A genuine ‘sea serpent’

Three days ago, in California, a sea-serpent was found.

Oarfish Catalina
(Catalina Island Marine Institute)

The 18ft creature found dead near the Catalina coast is an example of that which most closely resembles the traditional sea serpent of myth and literature – the Oarfish. Their size, serpent-like form and bizarre facial features, not to mention the fact that they are relatively rarely seen, contributes to a sense that these creatures are more like sea monsters than part of the catalogued natural world. Unconfirmed reports suggest that Oarfish can grow to at least 50ft in length, while confirmed reports of 30ft Oarfish exist.

Although the Oarfish seen here is of uniform, silvery appearance, living Oarfish commonly have spots or stripes, which fade quickly after death. Their horned heads add to the sense of the unlikely.

Oarfish Toyko
An Oarfish found near Toyko (Cimi/Handout/AFP Photo)

The existence of the Oarfish, sadly, probably fails to explain the Daedalus sea serpent. That was much larger than even the biggest reported, and its appearance was somewhat different. Unless, perhaps, the Oarfish is merely the larval form of a larger creature…

Don’t have nightmares…

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