Scientists Have Been Baffled by the Appearance of Cannibal Fish on the Oregon Coast

Something doesn’t seem quite right here. Several cannibalistic “twilight zone” animals have recently washed up on Oregon’s beaches, leaving scientists perplexed. Several lancetfish, one of the biggest fish in the ocean, were discovered scattered throughout a 230-mile stretch of the state’s shore.

“No one is sure why they are washing ashore,” the state parks department said. However, the bodies of not every one of these infamously carnivorous and hermaphroditic animals may be found on the shore.

Scientists Have Been Baffled Cannibal Fish on the Oregon Coast

Some beachgoers reported seeing at least one living fish, which they “helped back to the ocean,Β and it swam off.”

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Service reports that although lancetfish (whose scientific name Alepisaurus means “scaleless lizard”) are most often found in tropical and subtropical seas, they will go as far north as the Bering Sea in Alaska in search of food.

Although they have been seen in quite shallow waters, the twilight zoneβ€”between 650 and 3,300 feet below the surfaceβ€”is where they feel most at home.

In general, lancetfish do not frequent the waters immediately adjacent to the coasts of North America. Scientists speculate that the lancets washing ashore may be injured or unwell to the point that they cannot swim. Recent storms are being considered as a possible reason for their arrival.

Jessa Martin


Jessa Martin is an accomplished news writer with a passion for keeping the community informed about the latest events and happenings in Hillsboro and the surrounding areas. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for storytelling, Jessa has become a go-to source for breaking news and in-depth reporting.As a news writer for, Jessa covers a wide range of topics, from local politics and government to community events and human interest stories. Their writing is always informative, insightful, and engaging, offering readers a deeper understanding of the issues that matter most to the people of Hillsboro.

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