Bizarre-looking Oarfish Washes Ashore on Cabo San Lucas Beach
In Florida, scientists have their hands on a large and mysterious eyeball, which washed ashore Wednesday, and are trying to determine what kind of sea creature it belonged to. That could take a few days.
But in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, another bizarre find was made Friday: that of an oarfish, which washed ashore on bustling Medano Beach, which features a view of the end of the Baja California peninsula.
Oarfish are deep-water denizens that are rarely seen. But because of their long, slender appearance, and their bright-orange dorsal fins and manes, they helped spawn myths of sea serpents and sea monsters among ancient mariners.
Click here for photos of this giant oarfish!
They've been known to reach lengths of 30-plus feet.
Pisces Sportfishing reports that an employee from Pisces Real Estate helped discover an estimated 15-foot specimen that washed up in the gentle breakers.
Gonzalez "was working very hard, sitting under an umbrella on the main beach of Cabo-El Medano at an open house we are hosting today at Hacienda," states the Pisces blog. "He was right in front of Villa 2 when he saw a commotion on the beach and a small crowd gathered at the water's edge. His first thought was, 'There's been an accident.'
"Then he saw three locals supporting what appeared to him as a monster from the deep. He ran down to get a closer look and saw three locals assisting the strange creature, which appeared to be in distress as it struggled for air."
Unsuccessful attempts were made to revive the oarfish and return it to the Sea of Cortez, and ultimately it was collected for scientific study.
Oarfish inhabit the world's oceans but are found in the dark depths between about 600 and 3,000 feet. On the rare occasions one is seen on or near a beach--this happens very rarely and sporadically--it's either sick or injured, dying or already dead.
Their silver bodies have no scales and the fish swim with undulating motions, serpent-like.
Tracy Ehrenberg, who runs Pisces Sportfishing, said this is the first known oarfish to have washed up on Cabo's main beach. She discussed the discovery Friday morning on the "Baja Now" Internet radio show with Phil Friedman.
Click here for more info and photos of the bizarre oarfish