back to article OAR-some! 18ft SEA SERPENT discovered off US coast

A marine boffin has come across a terrifying 18-foot "sea serpent" off the coast of California. Youtube Video Marine science instructor Jasmine Santana was swimming along the coast of Catalina Island when she came across the huge beast, which was actually a rare oarfish, but nonetheless the "discovery of a lifetime", …


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  1. Mike Brown

    what to do with a giant fish?

    bring me 400 potatoes, and a truck of salt. lets get frying

    1. Down not across Silver badge

      Re: what to do with a giant fish?


      You did forget cold beverages.

    2. Stevie

      Re: what to do with a giant fish?

      I got 12,000 gallons of malt vinegar in a tanker outside on consignment to a "Mike Brown". Is he the one over there stirring the vat of batter?

    3. Paul 77

      Re: what to do with a giant fish?

      Was lucky enough to see one of these (alive) from a research ship in the south Atlantic - amazing! Got it on video too (with a a few expletives!) :-)

    4. John 62

      Re: what to do with a giant fish?

      Only 400 potatoes? Might not need a truck of salt unless you're planning to dry it and cure it. Table salt could be evaporated from the sea while you're cooking. More important would be the vinegar and tomato ketchup.

  2. Captain Hogwash


    I'm here all week folks.

    1. Evil Auditor

      Re: Oarsome!

      We non-americans don't understand that ;-)

      1. JDX Gold badge

        Re: Oarsome!

        Yes we do. Awesome is an English word - it's even used in traditional hymns.

      2. Captain Hogwash

        Re: Oarsome!

        I am a non-American.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Oarsome!

          Indeed, the words "awesome" and "oarsome" would presumably be pronounced differently by most Americans.

        2. Evil Auditor

          Re: Oarsome!

          My fault. I still had something such as "this is awesome, awesome" ringing in my ears (with a heavy 'merkin accent). So much actually that the real, and quite accurate, meaning of it missed my brain.

      3. Scott 26

        Re: Oarsome!

        Of course if you were a Kiwi, you'd be familiar with "Oh for Oarsome" (uttered by boxer David Tua on Wheel of Fortune... as in "I'll have an Oh for Oarsome")

    2. BillG

      Re: Oarsome!

      It’s one of these rare weird things you see in Southern California

      This deserves a witty comment but I can't think of one.

  3. Yag

    "it won't fit in the freezer"

    Can't they just rent a 20' refrigerated container?

    1. Growly Snuffle Bunny

      Re: "it won't fit in the freezer"

      Or they could - stay with me here - cut it into smaller chunks? 3 cuts will make 4x 4.5(ish)ft chunks. That should go in any sensible chest freezer.

      "Bury it, wait for it to decompose..." Tosh! Idiots! They can learn more from flesh and skeleton than skeleton alone.

    2. Javc

      Re: "it won't fit in the freezer"

      They should call Chuck Testa.

  4. gerdesj Silver badge

    It seems that a fisher(wo)man can use the old "it was this big" gag and prove it.

    I feel somehow inadequate.



    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Alas, they won't be able to accompany their "It was THIS big" with the traditional arm gesture... if they could, a human with an 18' arm-span would be even more of a scientific marvel than a bloody-great fish.

      On the subject of men with long arms and sea-dwelling animals, I seem to remember a story from a few years back about China's tallest man being drafted in by an aquarium to help them. They had a dolphin that had eaten something it shouldn't, and they required someone with a very long arm to remove the foreign body. On the back of this publicity, the gentleman, in his forties IIRC, found himself a wife (which I'm led to believe is no mean feat in China).

  5. ukgnome

    Kwazi, Peso, Barnacles, Inkling, Dashi, Shellington, Tweak, Tunip!

    Octonauts at ease, until the next adventure!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Kwazi, Peso, Barnacles, Inkling, Dashi, Shellington, Tweak, Tunip!

      well, indeed. If you want to maintain an air of weary "oh, those old things again" whenever some exotic seabeast hits the news, you could do little better than watch the Octonauts.

      I, for example, could manage to be not very excited when pictures of blobfish were all over the news as very ugly fish the other week. *shrug* seen 'em before ...

      Mind you, the physics models in Octonauts are dreadful :-)

      1. KitD

        Re: Kwazi, Peso, Barnacles, Inkling, Dashi, Shellington, Tweak, Tunip!

        You'll be glad to hear today's encounter with the Snot Sea Cucumber had my lot in stitches.

    2. Martin Budden Silver badge

      Re: Kwazi, Peso, Barnacles, Inkling, Dashi, Shellington, Tweak, Tunip!

      Best. Themetune. Ever.

  6. ItsNotMe

    "“It’s one of these rare weird things you see in Southern California,” Chace said."

    Doesn't that describe that vast majority of life forms in California? Especially on dry land?

    1. Anonymous Blowhard

      Re: "“It’s one of these rare weird things you see in Southern California,” Chace said."

      This ones wierd *AND* rare...

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: "“It’s one of these rare weird things you see in Southern California,” Chace said."

        Well, most people are rare. Unless you overcook them...

    2. Armando 123

      Re: "“It’s one of these rare weird things you see in Southern California,” Chace said."

      In Southern California, the weirdest and rarest thing would be "common sense".

  7. TBag

    25 people just to lift it...

    It's srtange how there are only a total of 17 people in the picture they show of the fish being lifted, yet the guy on the phone claims it needed 25. When you take into account one in the middle and two at each end aren't really lifting...I'd say it could easily have been lifted by 10 people.

    1. Annihilator Silver badge

      Re: 25 people just to lift it...

      It's a natural reaction when describing the size of any aquatic creature to exaggerate....

    2. Stevie

      Re: 25 people just to lift it...

      Typical! Steve Jobs catches the biggest fish in the world and naturally someone is jumping out of the woodwork from the safety of his armchair to claim it is smaller than Steve said it was.

      It's always the same at the Register. Steve Jobs does something great in the world of fishing and there they are to mock.

      Let's see *you* invent the iPhone then catch the biggest fish ever in the whole world Mr Smartass.

      1. Havin_it

        @Stevie, Can't have been Steve Jobs...

        He'd have called it "oWYREsome".

        [Sidenote: Haven't El Reg found a quirky speech pattern to mock Tim Cook for yet? You'd think you were hoping to be let back into AAPL press conferences or summat...]

    3. Old Handle

      Re: 25 people just to lift it...

      There's a logical explanation. While 25 people were needed to lift it, only 17 we required to hold it up, the remaining 8 having presumably left as soon as they were no longer needed due to the smell.

  8. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    And the "fish guru" said...

    "Yeah, it's an Oarfish. Here's my invoice..."

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Surface Of The Sea?

    Per the article, the oarfish lives "lives near the surface of the sea" and is "usually found only in deep waters" where it "spends most of its time slithering thorugh the oceans deepest depths."

    Clearly, science knows very little about this mysterious beast!

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  10. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    Fishing story

    You should have seen the size of the one that got away.

  11. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    But *this* time it didn't get away.


  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Obligatory CS joke...

    It was an oarfish, but now it's dead it's an XORfish.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Obligatory CS joke...

      there's a Monty Python line to add here, but it's late .......

  13. DaneB


    1. Havin_it

      Oars Make Fish Groovy?

  14. Prof. Moriarty

    ENORMO 18-FOOT SEA SERPENT found DEAD by bio-boffin

    Your headlines have to be composed by some tabloid geek.

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: ENORMO 18-FOOT SEA SERPENT found DEAD by bio-boffin

      "Your headlines have to be composed by some tabloid geek."

      Yes, that's me. I'm paid to do it, and I'm proud of it :) Tabloid but brainy.


  15. taxman


    would love this in the pie shop. Properly jellied of course.

  16. stragen001

    Loch Ness Monster

    So......Nessie retired to California then?

  17. YARR
    IT Angle

    They could call in Dr. Gunther von Hagens to plastinate it for them. It might set a new world record for the longest preserved specimen.

  18. Tacitus

    I note some comment made about californian landlubbers perhaps. More perceptive observations of

    American behaviour notably in recent days is "staffers pull massive bony lengthiness", that seems to be a pretty commonplace event over there. I doub't John Kerry would even able to find it to get started..people who seek to place others in combat are not particularly well endowed ...with brains or courage..or anything else. Funny how as I write I realise how much Kerry looks like a stocking-faced or perhaps Muppet version of, and sounds in every way similar to, GW Bush.

    On a less serious note..."what's going on" down in the depths is a question of extreme importance. With mankind tolerant if not encouraging of the dumping of wastes including pharmaceutical and land ruining toxins, raw sewage and heavy metals which is symbolic of the reasons for climate change denial...greed and corruption... perhaps the dead oarfish ought to be regarded more as a message from nature than a funny- old-critter found floating-around after dying of old age.Ok...sure, It might have 'carked it' from getting a an eye-full beached whales... American bellies and backsides male and female, in g-strings. Sight- enough to kill a brown dog, an oarfish wouldn't have achance if it wasn't able to 'down periscope" and dive-dive-dive.

    Polluters...along with politicians and their new order, the most vile criminals of our time....Bring back the Gulag and cat o' nine and introduce polluters to some real "to be---or not to be" questions. For those who already LIKE being whippped the Gulag can offer a very sobering experience even on its own. Fixing up a few fences and papering over the cabin-cracks could bring a new era in international relations by leasing some of the old Siberian "holiday camps for white collar criminals" from Putin.Voila

  19. Drew 11

    There will be more showing up. Whatever they feed on is no longer where they expect it to be.

    Starfish melting in Canadian waters.

    Sardine fishery collapse, humpbacks missing

    One word: Clusterfukushima

  20. king of foo



  21. 4d3fect

    It damn well better be dead, otherwise I'm heading for the hills.

  22. Clive Galway

    "It took 25 of us to pick it up"

    In the picture, it is being held by about 12 people. In fact, some appear to be resting on it.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    You're gonna need a bigger freezer

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