For 2nd time in a week, last week the carcass of a ‘sea serpent’ attracts attention on Southern California beach. This time the 14-foot rare, snakelike oarfish was washed up in Oceanside, CA. Researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration retrieved the carcass, which was cut into sections for later study.
The incident is especially puzzling because of the discovery made five days earlier by a marine science instructor while snorkeling off Catalina Island. Jasmine Santana found an 18-foot-long oarfish floating nearby. The Catalina Island Marine Institute said oarfish “are rarely seen, dead or alive.” Oarfish can grow to more than 50 feet, making them the longest bony fish in the world. It is believed that oarfish dive over 3,000 feet deep, which leaves them largely unstudied, and little is known about their behavior or population.
It remains unclear why the two incidents of oarfish were found in shallow water, but it appeared they have both died naturally.