A 13-foot-long oarfish that washed ashore in Oceanside, Calif. (Photo courtesy: Ghia Nellis)
Hide Caption

'Sea monster' oarfish washes ashore in Calif.

13-foot-long oarfish found on beach

a a a a
Share this story

OCEANSIDE, Calif. - For the second time in a week, a specimen of mystical fish once believed to be a sea serpent has been landed in Southern California.

This time, it was at Oceanside where an oarfish washed up on shore. The specimen was 13-1/2 feet long, according to a Scripps Research Institute researcher who measured the fish.

Last Sunday, an 18-foot dead oarfish was found just off Avalon. About a dozen people were needed to carry it ashore for a snapshot.

At 5 p.m. Friday, the shorter oarfish washed onto the southern jetty at the Oceanside Harbor jetty. This one was spotted by a snorkeler who wrestled the heavy, lifeless fish to shore.

It was the lesson of a lifetime for a of group third graders on a beach trip.

"I was like, 'Wow, that's an oar fish' … 'cause we're studying in class and stuff,'" said Destiny Crite. "I was amazed."

"I was thinking I have no idea what that is and like it looks like a snake but it kind of looks like a giant eel," said Alexandria Boyle.

It was an unusual find even for the scientist who came to collect it.

"It's so rare to find in Southern California, especially in surface water," said Suzanne Kohin, who is with the National Marine Fisheries Service. "They thought it was a very rare event the first time, so these two events that we heard of in the last few weeks are the only ones I've ever heard of."

Oarfish live at depths below 3,000 feet, and are rarely seen at the surface. Some have grown to more than 50 feet in length, and they are believed to be the source of ancient folk tales about sea serpents.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Print this article

Comments

Hmm... It looks like you’re not a WCPO Insider. or Subscribe now to contribute!

More Say What? News
Tri-State woman saves two lives in one day
Tri-State woman saves two lives in one day

Newport officials honored a Tri-State woman for saving two lives at different times in one day.

Teen survives in wheel well during Maui flight
Teen survives in wheel well during Maui flight

Officials say a 16-year-old boy is "lucky to be alive" and unharmed after flying from California to Hawaii stowed away in a…

Pot holiday '4/20' looks to go mainstream in CO
Pot holiday '4/20' looks to go mainstream in CO

Tens of thousands of revelers raised joints, pipes and vaporizer devices to the sky Sunday at a central Denver park in a defiant toast to the…

PD: Man pelts GF with eggs at Easter party
PD: Man pelts GF with eggs at Easter party

Pittsburgh police say a man threw hardboiled eggs at his girlfriend during an Easter egg decorating party, then tried to attack police.

Educator: 'Game of Thrones' pic got me suspended
Educator: 'Game of Thrones' pic got me suspended

A New Jersey professor claims he was suspended over an online photo containing a quote from "Game of Thrones" that he says a school…

Ohio woman finds bird leg in Dole spinach bag
Ohio woman finds bird leg in Dole spinach bag

An Ohio woman, who eats a salad nearly every day and makes spinach smoothies, has lost her appetite for her favorite vegetable after making a…

Nutty finale for 'Scandal,' TV's craziest show
Nutty finale for 'Scandal,' TV's craziest show

"Scandal" is arguably the nuttiest show on the air. But there's a method to its madness, demonstrated every week with OMG intensity.

Facebook to launch new location-sharing feature
Facebook to launch new location-sharing feature

Facebook users in the U.S. will soon be able to see which of their friends are in close proximity using a new feature the company is…

'Hefty Lefty' weighs in on NCAA ruling on food
'Hefty Lefty' weighs in on NCAA ruling on food

The former NFL and University of Kentucky quarterback playfully referred to as "Hefty Lefty" is having a little fun on social media…

Male cop dresses as Amish woman to stop flasher
Male cop dresses as Amish woman to stop flasher

A western Pennsylvania police officer says he spent much of December and January dressed as an Amish woman in hopes of scaring off a man…