Bizarre Fish With 'Human-Like' Teeth Caught In North Carolina

Bizarre Fish With 'Human-Like' Teeth Caught In North Carolina

The fish has several rows of molars in its mouth which are used for crushing oysters and other prey.

Talk about eerie underwater creatures. What looks like it's straight out of a horror movie is the mouth of a fish discovered in North Carolina. Although its teeth aren't as sharp as the shark in Jaws, it's still pretty creepy for how similar it looks to human teeth. A photo of the fish was shared by Jennette's Pier, a fishing destination in Nag's Head, North Carolina. The fish was reportedly reeled in by Nathan Martin, who is a regular on the pier. It even has a name: it's called a sheepshead fish. The reason seems pretty obvious. Just take a look at the shape of the fish's snout and its teeth. The molars clearly resemble those of a sheep! Martin said he had been hoping to catch one when he came face-to-face with a "mouth full of teeth." "It's a very good fight when you're fighting on the line, it's a really good catch, and it tastes very good," he told McClatchy News, according to BBC.



Some Facebook users joked that the fish had better teeth than they did, while others suggested the teeth could offer "a cheap dental solution." Some even had a hard time believe that the fish was even real in the first place with one user saying, "Some of the worst photoshop I've seen!" Another person joked: I'm done. Nope, you have gone too far nature. Way too far! One user added: A face only a mother could love.



Let's get an expert's opinion in on the picture. According to David Catania, California Academy of Science collections manager for ichthyology, this type of fish isn't as uncommon as one may believe. “It’s found in the western Atlantic from New York to Brazil and is common in Florida where the video appears to have been taken. The morphology and arrangement of the teeth support an omnivorous diet like human teeth with incisors in front and molars in back,” Catania told Snopes. If you do spot one in the water, don't worry about it biting back. “I would not hesitate to swim in waters inhabited by these fish. They pose no threat to humans unless harassed. Since they are good to eat, sheepshead are targeted by anglers, so the handling of one after capture creates the possibility of being bitten or poked by their sharp dorsal fin spines,” said Catania. If you want to get into the nitty-gritty scientific aspects of the animal's mouth, it's interesting to note that the fish's teeth are coated with the same thing as human teeth enamel.  Their molars play a role in crushing shelled invertebrates like crabs and barnacles. According to the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, humans enjoy eating the animal for its flavorful white meat. It apparently "resembles snapper meat" and has "no oily character." It also states that sheepshead are excellent food fish, but are "scorned by many anglers because of the difficulty in cleaning them and their relatively low yield of meat compared to other species."