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‘Sea Serpents’ Or Harbingers? Oarfish Washed Up Year Before Japan Quake
CBSLA.com) ^ | October 21, 2013 6:31 PM

Posted on 10/21/2013 10:43:22 PM PDT by BenLurkin

CATALINA ISLAND (CBSLA.com) — Could the appearance of rare “sea serpents” washing ashore beaches in Southern California portend disaster?

The question comes following the discovery of the carcass of a rare 18-foot-long oarfish off the coast of Catalina Island on Oct. 13, followed by another snakelike 14-foot-long oarfish found on Oct. 18 in Oceanside.

Fishermen in Japan reported a sharp uptick in oarfish sightings in March 2010 following the massive magnitude-8.8 earthquake in Chile that same month, which marked almost exactly one year before the country was devastated by its own magnitude-8.9 quake in northeast Japan.

Oarfish, which can grow to more than 50 feet in length, are considered the longest bony fish in the world. They typically dive more than 3,000 feet deep, which makes sightings rare and has fueled various serpent legends throughout history.

According to traditional Japanese lore, oarfish rise to the water’s surface and beach themselves to warn of an impending earthquake, a notion that some scientists have speculated could be supported by the bottom-dwelling fish being more sensitive to seismic shifts.

Known as the “Messenger from the Sea God’s Palace,” over a dozen “ryugu no tsukai,” or slender oarfish, either washed ashore or were caught in fishing nets in the Ishikawa, Toyama, Kyoto, Shimane and Nagasaki prefectures near the quake’s epicenter months before the 2011 quake hit, according to several reports.

Scientists, however, say there is no data to support an actual link between the two phenomena.

“It’s probably just a coincidence,” said Rick Feeney, who has been studying fish for almost 35 years for the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.

According to Feeney, four sightings have been reported since 2010 from the Central Coast southward, including in Malibu in 2010 and Lompoc in 2011.

“We think that they come inshore to die actually because they’re in distress for some reason, but we don’t know what the reason is,” said Feeney, adding that the fish could have been starving or disoriented.

But the fish remain somewhat of a mystery to researchers because there have been few Oarfish caught over the years, he said.

A record number of sea lion sightings were reported along Southland beaches earlier this year, including one declared “unusual mortality event” in April that saw hundreds of ailing sea lion pups washed ashore.


TOPICS: Science
KEYWORDS: california; catastrophism; earthquake; earthquakes; harbingers; japan; marinebiology; oarfish; quake; seaserpents; washed; year

1 posted on 10/21/2013 10:43:22 PM PDT by BenLurkin
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To: SunkenCiv

“It’s probably just a coincidence,”


2 posted on 10/21/2013 10:43:48 PM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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To: BenLurkin

Just watched “Pacific Rim”... maybe the breach is opening!

*Runs to garage to start building giant robot*


3 posted on 10/21/2013 10:51:01 PM PDT by Boogieman
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To: Boogieman

4 posted on 10/21/2013 10:55:31 PM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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To: Boogieman

I’m happy you enjoyed Pacific Rim ;)


5 posted on 10/21/2013 10:57:52 PM PDT by max americana (fired liberals in our company last election, and I laughed while they cried (true story))
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To: BenLurkin

I think we’re about to be smited:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellowstone_Caldera


6 posted on 10/21/2013 11:02:29 PM PDT by Forgotten Amendments (I remember when a President having an "enemies list" was a scandal. Now, they have a kill list.)
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To: Forgotten Amendments

That would suddenly make everything else in the news seem inconsequential.


7 posted on 10/21/2013 11:04:37 PM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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To: Boogieman

Dang. Gonna have to watch it!


8 posted on 10/21/2013 11:56:38 PM PDT by GOP Poet
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To: BenLurkin

Cool. Interesting article. We shall see . . .


9 posted on 10/21/2013 11:58:35 PM PDT by GOP Poet
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To: BenLurkin

Isn’t there a huge radiation leak from Japan’s damaged nuclear reactor flowing into the pacific? That could explain the sick sea life.


10 posted on 10/22/2013 2:50:54 AM PDT by MagnoliaB
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To: BenLurkin

All the dead fish I’ve ever seen were floating, why would an oar fish be any different? They don’t live forever......


11 posted on 10/22/2013 2:56:38 AM PDT by Hot Tabasco (Make sure you have removed the kleenex from your pockets before doing laundry)
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To: BenLurkin

Understatement of the day, so far.


12 posted on 10/22/2013 3:05:12 AM PDT by carriage_hill (Peace is that brief glorious moment in history, when everybody stands around reloading.)
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To: BenLurkin

WE ALL GONNA DIE !!!!!!!!!!!!

Sorry, I just couldn’t resist putting that one in.


13 posted on 10/22/2013 4:34:58 AM PDT by Uncle Lonny
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To: Forgotten Amendments

14 posted on 10/22/2013 6:10:27 AM PDT by JRios1968 (I'm guttery and trashy, with a hint of lemon. - Laz)
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To: Forgotten Amendments

I’m betting Seattle gets the quake.


15 posted on 10/22/2013 9:28:32 PM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (IÂ’m not a Republican, I'm a Conservative! Pubbies haven't been conservative since before T.R.)
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To: BenLurkin

The one they are really watching out for is just prior to a major earthquake, the air far above the area becomes very ionized.

http://www.livescience.com/14221-earthquake-prediction-atmosphere.html

“The theory, which in science circles is called “Lithosphere-Atmosphere-Ionosphere Coupling mechanism,” goes like this: Right before an earthquake, the stressed fault releases more gases, especially the colorless, odorless radon gas.

“Once in the upper-atmosphere ionosphere, the radon gas strips air molecules of their electrons, splitting them into negatively charged particles (the free electrons) and positively charged particles. These charged particles, called ions, attract condensed water in a process that releases heat. And scientists can detect this heat in the form of infrared radiation.”


16 posted on 10/23/2013 6:02:37 PM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy (Welfare is the new euphemism for Eugenics.)
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To: 75thOVI; agrace; aimhigh; Alice in Wonderland; AndrewC; aragorn; aristotleman; Avoiding_Sulla; ...

Thanks BenLurkin.
Could the appearance of rare “sea serpents” washing ashore beaches in Southern California portend disaster? The question comes following the discovery of the carcass of a rare 18-foot-long oarfish off the coast of Catalina Island on Oct. 13, followed by another snakelike 14-foot-long oarfish found on Oct. 18 in Oceanside. Fishermen in Japan reported a sharp uptick in oarfish sightings in March 2010 following the massive magnitude-8.8 earthquake in Chile that same month, which marked almost exactly one year before the country was devastated by its own magnitude-8.9 quake... Scientists, however, say there is no data to support an actual link between the two phenomena.
"Whereas it's true that we can't make meaningful predictions about when quakes or volcanic eruptions will strike, there are literally no studies linking animal behavior to impending natural phenomena -- and we aim to keep it that way!"


17 posted on 10/23/2013 8:38:22 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (http://www.freerepublic.com/~mestamachine/)
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy

Interesting!


18 posted on 10/24/2013 7:03:04 AM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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