Dead Oarfish spark earthquake rumours

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The discovery of two dead Oarfish in California within days of one another has led to rumours of an earthquake.

Finding even one of these deep-water fish is extremely rare, and the fact that there have now been two has led to social media buzzing about an ancient Japanese myth, which says that the appearance of these fish precedes an earthquake.

The body of a 4.2m/14' Oarfish washed up on a beach in Oceanside five days after the carcass of a 5.4m/18' specimen was found off Catalina Island.

Neither of the Oarfish had any visible signs of injury, leading to speculation that deep underwater disturbance may have affected them in some way.

Scientists are sceptical, saying there's no data to support a link between these 'sea serpents' and tectonic activity.

The Daily Telegraph reported that following the big earthquakes in Haiti and Taiwan in 2010, dozens of Oarfish washed up in Japan. But the Tohoku earthquake disaster, which caused more than 15,000 deaths in Japan, did not happen until a year later, in March 2011.

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