Twice last week, carcasses of the rarely seen oarfish were discovered near to California’s shore. The 18 foot and now 13.5 foot bodies of the largest bony fish on the plant were not full grown. According to the NOAA, the species is found hundreds to thousands of feet deep and can reach lengths of over 50 feet.
Scientists have cut the second oarfish into sections to accommodate refrigeration and may be studying the specimen to further their understanding of the generally hidden species. The California coast parallels the continental shelf and slope, which are etched by submarine canyons and may be the home of oarfish populations that have never been the subject of comprehensive study. Perhaps the double finding is a fluke; perhaps it’s a harbinger of a yet-to-be revealed trend.