A rarely seen lancetfish was found alive on a beach in North Carolina last Monday.
The strange-looking fish, which has been known to feast on its own kind, was spotted near Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head. Visitor Leif Rasmussen snapped a photo of the fish before he released it back into the water, according to the pier’s website.
Officials think something may have been wrong with the fish since it ended up washing up on shore again, according to WISTV.com.
Lancetfish are hardly ever spotted close to shore because they swim in the open ocean. Although most commonly found in tropical and subtropical waters, they have been documented as far north as Iceland.
The fish, which grows to 5 feet in length on average, uses its big mouth and sharp teeth to catch prey. A sail-like dorsal fin helps the animal move through the water and gain short bursts of speed for hunting.
The lancetfish is often brought in as “by-catch” by tuna fisherman, thought it’s not considered good for eating.
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