A “Gruesome” deep-sea creature with “very sharp” teeth gave a runner a fright after he managed to get his foot trapped in its jaws on a Welsh beach.
Andy Rees was running along the sands at Three Cliffs Bay in Gower when he spotted what he thought might be a dead baby seal washed up.
He decided to approach the creature to see if it was dead and attempted to nudge it over with his foot to check.
Mr Rees said: “I decided to turn it over with my foot to be sure what it was, not realising I'd put my foot in its huge mouth.
“As I flipped it over my foot got stuck in the teeth inside the mouth, which gave me a bit of a shock. Its mouth was huge, with very sharp teeth. It was a gruesome, frightening-looking fish.
“I could feel how sharp the teeth were as I struggled to free my foot from its mouth!”
Mr Rees soon realised he had encountered an anglerfish, which is a species typically found at depths of 550m to 2000m.
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Its teeth had pierced the top of his shoes and sunk into his foot but thankfully did not go through his skin.
In all his time on the beach or in the sea, Mr Rees has never encountered an anglerfish and has only seen it in photographs, although he admits it is “a very ugly-looking fish.”
He said: “I always thought anglerfish only live in the deep ocean, so I was surprised to see it in our local shallow waters.
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“The most curious thing was a large spine about 30cm long on top of its head, with a fleshy bit at the end.
“That's what made me think it might be an anglerfish – as they use the fleshy bit as a lure to attract the fish they prey on.”
Anglerfish will be known to many from a cameo appearance in 2003 film Finding Nemo, when one nearly devoured Dory after entrancing her with its lure.
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In Mr Rees' photos, the guts of the creature are visible as it lies belly-up on the beach.
Then, when the fish is flipped over, its impressive array of teeth can be seen, along with the lure protruding from its head.
Andy estimates the animal was more than half a metre long.
However, it is still unclear how the deep-sea fish ended up at the surface, but experts have a theory.
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A spokesperson from the Marine Conservation Society said: “It’s likely the fish has ended up on the coast as a result of the stormy weather we’ve been having lately.”
Mr Rees believes the anglerfish may have been attacked by a seal or something similar.
He said: “Its innards we're exposed and its tail had been bitten I think. It didn't smell though, so I don't think it had been dead for long.”
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