Scary-Looking, Strange Fish Found in Area Sand
A surfing group is urging beachgoers to look out for a scary-looking fish that was found lurking in the Virginia Beach, Virginia, sand.
The East Coast Surfing Championships said some people came across a northern stargazer fish while walking, according to the group's Facebook post.
Ray Jones, who is visiting Lewes, responds to the odd sight. "The water is pretty much opaque. You can't see through it. So as long as I don't see it, I don't know it's there. He jokingly adds, "If I do see it, I'll probably run out screaming like a little girl."
The northern stargazer is a strange-looking fish with a speckled, flattened body and a large head, according to the Chesapeake Bay Program. The rare, frightening sight of the fish along the shoreline is alarming. It normally lives at the bottom of the lower Chesapeake Bay's deep, open waters.
The northern stargazer is described as a blackish-brown fish with white spots that gradually get bigger from its head to its tail. It's flattened body can grow to 22 inches in length, but it averages 8 to 18 inches in length, experts said. Its mouth and eyes are located on the top of its large head, facing upward. Three dark, horizontal lines appear on its tail.
The Chesapeake Bay Program said stargazers bury in the sand with their eyes and mouth sticking out in order to ambush prey.
East Coast Surfing Championships said no one was hurt at the time of the daunting discovery. While northern stargazers don't pose any real threat to humans, their electric spines could, according to local surfing officials.