Creepy Looking and Rare Lancetfish, Normally Found 6,000 Feet Below, Washes on Shore in California

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One scary-looking sea creature has got San Diego beachgoers wishing he’d stayed in the deep. A lancetfish about four feet long washed up on shore in La Jolla, California, this week.

Lancetfish are medium-sized open ocean predators, oceanographer Ethan Portner explains. “A long slender fish. A black back and silver belly. Very long, almost blue-green dorsal fin.”

Lancetfish are typically found 6,000 feet below the ocean’s surface, snacking on  — well — each other, since these guys are cannibals.

According to Portner, there isn’t a clear reason why this creature of the deep ended up on land.

“Maybe they’re chasing prey onto shore,” he states. “Maybe they’re dying [and] were unable to navigate anymore.”

And while lancetfish sightings are rare, as Portner states, one never knows what they might find coming out of the ocean.

“The open ocean is the largest habitat on the planet. It’s full of these amazing diversity, of these crazy-looking fishes, and many other types of animals.”