Surprise discovery of huge tropical fish on US beach
A large colourful fish has washed ashore on the US coast, with aquarium officials describing it as a rare occurrence.
The 45-kilogram opah fish, also called a moon fish, was found on Sunset Beach in Seaside, a city in northwest Oregon.
“While rare this far north it is not unheard of,” Seaside Aquarium said of the unusual appearance of the fish in the area in a Facebook post.
Keith Chandler, the general manager of Seaside Aquarium, told CNN that finding an opah on the Oregon coast is “uncommon” and that the fish was “in such great shape”.
“They’re pretty cool fish, and we don’t normally see them on the shore,” said Mr Chandler.
“It was pretty exciting for locals.”
Due to the condition of the fish, Mr Chandler believes it had been on the beach for less than an hour before aquarium staff were notified.
“Unfortunately, it washed up not living, but we got to it before the birds,” he said.
Mr Chandler said the opah is being stored in a large freezer, and that one lucky school group would get the chance to dissect the fish once the school year starts.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), little is known about the opah since they live deep in the ocean.
The species is usually found in temperate and tropical waters.
The NOAA describes the opah as having a silvery-grey, round body, with a rose red belly, red fins, and eyes encircled with gold.
Image: Seaside Aquarium / Facebook