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Strange Fish Washes Ashore in the Cayman Islands, Baffles Locals

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Cayman Brac -- A strange looking sea creature washed up on the shores of Cayman Brac this weekend.

Layman Scott found the fish while walking along the beach early Sunday morning. It is roughly thirty inches long, more than half of which is a long, eel-like tail attached to a fish body. It has pale pink scales, pectoral fins, a dorsal fin and a small feathery fin on its belly.

Local fishermen say they have not seen a creature quite like this before. It has boney bristles all along its spine, right down to the tip of its tail and small sharp teeth, which curve slightly inward.

The sighting has been reported to the Department of Environment, but meanwhile, The Bracker and Little Caymanian is inviting readers to see if they can identify this fish.


Views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of, its staff or its advertisers.

Reader Comments

43 people have commented so far. cloud add your comment

another example of nature hitting back. Misfit, genetic freak.......what if this thing bites. Maybe we can fish it heavily until they are all gone like everything else.
   comment# 1   - rehwaldt · usa · Nov 22, 2006 @ 10:09pm

I'd say that this, indeed, is a mutation of either and Angler fish, or Puffer fish. The mutations may have made those teeth much smaller, and the Puffer fish idea relates to the size of it's body. This fish, if it could be found in the deeper waters would be truly an amazing sight as it's tail would provide information on how early fish may have initially began to swim.
   comment# 2   - I'd like to be referred to as: Leet · Australia · Dec 7, 2006 @ 2:36am

try to get the dna and get other fish that look it and see if their dna are similar.
   comment# 3   - Shanee' · Cayman · Dec 29, 2006 @ 3:54pm

It's a Ratfish
   comment# 4   - Neale · Prince Georg, Canada · Jan 5, 2007 @ 4:24pm

Looks like some type of chimaera. Deep-sea fish. Note the proximity of trench depths around location where the fish was found.
   comment# 5   - Rob · Boston,USA · Feb 11, 2007 @ 10:48am

no matter what it is, IŽd like to see that creature alive
   comment# 6   - Sofie · Germany · Feb 16, 2007 @ 2:18am

Given its large eyes (better to pick up the weak light far beneath the surface of the ocean), large mouth, eel like tail, and pink color (deep sea creatures are often have reddish color. Because red light waves do not reach far past the surface of the water, and thus anything that is red is essentially invisible to larger predators at deep depths.) It makes sense that it was some sort of deep sea thing. They always seem to look rather monstrous, like this one.
   comment# 7   - Jessie · Boston, USA · Feb 24, 2007 @ 10:27pm

   comment# 8   - 72SWORDFISH · FIJI · Mar 24, 2007 @ 5:01pm

Whatever it is I am sure that all the countries will try to find one alive so they can kill it only to disect it, just like the giant squid just leave them alone and deal with the land animals that r in danger
   comment# 9   - lottie · U.S.A · May 2, 2007 @ 9:03am

It's definitely from the deeper reaches of the ocean. I'm surprised it washed-up intact. Most fish wash-up half eaten, by then.
   comment# 10   - Dilberto · Indio, USA · May 20, 2007 @ 3:10am

Looks like a bloated macrourid of which there are many genera and species, all deep water.
   comment# 11   - ichthyos · USA · Jun 7, 2007 @ 8:12am

it does look like an eel got mixed with some species of chimarea fish or at least a puffer but its eyes tell of great depths and its strange coloring. its odd mouth looks like a giant lampray (i wonder if its naturaly bloated) and it has wierd scale shaping
   comment# 12   - donald high · york ,usa · Jun 27, 2007 @ 12:35pm

This large species occurs right around the world in deep water. It was described in 1887 from an animal collected from the nearby Kermadec Islands , north of New Zealand . It is the second largest member of this diverse family of deep-sea fishes. Rattails get their name from their long narrow tail. Different species have very different head shapes, depending on their lifestyles. This large species has a rounded head and a mouth which faces forward to catch squid and fish that swim up off the seafloor. As in most other rattails, the males of this species have a special drum machine on their swim bladder that is used to attract females. They have to be careful though, as other fish like morid cods have hydrophones on their swim bladders to hunt down the sources of such noises.
   comment# 13   - richard turner · uk · Jul 4, 2007 @ 10:01am

like all closed minded people all they want to do is kill something before we can study it! i am sure the thing does not bite nor does it hunt people! by the looks of the fish it appears it would live in very very deep water! very unlikey it would bite people! so before making a statement about killing them all learn first before killing!
   comment# 14   - Tony · UAS · Jul 4, 2007 @ 5:12pm

i dont think its a mutation. i say its a new species that scientist haven't discovered but like scientist their going to want to disect it and try looking for more fish in the ocean just like it but its very fascinating that a fish like that has been spotted. usually people who see dead creatures on shore ignore it its pretty fascinating
   comment# 15   - melissa · othello ,washington · Jul 7, 2007 @ 6:57pm

you guys are retarded, its just another odd deep sea fish, in paleontology i have seen far stranger things, and even in terms of deep sea creatures this is pretty normal.
   comment# 16   - durkadurka · abugarib · Jul 11, 2007 @ 6:20pm

Obviously piece of "resurrected" Burges Shale.
   comment# 17   - J. Selley · UK · Aug 3, 2007 @ 7:04am

i think it is some type of barracuda that has evolved over the years and is now a rare some thing you know i'll just call it a old style baricuda ANOTHER THERY :it is what the baricuda looked like thousnds of years ago or ANOTHER THERY: it went tha same as the barracuda but a ratfish
   comment# 18   - kayla · texas rox!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! · Nov 24, 2007 @ 8:03pm

Saccopharynx ampullaceus is probably the species that this fish thing is,search it... normally this species is thin but it may have eaten a lot before dying.
   comment# 19   - Gary-Ray · Vanburen Ar. · Nov 27, 2007 @ 12:51pm

Looks like a Giant Rattail
   comment# 20   - Eric · Indianapolis, United States · Dec 22, 2007 @ 5:39pm

...It IS a rather large rattail you idiots...Eric seems to be the only one with a little sense around here....Genetic mutation because of human?...don't make me laugh, that takes hundreds of thousands of the least
   comment# 21   - Clavain · USA · Feb 7, 2008 @ 4:14pm

Hi, just saw a program , think it was called Lobster Wars and they talked and showed a fish that is now protected called a wolf fish, the gills are very delicate and they gave about 15 suggestions on how trawlers and fishing boats should treat the fish. They come in a variety of markings and are as ugly as the one shown.
   comment# 22   - Janet Howard · Brougham, Canada · Feb 25, 2008 @ 5:45pm

Guys, Guys, Guys... This is CLEARLY a Giant Grenadier. Here's a link, if you doubt me. MYSTERY SOLVED.
   comment# 23   - Chris · North Vancouver, Canada · Mar 28, 2008 @ 6:37pm

It could be a mutated guppy sent to devour all of us by the evil leaders of Iran. Let's all flee. AAAHHHHH!!!!!
   comment# 24   - Rollie · Phillipsburg · Apr 22, 2008 @ 5:31am

eh its just a rat fish found deep down in the ocean iv seen them before alive as well its not mutated just odd is all
   comment# 25   - clayton · perth australia · Jun 11, 2008 @ 7:25pm

I agree with the Giant Grenadier comment
   comment# 26   - Matthew · QLD, Australia · Jul 3, 2008 @ 8:15pm

wow thats really cool but weird to
   comment# 27   - josh · England · Jul 8, 2008 @ 1:37am

It is a rat fish
   comment# 28   - tom · england · Sep 14, 2008 @ 1:33pm

I think that tail looks kinda like an eels. It's weird ,but,cool.
   comment# 29   - claudia hackett · pentwater, USA · Oct 17, 2008 @ 10:24am

does no one pay attention? The fish washed up on shore, was not killed, so quit yer whining about killing the poor fishies. also Several sources are able to tell you the name of the fish. RATFISH. accept it, these are not aliens, just bizarre creations that you have yet to experience. it s a VERY DEEP SEA fish, meaning YOU AREN'T likely to see it, are you? there are much stranger things out there, that may never be discovered. This HAS been.
   comment# 30   - manda · Amherstburg, CANADA · Nov 4, 2008 @ 11:21pm

   comment# 31   - Jimmy · USA · Dec 18, 2008 @ 10:23am

cool. It look abit scary. lol. It is a deep-sea fish. Deep-sea fish are usually ugly........... no. Very Very ugly.
   comment# 32   - usa roxs lol · somewhere · Feb 11, 2009 @ 3:23am

awesome looking fish but kinda weird...
   comment# 33   - ben johnson · toronto, canada · Apr 26, 2009 @ 11:29am

im sure ive seen this fish before in cornwall but it wasnt as long and it looked a bit more like a monkfish but it had the same tail and everything.
   comment# 34   - usayd · birmingham · May 30, 2009 @ 2:53am

Why is it 'up' here?
   comment# 35   - Bill · USA · Jan 22, 2010 @ 8:39pm

i thnk this thing scares me!!!! it is kind of cool although after u just ate haliabut it does not agree with your stomach!!!!!!! please do not show pics unless it is in the pics "file" thnx
   comment# 36   - cary · new brunswick · Jan 23, 2010 @ 11:55am

it fites the look of the whight river monster
   comment# 37   - Chris · USA · Aug 25, 2010 @ 5:44pm

   comment# 38   - Daryl · USA · Oct 5, 2010 @ 12:15pm

wow...!!!!.....looks like we finally discoverd the secret of mermaids....!!!!.....wish i could stumble on one....
   comment# 39   - Karishma · Chennai , India · Oct 17, 2010 @ 10:44pm

ewwwww i hate ells
   comment# 40   - cynthia · u.s · May 19, 2011 @ 6:07pm

Maybe some foreign substance(toxic could have mutated the creature).
   comment# 41   - flameforjustice · usa · Jun 30, 2011 @ 7:58pm

ok people..this is whats known as a Grenadier,found commonly off the coast of newfoundland.I assure you its no genetic is however a very ugly looking fish with little needle-like spines protruding from the scales,commonly caught in deeper waters.
   comment# 42   - smitty · Newfoundland,Canada · Jul 31, 2011 @ 2:08pm

I dont have a comment; however, I would like it if someone would please send me a picture of a steak fish with the head on. PLEASE. Cant seem to find one. Or they just dont want no one to know. I dont care I just want to know what I am eating looks like. I know it might be ugly but I'll still eat steak fish!!!
   comment# 43   - Desma · Baltimore · Aug 12, 2011 @ 6:59pm
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