“Extremely rare” deep-sea fish dumped on California beach

Another extremely rare deep-sea fish was discarded on a beach in California this month, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, reported Tuesday.

Scientists said they received notification Dec. 10 of a dead female Pacific fish found on Swamy’s Beach in Encinitas, San Diego County. The creature is nearly 13 inches long and weighs 5 pounds, Scripps spokeswoman Brittany Hook said in a press release.

This is the third sighting of a deep-sea fish in the beach area in the past month, including the second such Pacific fish that was photographed Nov. 13 at La Jolla Beach. The unusual 4-foot fish was also found dead Dec. 1 in the sand at La Jolla Shores Beach.

“Experts don’t have any data to suggest why these fish are washed ashore in Southern California, but they are interested in learning more about specimens already collected or new ones that may be found,” Hook said.

The institute called the latest find “extremely rare,” noting that only 31 known specimens of the individual have ever been found. Tissue samples of the fish are being collected for genetic analysis, and the contents of its stomach are expected to be studied by researchers from Anela Choi’s Scripps Laboratory.

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