PHOTOS: New 14-foot 'sea serpent' oarfish found in Southern California

Mark Bussey/Oceanside Police

An oarfish spotted in Oceanside Friday afternoon, Oct. 17, 2013. This one is a bit smaller than the Catalina one found earlier the same week.

Mark Bussey/Oceanside Police

An oarfish spotted in Oceanside Friday afternoon, Oct. 17, 2013. This one is a bit smaller than the Catalina one found earlier the same week.

18-foot oarfish

Courtesy of Catalina Island Marine Institute at Toyon Bay

File: The last oarfish found. Another washed up Friday afternoon.


Another "sea serpent" has attracted gawkers on a Southern California beach. This time the rare, snakelike oarfish washed up Friday afternoon in Oceanside.

U-T San Diego reports that it measured nearly 14 feet long.

While it's unusual to find the deep-water fish near shore, this is the second time in the past week that one has surfaced.

Research biologist Milton Love of UC Santa Barbara told KPCC that, even if two oarfish washing up on shore isn't completely unique, it is an extremely rare occurrence.

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"Because we are not sure why these fish come into shallow water dead or dying, it is difficult to explain why one, let alone two, do this kind of thing," Love wrote in an email. "On the other hand, if the beaching is based on, for instance, an errant current that wafted one fish into the nearshore, I guess there is no reason that same current could not carry more than one fish along."

On Sunday, a snorkeler off Catalina Island found an 18-foot-long oarfish and dragged it ashore with the help of a dozen other people.

According to the Catalina Island Marine Institute, oarfish can grow to more than 50 feet, making them the longest bony fish in the world.

They are likely responsible for sea serpent legends throughout history.

RELATED18-foot sea creature found off Catalina Island (Video)

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