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Fanged fish washes ashore in Ocean Beach — but it's not (quite) a monster

lancetfish ocean beach Nina Gozzi_1.png
lancetfish ocean beach Nina Gozzi_2.png
Posted at 1:04 PM, Apr 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-17 16:10:35-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — A scary looking fish with dagger-like teeth was discovered Wednesday on the shores of Dog Beach in Ocean Beach.

The four-foot-long fish isn't something people usually find while fishing off a local pier or even walking along the coast. And before imaginations run wild, it isn't a monster — well, not quite.

The fish is a lancetfish, which typically call the dark depths of the ocean home. There, the fish feed on jellyfish, micro plastic, tiny deepwater organisms, and even smaller lancetfish, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

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(There's the monster aspect.)

With sharp fangs and prehistoric spikes, the fish appears to look like an ancient creature from the time of dinosaurs.

That may or may not be the case. Not a lot is known about the mysterious fish, according to NOAA, save for information on their diets and places they call home.

And despite their place in the ocean's depths, fisherman may sometimes catch more lancetfish than tuna or mahi. NOAA says the fish is actually the most common bycatch in their fisheries, besides blue sharks.

You may not want to try grilling up the fish either. NOAA says lancetfish are, "not very tasty and their gelatinous flesh is unsuited for local cuisine."