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Giant oarfish found off California coast

Wednesday, October 16, 2013 - 00:52

Oct. 16 - Snorkeler finds rare giant 18-foot oarfish off Santa Catalina Island's coast in California. John Russell reports.

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A California marine instructor's leisurely weekend snorkel turned into the discovery of a lifetime when she found the remains of a giant, eel-like creature of a species thought to have inspired legends of giant sea montsters. The instructor spotted what was actually an18-foot (5.5-meter) oarfish, which is as thick as a man's torso, while snorkeling in clear waters off the coast of Santa Catalina Island on Sunday (October 13) afternoon. Oarfish have a pug face and a crest running the length of their bodies. They can grow up to a length of 56 feet. Because of their strange appearance, they are believed to have inspired legends of sea serpents. The creatures are found in all temperate to tropical waters, but because they dive to depths of 3,000 feet, they are rarely seen and remain largely unstudied. It took a group of 15 adults to pull the fish's massive carcass up the beach.

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Giant oarfish found off California coast

Wednesday, October 16, 2013 - 00:52