Ultra-rare fish, almost never seen by humans, washes up on Oregon coast for first time

A unique deep-sea angler fish washed up on an Oregon beach for the first time in recorded history, according to a local aquarium.

Seaside Aquarium, which is located in Seaside, Oregon, wrote a Facebook post about the remarkable discovery on May 18. The dead Pacific footballfish was found by local beachgoers near Cannon Beach.

“Living in complete darkness, at 2,000 -3,300 feet, these fish are rarely seen,” Seaside Aquarium explained. “In fact, only 31 specimens have been recorded around the world.”

The aquarium told Fox News Digital that, to its knowledge, the fish is the 32nd Pacific footballfish ever seen by humans.

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The rare Pacific footballfish was found south of Cannon Beach, Oregon. (Getty Images / Seaside Aquarium via Facebook)

“While a handful of footballfish have been recorded in New Zealand, Japan, Russia, Hawaii, Ecuador, Chile, and California this is the first one reported on the Oregon Coast to our knowledge,” the Facebook post reads.

“Little is known about their life history but what is known is unusually fascinating. Like other angler fish, they use light that shines from a phosphorescent bulb on their forehead to attract prey.”

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The fish is believed to be the 32nd Pacific footballfish ever seen by humans. (Seaside Aquarium via Facebook)

The Facebook post also specified that the sea creatures “are not picky eaters,” and eat whatever they can find at the bottom of the sea.

“Food at the depths that these guys peruse can be very sparse, so football fish are not picky eaters,” Seaside Aquarium said. “They eat anything that can fit into their mouths.”

Pacific footballfish also have a male-female dynamic that humans may find unusual, where the females are 10 times larger than the males and are the primary hunters. The aquarium described male Pacific footballfish as “parasites.”

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Pacific footballfish females hunt for food, while male Pacific footballfish are blind. (Seaside Aquarium via Facebook)

“Only females actively hunt as the males are actually more like parasites,” the Oregon aquarium explained. “Males being 10 times smaller than females, find a female to fuse themselves to.”

“They lose their eyes and internal organs, getting all their nutrients from their female partners. In return, they provide females with a steady source of sperm.”

Seaside Aquarium told Fox News Digital that its experts are unsure why the fish washed up on the beach in the first place. It was not collected to be inspected.

Seaside Aquarium told Fox News Digital that it did not collect the fish’s body. (Google Maps)

“There is no theory on why the fish washed up,” the aquarium said. “The folks who found the fish wanted it to become part of the natural lifecycle and asked that we respectfully leave it on the beach.”

For more Lifestyle articles, visit www.foxnews.com/lifestyle.

Andrea Vacchiano is a breaking news writer for Fox News Digital and Fox Business. You can follow her on X at @andrea_vacch or send story tips to [email protected].

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