A fisherman’s rare catch has caused a buzz on Reddit. The creature looks pre-historic, with enormous eyes, gaping fanged jaws, sail-like fins, and a long body.
Many users joked that it was a dragon, while others called the fisherman a magician. The fish was released back into the ocean after it was identified as a lancetfish, a deep-sea fish found in the twilight zone of the ocean.
The twilight zone is a mysterious layer between the sunlit ocean surface and the abyss, ranging from just below 200 meters to 1,000 meters deep.
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The lancetfish is known for its pre-historic look and can grow up to 7 feet long, making it one of the largest deep-sea fish. Its flesh is reportedly not appetizing to humans, but it is preyed on by large predators like sharks, tuna, and fur seals.
The lancetfish is an ambush predator, floating and camouflaging itself in the water before attacking unsuspecting prey near it. It is notorious for being a cannibal and feeds on many other fish and invertebrates, including fish, squids, and octopuses.
Additionally, lancetfish are hermaphrodites, possessing both male and female organs. However, little is known about their reproduction.
In a previous report, a 4-foot lancetfish was washed ashore, and scientists found that it had consumed a large number of microplastics. Rare specimens that wash ashore offer valuable information to the marine science community because they can study them.
The Scripps Institution of Oceanography suggested not removing any unusual fish or marine life that washes ashore and instead contacting them or letting the lifeguard know about the discovery.