Baja California, Mexico - A video taken by beach-goers of a 15-foot-long oarfish as it swam in shallow waters along the Mexican coastline in the Sea of Cortez, is making a big splash in the marine world.
The oarfish, a prehistoric-looking creature that can grow up to 36 feet in length, is the world's largest bony fish and is characterized by its shiny, iridescent blue skin and vibrant red dorsal fin. It typically swims close to fault lines at depths of up to 3,000 feet and is rarely seen by humans - especially up close near the surface.
However, there have recently been a number of oarfish washing up on shores.
"It was one of the most surprising and beautiful animals I had even seen," Lia Stamatiou, one of a group of beach goers who attempted to aid the fish into deeper water as it swam closer to shore. "Unfortunatly, it resisted and beached itself on the sand. Later it was attacked by birds and died."
Catherine Dukes, of the science news website LiveScience, said it's almost certain that all of the oarfish that somehow get close to shore are dying.
In the past, researchers have tried to link animal fright to earthquakes, high ozone levels, and other phenomena, but Dukes insists that the appearance of oarfish is nothing to be concerned about.
"This is not a way to predict earthquakes," she said. "Itís just a way to warn that the Earth is moving and something might follow.Source: OpposingViews.com