Another oarfish washes up in California

I wonder if it would have made news if not for the first one last week.

Second rare oarfish washes up in Southern California – U.S. News.

For the second time in a week, the rare, serpentine oarfish has surfaced on a Southern California beach.

Beach goers at Oceanside Harbor crossed paths Friday afternoon with the deep-sea monster when its carcass washed ashore, Oceanside Police Officer Mark Bussey said. The fish measured 13 ½ feet long.

Bussey recognized what it was based on the story from earlier in the week. It is unusual to find these creatures washed up on shore but it happens. Two in one week in the same general area is interesting. Can it mean that they are in danger from some factor? Or is it mating season? What does it mean, if anything?
oarfish bussey

The two latest oarfish finds are possibly just average sized. The giant oarfish species has been recorded at 56 feet long. This 23 ft long specimen was found in San Diego in 1966.

Wikipedia Commons

Wikipedia Commons

Note that the above photo is sometimes described as a depiction of US servicemen in Laos during the Vietnam War with a captured Mekong Dragon, Naga or huge eel. That is not accurate.

Tip: Jeb Card

  3 comments for “Another oarfish washes up in California

  1. Graham
    October 20, 2013 at 11:01 AM

    Small correction, that picture dates from 1996 not 1966. Though given what the soldiers (Navy SEALs) are wearing it is very hard to judge the period. Then again I’ve seen pictures of soldiers wearing Vietnam era uniforms during the occupation of Grenada in 1983.

  2. neko
    October 20, 2013 at 11:26 AM

    Exactly the best point of this story. Would it be reported, if the previous story wasn’t out there because it was a slow news day then, and the picture and serendipity angle on the story was so compelling?

    I’d love to know the answer. I suspect the answer is an important data point. A wide survey of such questions could lead to an understanding of how the public misperceives many issues numerically.

  3. spookyparadigm
    October 20, 2013 at 12:55 PM

    The wave of recoveries in Newfoundland after the classification of the giant squid might be a useful parallel

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