increasing frequency.

And while I am no expert, I have to assume the disaster that is the health of our oceans is to blame.

Thought that was fascinating? Here’s another story you might like: Why You’ll Never See A Great White Shark In An Aquarium