This amazingly creepy fish has human-like teeth and a crushing bite. But what is it?

This creepy fish has teeth like a human, and reportedly one heck of a bite.
This creepy fish has teeth like a human, and reportedly one heck of a bite.

A photo of an unidentified fish with a toothy human smile was the source of a riddle posed Wednesday by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

What exactly is it?

State biologists decided to have some fun on social media and see if anyone could identify the fish by the "human-like incisors and molars." A photo of the fish was posted on the department's Facebook page.

Dozens responded to the challenge and the collective guess was sheepshead, a type of saltwater fish famed for having a crushing, painful bite when humans grab it the wrong way.

Connie Lindler seemed to sum up what a lot of people were thinking when she called it both "cool and creepy" in a Facebook post.

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Sheepshead can get more than 35 inches long and weigh as much as 21 pounds, reported ScienceABC.com. It's believed the fish got its name because the teeth also resemble those of a sheep, the site says.

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"Didn't know sheepshead had teeth like a horse," posted Austin Davis on the Facebook page of the SC Department of Natural Resources.

"Those suckers bite and ask questions latter!" posted diver Ben Hannon on Facebook. "I had them bite through my 7mm wetsuit on a decompression stop...Would have rather tangled with a Barracuda!"

Mark Price: 704-358-5245, @markprice_obs