Long-Snouted Lancetfish Washes Ashore Alive in North Carolina (VIDEO)

May 21, 2014 08:46 AM EDT | Matt Mercuro


Last week an evil-looking fanged fish washed ashore on Jennette's Pier in Nags Head, North Carolina, leaving visitors of the pier shocked, according to the Daily Mail.

The gigantic fish, which was still alive when it washed ashore, was determined to be a long-snouted lancetfish (Alepisaurus ferox) commonly known as handsaw fish.

The fish can grow up to 6.6 feet in length and are known for having a tall dorsal fin and large fangs. They are also cannibalistic in nature, according to the Daily Mail.

"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?" Jennette's Pier wrote on their Facebook page.

Famous for being an ambush predator, lancetfish are not considered fit for human consumption, and they often wind up being used as bait.

Lancetfish can be found in open water in subtropical and tropical locations. They have been spotted before in places like Iceland and Greeland however, according to the Daily Mail.

Photos of the fish have gone viral since lancetfish are rarely scene or caught.

The lancetfish was released back into the water after a few photos were taken.

Officials believe that the fish washed ashore because it was sick.

Biologists have yet to figure out the life cycle of the lancetfish yet that usually inhabit the open ocean.

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