On the beaches of California not one but two rare deep-sea fishes have been found and this has caused rumours on social media which suggest that an earthquake is on its way.
The first Oarfish was found in South Catalina recently when a Marine science instructor Jasmine Santana was snorkelling and spotted the carcass of it. The first Oarfish was 5.5m or 18ft long. It took 15 people to drag it back to land.
The second Oarfish was found in Oceanside last week and measured 14ft which is 4.3 metres long. Scientists are amazed because these fish can dive to around 5,000ft deep in search of food.
The rumours of the earthquake come from an ancient Japanese myth that says the Oarfish beach themselves to send a sign of an awaiting earthquake. After the huge shocks in Haiti and Taiwan in 2010, 10 Oarfish washed up on shore in Japan but the next major earthquake in the country was a year later in March 2011.
The scientists have now dissected the larger specimen of the Oarfish and say that it appears to be well-fed, healthy and with little sign of disease. Russ Vetter, director of southwest Fisheries Science Centre told the Daily Mirror, “We are very intrigued, this is an opportunity for the scientific community to study different aspect of this fish that we know absolutely nothing about.” He was keen to find out what had killed the fish too but for now the scientists think that it died of natural causes.
Suzanne Kohin is part of the National Marine Fisheries and in an interview with she said, “These two events that we heard of in the last few weeks are the only ones I’ve ever heard of.” The experts are still studying the tissue samples of the elusive fish and have yet to totally dismiss a link with their appearance and any seismic activity.
Do you think there is any mileage in the Japanese myth or just a co-incidence ?
Zarina, Year 8
Boston High Newsroom