Last updated: 04:03 PM ET, Sat July 09 2016

Scary-Looking Fish Found on Virginia Beach Shore

Impacting Travel | Amy Coyne Bredeson | July 09, 2016

Scary-Looking Fish Found on Virginia Beach Shore

Photo via Ashley Raper Starr, Facebook

A surfing organization recently warned beachgoers to be careful of a strange-looking fish on the sands of Virginia Beach, Va., The Associated Press reported. 

The East Coast Surfing Championships posted the advisory July 2 on its Facebook page

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“Check this out,” the post said. “A friend of ECSC came across this Stargazer while walking in Virginia Beach (note: these animals tend to live in the deep waters of the?#‎chesapeakebay?) but this one was found ocean side. Stargazers bury themselves in the sand in order to ambush prey. Their electric spines make them a serious predator. They do not pose any real threat to humans, but they sure look menacing. Too cool. Watch your step.”

According to the Chesapeake Bay Program's website, the northern stargazer has a sizable head and a flattened, blackish-brown body with white spots. The creature can grow up to 22 inches in length, but averages between 8 and 18 inches long. The fish’s mouth and eyes are on the top of its head, facing upward.

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This type of fish generally lives at the bottom of the lower Chesapeake Bay, the Chesapeake Bay website said, which makes it unusual to find one near the shore.

Surfing authorities told AP that northern stargazers are not a threat to people, however, their electric spines make them a dangerous predator.

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