Oar fish large, greatly elongated, pelagic lampriform fish. It is the longest bony fish and they live at the bottom of the ocean. There have been tales that a sighting of an oar fish connoted disaster such as an earthquake. These unusual creatures have been known to wash ashore on beaches after storms, providing endless hours of fascination for curious onlookers. They also have a habit of floating near the surface of the water when they are sick or dying.

Why? According to Japan Times’. Kiyoshi Wadatsumi, a scientist who studies earthquakes at the nonprofit organization, “Deep-sea fish living near the sea bottom are more sensitive to the movements of active faults than those near the surface of the sea.”

An unusual number of oarfish washed ashore in December 2009 to March 2010 off Japan. According to LiveScience,  “Shortly before the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami [March 11, 2011] struck Japan, about 20 oarfish stranded themselves on beaches in the area.”

However, HJ Walker, from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in California, said “If there is a enormous giant earthquake beneath the sea, other fish would be affected – not just one or two oarfish.”

But last July 26, 2015, an oarfish was seen washed ashore in Antique, Philippines. Could this be a sign? Is this why the country is very active on propagating and preparing everyone for a possible earthquake? I hope not.

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