A rare oarfish found in California may actually have something in common with Dwayne Johnson’s San Andreas movie, according to one scientist. In 2015, California earthquake predictions continue to scare, but Japanese myths about an oarfish sighting may be a scientific indicator for natural disaster.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, a new frog species discovered in 2015 looks like Kermit the Frog from the Muppets. A giant squid found in New Zealand is a mystery since scientists are uncertain what caused its death.
Annie MacAulay, founder of the Mountain and Sea Adventures non-profit organization, was excited to see the rare oarfish found in California.
“I’ve lived on the island for over 20 years, and I’m on the water all the time and I’ve never seen one,” said MacAulay. “The oarfish are really deep fish … usually they come up only if they are sick or if they are dying. Because they’re such deep water fish they’re so rare for us to have a sighting of them, and there’s hardly been any sighting historically of them alive.”
This is the second rare oarfish found in California in recent times, with the first being only 18 months ago in the same area near Catalina Island. Cal State Fullerton will investigate the 15-foot oarfish’s cause of death with a necropsy, but the sea serpent had already been pecked away by sea gulls by time researchers got hold of the sample. But the oarfish photos seem to indicate no major wounds.
— Catalina Conservancy (@CIConservancy) June 2, 2015
So what does the rare oarfish found on Catalina Island have to do with California’s earthquake predictions? According to Rachel Grant, a lecturer in animal biology at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, a Japanese legend says oarfish sightings are common right before an earthquake occurs. The story goes that the dragon god of the sea uses oarfish as his messenger, and so sighting a dead oarfish found in your area means run for the hills, since a major quake may be coming.
“It’s theoretically possible because when an earthquake occurs there can be a build-up of pressure in the rocks which can lead to electrostatic charges that cause electrically-charged ions to be released into the water,” Dr. Grant explained. “This can lead to the formation of hydrogen peroxide, which is a toxic compound. The charged ions can also oxidise organic matter which could either kill the fish or force them to leave the deep ocean and rise to the surface. The geophysical processes behind these kinds of sighting can happen before an earthquake.”
The oarfish found on Catalina Island was sighted on Monday. As it just so happens, the USGS reports an earthquake occurred on Tuesday within the same general area, although it was centered further north within California. Coincidence?
While everyone talks about the San Andreas fault, it also just so happens that a study was recently published about the large Santa Cruz-Catalina Ridge and Ferrelo Fault, which are located in the ocean off of Southern California, near where Catalina Island’s oarfish was found. Geologist Mark Legg says his new maps reveal concerning details that point to the possibility of tsunami-causing earthquakes near California.
“We fanned out to get as much data as we could,” Legg explained, according to Wired. “These underwater faults aren’t as high priority as the San Andreas fault, which has big earthquakes. The faults offshore may not be moving as fast as San Andreas, but they are moving—and they are causing unexpected earthquakes.”
The danger zone stretches all the way up the coast line up toward Washington State and Oregon. Up in northern California is the Cascadia Subduction Zone, and geologist Robert H. Sydnor claims the largest earthquake on the West Coast may be a 9.0 magnitude quake.
Sydnor’s earthquake prediction claims the “big one” is due to happen within a century. So, if you ever hear about a bunch of oarfish found off of northern California, then you might want to run for the hills.