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Two Giant Sea Creatures Wash Up In Southern California

Kaitlyn Mullin |
October 18, 2013 | 4:57 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Oarfish that washed ashore on a Bermuda beach in 1860 (Illustration by R. Ellis, Wikimedia Commons)
Oarfish that washed ashore on a Bermuda beach in 1860 (Illustration by R. Ellis, Wikimedia Commons)

It is dark, 15 feet long and looks like it could have been pulled straight from an eighties horror movie. It came from the deep, and it’s the second one this week. 

A creature identified as a female Stejneger’s Beaked whale or Saber-toothed whale washed up on Venice Beach earlier this week, just three days after a giant oarfish was discovered near Catalina island. It is not yet known how the creature died, but the intact body will allow scientists to run tests to learn more. 

The species is rare and likely native to the cool, subarctic waters of the northern Pacific Ocean, according to NOAA.  

Three days earlier, a giant creature likely responsible for "sea serpent" legends was discovered in Toyon Bay near Catalina Island. 

Local marine biologist, Jasmine Santana, was enjoying an afternoon snorkel when she discovered an 18-foot silvery creature about 15 feet underwater. After realizing the creature was dead, she grabbed hold of its tail and propelled herself to shore. It took 15 people to hoist the creature, estimated to weigh up to 300 pounds.

The animal has been identified as an oarfish, a sea creature believed to be capable of diving 3000 feet below the surface. For this reason, there has been little research done about these rarely-sighted fish.

According to NOAA, the oarfish can grow to be up to 50 feet in length and live in tropical and temperate waters around the world. 

The two deaths are believed to be coincidental.

The oarfish skeleton will be reconstructed for scientific study, while the Saber-toothed whale skeleton will be given to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles’ collection for research and display purposes. 

Reach Staff Reporter Kaitlyn Mullin here. Follow her on twitter here


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