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Modern Day Sea Monster Found Dead
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A marine science instructor was almost scared out of her wits when she found an eighteen foot long oarfish at the bottom of the ocean during a relaxing, afternoon snorkel. Jasmine Snatana was swimming fifteen feet underwater off the Southern Californian coast when she realized something was staring up at her from the sandy sea floor. The fish itself was silver with reddish fins and half-dollar sized eyes. However, once she realized the fish was dead she could breathe again and decided to carry it back to shore with her.

“I was first a little scared,” Santana told CNN, “but when I realized it was an oarfish, I knew it was harmless.” The swim back to shore took fifteen minutes and since the carcass weighed four hundred pounds she needed help from fourteen other people to lift the long and heavy fish out of the water. It was unknown what the fish was doing in such shallow water, but it appeared to be dead from natural causes. CIMI, a marine-science study group, revealed, “Oarfish are found in all temperate to tropical waters, but are rarely seen, dead or alive. It is believed that oarfish dive over 3,000 feet deep, which leaves them largely unstudied and little is known about their behavior or population.” Mark Waddington, an observer from CIMI, said, “I was really amazed. It was like seeing something in a dream. It’s the first time I ever witnessed an oarfish this big.” The benefit of the oarfish discovery has helped marine biologist study and understand the giant fish a little more by allowing them to gather tissue and DNA samples. The fish’s skeleton will also be maintained and kept for educational study.

  
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Since so little is known about the oarfish, it can be seen and labeled as a modern day sea monster. Throughout literature and myth, the ocean has always been full of giant and dangerous fish. Jules Verne’s famous novel, Twenty-Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, uses the giant squid as the destroyer of Captain Nemo and his majestic submarine. In Moby Dick, Herman Melville wrote about the vengeful Captain Ahab and his quest to catch and kill the great white sperm whale that ultimately takes the obsessed Captain down with him into the cold and endless depths of the ocean. There is also the legend of the Loch Ness Monster a.k.a Big Blue. In Pirates of the Caribbean, Captain Jack Sparrow (played by actor Johnny Depp) gets swallowed by the enormous Kraken while trying to get off Davy Jones’s ship. Unlike all its counterparts though, the oarfish is simply harmless with no necessity to bother us and vice versa.

Image Credit: CNN

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