A Lancetfish photo has gone viral after a live specimen of the rare cannibalistic deep sea monster was caught on the beaches of North Carolina.
In a related report by The Inquisitr, a Facebook photo of a seemingly large alligator snapping turtle went viral but as it turns out the largest snapper in the world was several times the size! Also, would you believe that an otter could beat an alligator in a fight?
The locals of Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head were fishing when a Lancetfish was caught. Everyone was surprised at the appearance of the strange creature and they took many photos before attempting to release it back into the water.
Unfortunately, some believe the Lancetfish may have been ill since it washed up on shore again and they had to help it escape. This leads me to hypothesize about the odd part about this particular lancetfish photo since the creature seems to be missing its dorsal fins. Unless they are simply folded over and thus not within the camera view, this might explain the seeming illness or perhaps it’s a different variant of the creature that is completely missing them.
Here’s another photo from Wikipedia as an example:
Jennette’s Pier wrote about the Lancetfish photos on its Facebook page:
“Lancetfish – Check out these images of what we believe is a lancetfish. It was photographed Monday night, just south of the pier. They rarely come close to shore as they’re an open ocean or pelagic fish. Have you ever seen or heard of them?”
The reason not many people have heard about the Lancetfish is because it is rarely sighted and not much is known about its biology. Scientists know that the Lancetfish, which is of the genus Alepisaurus (which is Greek for “lizard without scales”) and the family Alepisauridae, is characterized by it’s long razor-sharp teeth and can grow up to 6.6 feet in length. They are also found in most oceans except for the polar seas. There are also two known variants of the lancetfish, with the long-nose lancet fish (A. ferox) being found in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and the short-nosed lancet fish (A. brevirostris) inhabiting the Atlantic and south Pacific oceans.
The Lancetfish is known to snack on others of its kind — which is why it’s known for being cannibalistic — but otherwise it’s believed the scary creatures munches on crabs, squid, and other fish. During their feeding period adults may migrate to the subarctic reaching as far north as Greenland, Iceland and the Bering Sea. We’ve even seen photos floating around on the internet showing a dead Lancetfish which had swallowed nine baby sharks!
Still, despite its threatening demeanor it’s claimed to be harmless to humans. We’d also suggest checking out this Lancetfish video which shows a spear fisher showing off his latest catch: