The seven-foot fish washed up at UC Santa Barbara’s Coal Oil Point Reserve in Southern California last week.

“It’s the most unusual fish you’ve ever seen,” said the UC Santa Barbara associate professor. “It has no tail. All of its teeth are fused, so it doesn’t have any teeth. It’s just got this big round opening for a mouth.”

At first, researchers thought it was a similar of sunfish. But after they found that it is a species never seen before in North America.

“When the clear pictures came through, I thought there was no doubt. This is totally a hoodwinker. I couldn’t believe it. I nearly fell out of my chair.” said Marianne Nyegaard, a marine scientist who discovered the species in 2017.

Marianne spent years to chase the fish before she named and located it.

She told that all cases of the big fish were found in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Chile.

According to the scientists, there are five species of saltwater sunfish and all come from different places.

And the hoodwinker prefers temperate water.

“We know it has the temperate distribution around here and off the coast of Chile, but then how did it cross the equator and turn up by you guys? It’s intriguing what made this fish cross the equator.” Marianne said.

However, how it got there is unknown.

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