Terrifying sea creature washes up on beach in California

A terrifying marine creature that usually lives 6,000ft under the sea washed up on a beach in Southern California.

The bizarre-looking 18-inches long Pacific Footballfish was found by a tourist who was enjoying a walk on the sand in Newport Beach on May 7.

The fish was already dead when it was found but its body was strangely intact and well-preserved despite risinig from the depths of the Pacific Ocean.

An employee from local business Davey’s Locker Sportfishing & Whale Watching said the Footballfish, a type of anglerfish, was an ‘amazingly rare find’ on their beach.

He said: ‘This is not something we pulled onto the boat today but still an amazingly rare find off of local Newport Beach.

‘It is not known yet why this fish washed ashore almost perfectly preserved but our partners from Crystal Cove Conservancy explained that it’s unclear where the rare find will end up.

‘The fleshy long dorsal fin, called an illicium, extends in the front of the mouth and has a phosphorescent bulb on the end which can emit light to attract unsuspecting prey closer to it.’

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife officers collected the fish to study but they have not yet said where it will permanently be housed – either in a museum or an educational institution.

Anglerfishes are bony fish named for their unique mode of hunting where a modified luminescent fin ray attached to their head acts as a lure for other fish in the dark seabed.