Another sea serpent look-alike found on California beach
October 21, 2013
A giant fish once thought to be a sea serpent appeared on a Southern California beach Friday. [10 News]
The 14-foot oarfish beached in Oceanside around 5 p.m. Friday, marking the second time in a week that an oarfish had appeared on land in Southern California. On October 13, a group of people found an 18-foot oarfish carcass just off Avalon.
The Oceanside oarfish, also dead, arrived on shore after a snorkeler spotted the sea creature and wrestled it to shore.
A third grade class on a beach trip witnessed the rare fish appear.
“I was thinking I have no idea what that is, and it looks like a snake, but it kind of looks like a giant eel,” said third grader Alexandria Boyle.
Scientists, too, are surprised by the consecutive oarfish appearances.
“It’s so rare to find in Southern California, especially in surface water,” said Suzanne Khoin of the National Marine Fisheries Service. “They thought it was a very rare event the first time, so these events that we heard of in the last few weeks are the only ones I’ve ever heard of.”
Oarfish are rarely seen at surface level. They typically live at depths below 3,000 feet.
Some oarfish grow to be more than 50 feet in length. The fish is believed to be the source of ancient myths about sea serpents.