Oarfish: California Sighting Finds Sea Serpent Second Time, Baffles Scientists [Video]

An oarfish in California is generating rumors of sea serpents of legend being real.

As previously reported by The Inquisitr, a giant squid was found in Spain and the sea monster was much larger than previous discoveries.

As a comparison, California’s oarfish, or Regalecus glesne, measured only 14 feet and the giant squid was more than double that. The first oarfish found by a marine instructor snorkeling off Santa Catalina Island was measured at a mere 18 feet long. But these sea monsters can grow to be the width of a human torso and the largest oarfish ever found was 26 feet long, although it’s believed they can grower to larger than 50 feet.

The oarfish is a creature that is thought to have inspired legends of giant sea serpents. Most oarfish live at an ocean depth of 3,000 feet so scientists don’t exactly know much about them. For example, some scientists claim the sea serpents represent multiple species so DNA tests on these two samples should clear up matters.

The timing of the discovery of the two oarfish in the same area is also a mystery. It’s possible oarfish travel in groups. Milton Love, a research biologist at the University of California in Santa Barbara, believes the California oarfish were carried to shore by a strong current and then battered to death by the waves:

“It may have happened some place on Earth before but it certainly doesn’t happen very often. There may be ones lying in 50 to 100 feet (15 to 30 meters) of water we’ll never know about.”

The Scripps Research Institute and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) retrieved the carcass of the oarfish and it will be split into pieces for study. But earlier this year scientists were treated to filming a live oarfish in HD for the first time:

“We were just finishing up scanning the water column about 200 feet below the surface when my technician yelled. I walked into the lab and saw this giant oarfish. I was like, ‘Oh my God,’ and we followed that thing for 10 minutes. The striking thing is they swim by undulating their dorsal fin like a propeller, and they can change direction instantly. Most of the time they move slowly and stealthily, but when they want to, they can move fast.”

Do you think the oarfish inspired legends of giant sea serpents or do you think another sea creature is responsible for those myths?