October 20, 2013
Photo by Officer Mark Bussey
The 14-foot-long oarfish washed up on the beach in Oceanside Harbor. Locals called police around 5 pm on Friday.
Oceanside police Officer Mark Bussey said a crowd of up to 75 people gathered to view the carcass before officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration arrived to remove it for further study.
The oarfish is the second to make an appearance in Southern California in the past week. Last Sunday an 18-foot-long oarfish was found in shallow waters off Catalina Island.
The oarfish can reach lengths of 55 feet (17 meters). Scientists believe creature, which sports dorsal fins that run the length of its back, is likely responsible for sea serpent legends.
Generally living at depths up to 3,000 feet, oarfish are most often seen coming into shallow waters to die or washed up dead on beaches.
United States military personnel holding a 23-foot oarfish found washed up near San Diego, California in September 1996.