A rarely-seen lancetfish made an appearance on a North Carolina beach.
Near Jeanette’s Pier in Nags Head, North Carolina, this lancetfish washed ashore and was photographed.
The images were posted to the pier’s Facebook page, where comments reported that it bumped into a man in the water. About a minute later it washed ashore, snapping its mouth and looking in generally rough shape.
This species rarely comes close to shore, and it’s the only living genus in the family Alepisauridae, which means “scaleless lizard” in Greek.
The fish was released back into the water after these photos were taken.
The lancetfish can grow up to six and a half feet, and though it’s widely distributed throughout the world’s oceans, little is known about their biology. They have a long and high dorsal fin, not shown in the photos.
Oh, and it’s carnivorous. Go figure.
Images via Jeanette’s Pier/Facebook/Leif Rasmussen