An angler was left shocked after yanking a fish from the depths that appears to have a set of almost human teeth.
It’s a seriously weird fish, and once you’ve seen it you’re unlikely to forget it.
The strange creature was fished out of a spot near to Melbourne in the US state of Florida, and fisherman Paul Lore was as surprised as anyone by the unusual gnashers on it.
The 33-year-old said: “It has a zebra pattern of colouring and the body is more like a snapper-type fish – very compact but meaty.”
“The teeth can only be described as human-like teeth, but upon further inspection you’ll notice they have rows of these teeth like a shark.
“Most of them have two to three rows with very strong bite power – not enough to take a finger but enough to make you never go near the teeth again.”
He added: “It’s one of the weirdest fish I have encountered just based off the appearance.”
What he’s actually stumbled across here is a sheepshead, and they’re actually not so unusual around the Gulf and Atlantic coasts of the USA.
Mr. Lore, who is originally from Honolulu in Hawaii, explained the reasons why the sheepshead has such humanoid chompers.
He said: “They use these teeth to break barnacles, clam shells, and crab shells.”
“They mainly consumes crustaceans, so they need these type of teeth to break them open.
“Then the shells come out of their gills almost like a filter so they do not consume a lot of the shell.”
He continued: “The fish is nicknamed ‘the poor man’s crab’ around my parts.”
“That’s because they are easy to catch and they mainly eat different types of crab and shrimp so they taste like crab meat.
“They are very strong swimmers, as soon as you hook them they swim sideways with a lot of force so even a small one feels like a huge fish.”
The sheepshead start to grow their teeth when they are only 4.5 millimetres long, and have their full set of chompers by the time they are 15 millimetres.
Over the course of their life, they can grow to be 76cm long.
The sheepshead are so well known around that particular part of the eastern United States that there is even a bay called Sheepshead Bay in New York City.
Don’t worry about this one though, because after catching it, Paul released it back into the wild.
Images Credit: Pen News
By Tom Wood