PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Serpent-like, deep-sea fish with protruding fangs, elevator-button eyes and scaleless, slithery bodies are washing up along Oregon beaches — and biologists aren’t sure why.
The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department announced on Monday, May 1 that numerous lancetfish have washed ashore in Oregon in recent weeks. From Nehalem to Bandon, beachgoers have reported dead or dying lancetfish in the local surf.
“These deep-sea fish live in tropical and subtropical waters and can migrate as far north as the Bering Sea to feed,” the agency stated on social media. “No one is sure why they are washing ashore.”
One lancetfish was found alive and helped back into the ocean, where it swam away, officials said. Beachgoers who locate a lancetfish along the beach are encouraged to take a photo and post the sighting to the Oregon State Parks and NOAA Fisheries West Coast Facebook pages.