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Rare 18-Foot Giant Oarfish Discovered Off California Coast [Photo, Video]

ABC News

It’s not technically a sea monster, but the rare oarfish has understandably earned the misnomer. And after members of a snorkeling team discovered the carcass of an oarfish while diving near the coast of Southern California, people across the country are talking about the amazing sea creature.

According to ABC, Catalina Island Marine Institute instructor Jasmine Santana made the startling find during what was supposed to be a “leisurely snorkeling trip.” Measuring 18 feet, the dead oarfish took over a dozen people to lift off the ground.

If you’re afraid of fish, the oarfish is the stuff of nightmares. It has a long, serpent-like body and giant eyes. It’s the longest bony fish alive, but it’s just that: a fish.

If the giant oarfish doesn’t look familiar, it’s because actually seeing one is quite rare. That quality has helped create a mysterious element to the oarfish’s existence. It is not a legend or a sea monster, but its appearance has certainly fueled that misconception.

Other Giant Oarfish Sitings

This isn’t the first time an oarfish has been discovered, however. Members of the US Navy stumbled upon a giant oarfish in 1996, and the below photo was published in a US Navy-owned publication.

giant oarfish
Photo: US NAVY

Watch Amazing Video of the Giant Oarfish

[via ABC]

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