A heavily-fanged cannibal fish has left experts utterly baffled after washing up on a popular beach.
The creepy fish was spotted in Portland, Oregon, and is know as the Longnose Lancetfish.
Although rarely seen, it normally lives between 200 to 1,000 metres below sea level, but has somehow found itself flopping up to scare beachgoers in the United States.
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The fish is known for its large eyes and rows of dagger-like teeth as well as having slinky, scale-less bodies with gelatinous flesh and a large “sail-like” fin – essentially, a fish of nightmares.
But they are also known as the cannibal fish because they eat other members of their own species.
Lancetfish, can grow up to 2.1m long, and are known to migrate as far north as the Bering Sea to feed..
However, several have now been found along a 134 mile stretch of coastline near Portland, on beaches from Bandon to Nehalem.
An Oregon State Parks spokesman said: “No one is sure why they are washing ashore.”
Only one lancetfish was found still alive on the beach and it was helped back into the water before swimming away.
The dead fish were taken away for analysis to establish what caused them to mysteriously wash ashore in the same area.
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Daniel J. Kamikawa, biologist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. said the fish may have washed ashore due to the “drag effect” of recent stormy weather.
He also said that the phenomenon could have been caused by disabling diseases or temporal shock, which is when a fish is suddenly exposed to water that is far colder than what its used to.
Ben Frable, fish scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, said the phenomenon could also be related to changes in “climate patterns in the Pacific Ocean”.
As a result of the odd event, Oregon State Parks has now called on residents to take photos and tag the agency on online posts should they happen upon any more on the coast.
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