18-foot sea creature found off Catalina Island (Video)

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The silver carcass of a rare 18-foot oarfish is being preserved in ice after it was discovered over the weekend along Catalina Island.

Marine science instructor Jasmine Santana said she spotted the fish — which resembles an eel — while snorkeling near Toyon Bay.

"I recognized it once I saw it and I was like, 'Oh my god, this is an oarfish, but it's huge!' And there's no way anyone's going to believe me if I just tell them, so I decided I should grab it (laughs) and pull it out of the water," Santana said.

18-foot oarfish found off Catalina Island

Video: Courtesy of Mark Waddington

Santana said she was frightened at first because she wasn't sure whether it was alive or dead.

Mark Waddington of the Guided Discoveries' Catalina Island Marine Institute said it appeared the fish died of natural causes.

"It's a once in a lifetime event. Guided Discoveries has been in operation on Catalina Island since the 70's. Nothing like this has ever washed up," Waddington said.

He added he's not sure what will happen to the remains, but he would like to see the skeleton displayed after it decays.

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