Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Giant Sea Creature

Did you see this picture in the paper a whole back?

People hoist the body of an 18-foot oarfish that was discovered in Toyon Bay at Catalina Island off the California coast.
This monstrous-looking creature is an oarfish and was found near Catalina Island, off the coast of California by a snorkeler, who discovered it lying on the bottom. It seems that it had recently died, probably of natural causes and amazingly, she was able to bring it up and toward shore where others noticed that she needed help and pitched in to land it on the beach.
The oarfish, also called a ribbon fish is a rarely seen creature thanks to its deep-sea habitat (although they tend to come to the surface when sick/dying) Oarfish are bony fish, growing up to 60 ft. long. Here's a video taken of one a few years ago. At just under 10 minutes, this video is far longer than needed to see the beauty of an oarfish, but it's somewhat more interesting after the 8:30 mark, so just fast forward. I found it interesting that since there's nothing near this oarfish, there is no way to judge its size. Also, as we might expect, the fish is so much more beautiful in its ocean habitat than on land.

This 13-foot oarfish washed up in Spain in August:
Images from Ideal.es Ameria/Facebook
And here's a 1996 photo of US servicemen with an oarfish they found:
This 1996 photo shows U.S. servicemen with an oarfish found on the shore of the Pacific Ocean near San Diego, California. Oarfish of this size are extremely rare. The one pictured here was 23-feet long and weighed 300 pounds. (Wikimedia Commons)