For the second time within a week, a rare oarfish appeared on a Southern California beach, making people wonder if an earthquake is imminent.

An oarfish is the largest bony fish in the sea. It can grow up to 50 feet in length. They live way deep down in the bottom of the ocean and rarely come to the surface. According to Japanese lore, an oarfish would rise to the surface to warn people of an impending earthquake and in some parts of Japan, the oarfish is commonly referred to as the “Messenger from the Sea God’s Palace”.

I wonder what message the Sea God has for us this time…

However, there might be some scientific evidence that indicates an oarfish sighting can mean an earthquake is imminent. Since oarfish live so far deep in the ocean, they’re more susceptible to seismic movements, causing them to freak out before an earthquake. It’s very similar, perhaps, to the way your dog freaks out before a thunderstorm.

In 2010, before major earthquakes in Chile, Haiti and Taiwan, 10 oarfish surfaced in Japan in March of that year.

The oarfish that recently washed ashore in San Diego measures 13.5 feet long and weighs over 200 pounds.

“It’s not the typical fish you see on shore,” stated Oceanside Police Officer Mark Bussey. He stated that at first many people believed this oarfish was a beached whale. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Fisheries Service took the oarfish for research.

A couple of days before this incident, a Catalina Marine Institute instructor spotted a dead 18-foot oarfish just off of Catalina Island. The oarfish was so big, it took 15 people to bring it ashore.

What could these oarfish sightings mean? Is a great seismic shift coming soon? Should we all duck and cover?

Source: LA Weekly, NBC News