A rare and bizarre fish drifted ashore in Nags Head, North Carolina last week.
The animal, identified as a Lancetfish, is rarely seen so close to the shore. They are often caught as by-catch in deep waters while crews fish for tuna.
Lancetfish can be up to 6.6 feet long and have smooth, slimy bodies. They sport razor sharp teeth and feed on plankton, shrimp, squid, and even fellow Lancetfish, which is why they're known as "cannibalistic." Adolescent Lancetfish are hermaphroditic, which is perplexing since no evidence exists of functional hermaphroditism in adults.
How would you like to see this swimming next to you at the beach?
Since Lancetfish rarely come near the shore, a number of experts suspect this particular fish was in poor health. The fish is also missing the large dorsal fin Lancetfish typically have.
Interested in seeing more Lancetfish footage? Check out this video: