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18-Foot Oarfish Livens Up A 'Leisurely Snorkel' In California

18-Foot Oarfish Livens Up A 'Leisurely Snorkel' In California

October 18, 2013 - A snorkeler off the coast of California found more than she bargained for on the ocean floor Sunday, when she saw the large eyes of an 18-foot fish staring back at her. It turned out to be a dead oarfish, a mysterious creature known to live in waters thousands of feet deep.

The discovery at the bottom of Toyon Bay at Catalina Island came as a shock to Jasmine Santana, an instructor at the Catalina Island Marine Institute, who approached the ribbon-like animal with care before realizing it was dead. Its body was "almost perfectly intact," the institute says. It may have died of natural causes.

As Santana tried to pull the sea creature through the shallows and up to a beach, other instructors spotted her and pitched in. It took at least 15 of them to hoist the oarfish, which brought a surprise ending to what had been a "leisurely" afternoon snorkel.

The institute, which runs a camp and activities for children, has contacted ocean wildlife experts about the find. The oarfish is the longest bony fish in the world; one specimen was reported as being 36 feet in length, according to the Florida Museum of Natural History.

Sources and more information:

Snorkeler finds 18-foot Oarfish off Catalina Island

CATALINA ISLAND, Calif. - It's certainly something snorkelers don't encounter everyday. Jasmine Santana, a marine science instructor with the Catalina Island Marine Institute, got the shock of a lifetime after coming face-to-face with an 18-foot sea creature while snorkeling on Sunday. According to California's KTLA, Santana came across the rare...

Oarfish carcass discovered near Catalina Island

And the finders are keepers. They are thrilled. 18-foot oarfish caught by Catalina marine science instructor. A marine science instructor has made what's being called the discovery of a lifetime: She found an 18-foot-long oarfish Sunday in Toyon Bay on Catalina Island. While snorkeling, Jasmine Santana of the Catalina Island Marine Institute...

Rare 18-Foot Oarfish Found Dead Near Catalina Island

18-foot-long oarfish found off the Californian coast

Meet the oarfish: Rare 18-foot 'sea serpent' found at Catalina

Terrifying-Looking 18-Foot Oarfish Discovered Off Of Catalina Island

( via npr.org )


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