Sign Of The Apocalypse? Weird Fish Washing Ashore In Alaska

Strange creatures few can identify washing ashore in Alaska? Sounds like a bad plot spin-off of Sharknado.

Per the Anchorage Daily News, something at least close to this happened in Alaska:

The brown, frozen animal Rietze found is a ragfish, and little is known about them. A few have washed up on beaches in Gustavus and Juneau, according to recent news reports, but they’re a rare find. Commercial trawlers, seiners and gillnetters sometimes catch them off the southern coasts of California, north to the Bering Sea and in waters off Japan.

Because they live at great depth, few ragfish are found on beaches, according to a 2003 scientific paper written by George Allen, professor emeritus in the fisheries department at Humboldt State University. Southeast Alaska is the exception.

“A surprisingly large number of adults have been hand-collected from the beaches of bays and inlets of southeastern Alaska,” Allen wrote in the paper published by the Marine Fisheries Review. “Other recoveries from beaches in southeastern Alaska were made by school children on field trips and by young boys on fishing trips near Kake and Petersburg.”

 Allen drew on scientific literature, studies and accounts from fishermen dating back to 1880 as sources for his paper. Ragfish have come to scientists primarily through fishermen and citizens who deliver them to fisheries management personnel, museum curators and ichthyologists. In 1998 and 1999, state and federal fisheries biologists in Juneau and Petersburg provided researchers with 16 ragfish records.

Other specimens have been found in the stomachs of sperm whales and Steller sea lions.

OK, now.