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Odd fish, creatures discovered, unusual wildlife18-Foot-Long Deep-Sea Creature Found off California
Oct. 2013 - The staff and kids at a Southern California educational facility got quite a surprise when an 18-foot-long (5.5 meters) serpentlike sea creature washed up near the shore.
While swimming in about 20 feet (5 meters) of water, dive instructor Jasmine Santana saw a large, silvery, slender figure on the sandy bottom on Sunday (Oct. 13). It turned out to be a dead oarfish, a rare animal that is typically found in much deeper waters, said Jeff Chace, with the Catalina Island Marine Institute, which teaches kids about marine science.
Santana dragged the fish to shore, where the staff took photographs and then put it on ice to show to their students the next day. "The kids were stunned, excited, giggly," Chace told LiveScience's OurAmazingPlanet.
Oarfish are rarely found near the shore, and usually only arrive there once they are sick or dead, Chace said. This animal appeared to die of natural causes. Nobody at the institute had seen one before, he added.
The animals live in the deep ocean and are believed to grow up to nearly 50 feet (15 m) long, Chace said. This makes them the world's longest bony fish, a group that includes almost all fish except sharks and rays (whale sharks are the largest fish in the ocean). The fish swim with their head upright and their tail hanging beneath them, and can easily move backward and forward and up and down quickly, observations of the fish have shown.
In August 2011, a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) captured a rare video of a live oarfish in the Gulf of Mexico. Oarfish are so-called because of appendages at the end of their pelvic spines that look like paddles, which are used to help them balance and swim upright.
New 14-foot 'sea serpent' found in Southern California
October 20, 2013 - 14 feet long and attracted a crowd of up to 75 people.
There are several findings of deep sea creatures in other threads.
Earth is groaning so loudly it can be heard above ground.
Consider how loud this sounds undersea
4 Legless Lizard Species Discovered in California
Sept. 2013 - Four previously unknown species of snakelike creatures have been found in California — but don't call them snakes; they're legless lizards. Prior to the discovery of the new species, there was only one known legless lizard species in the United States: the California legless lizard.
Surprisingly, the newfound legless lizards were discovered at a series of sites that weren't exactly pristine: They include a dune bordering a runway at Los Angeles International Airport; an empty lot in downtown Bakersfield, Calif.; a field littered with oil derricks; and the margins of the Mojave Desert.
"This shows that there is a lot of undocumented biodiversity within California," Theodore Papenfuss, a herpetologist at the University of California Berkeley's Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, said in a statement from the school.
The lizards live their entire lives underground or near the surface, and often don't leave an area the size of a small table, the statement noted. When they are found at the surface, it's usually in moist areas under dead wood or logs — or cardboard.
To find the lizards, Papenfuss and James Parham, a researcher at California State University, Fullerton, placed thousands of slips of cardboard at various sites around central and Southern California. They then checked and rechecked the sites before finally finding the four new species.
Three of the animals were found in the southern San Joaquin Valley. "These are animals that have existed in the San Joaquin Valley, separate from any other species,
for millions of years, completely unknown," Parham said in the statement.
The species found near the oil fields has a silver belly and is named Anniella alexanderae. The yellow-bellied Anniella campi lives in three isolated dry canyons on the edge of the Mojave Desert, east of Walker Pass in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The purple-bellied Anniella grinnelli was found in three vacant lots in Bakersfield, though only one of these lots remains. The fourth species, found outside the valley near the airport, is named Anniella stebbinsi.
Legless lizards live in loose soil on five continents, eating insects and larvae, and this limbless trait has independently evolved several times, the statement noted. It is difficult for the untrained eye to distinguish these creatures from snakes. However, unlike snakes, many legless lizards have external ear openings and movable eyelids. They also typically spend their entire lives underground, unlike snakes.
The species were named after four UC Berkeley scientists: Museum of Vertebrate Zoology founder Joseph Grinnell, paleontologist Charles Camp, philanthropist and amateur scientist Annie Alexander and herpetologist Robert Stebbins. The animals are described in a study published Sept. 17 in the journal Breviora.
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FYI, this story was reported almost a full year BEFORE Japan got hit with that massive earthquake.
Oarfish omen spells earthquake disaster for Japan
Japan is bracing itself after dozens of rare giant oarfish - traditionally the harbinger of a powerful earthquake - have been washed ashore or caught in fishermen's nets.
The appearance of the fish follows Saturday's destructive 8.8 magnitude earthquake in Chile and the January 12 tremors in Haiti, which claimed an estimated 200,000 lives.
A quake with a magnitude of 6.4 has also struck southern Taiwan.
This rash of tectonic movements around the Pacific "Rim of Fire" is heightening concern that Japan - the most earthquake-prone country in the world - is next in line for a major earthquake.
Those concerns have been stoked by the unexplained appearance of a fish that is known traditionally as the Messenger from the Sea God's Palace.
The giant oarfish can grow up to five metres in length and is usually to be found at depths of 1,000 metres and very rarely above 200 metres from the surface. Long and slender with a dorsal fin the length of its body, the oarfish resembles a snake.
Video: 'Sea Serpents’ Or Harbingers? Oarfish Washed Up Year Before Japan Quake
CATALINA ISLAND (CBSLA.com) — Could the appearance of rare “sea serpents” washing ashore beaches in Southern California portend disaster?
The question comes following the discovery of the carcass of a rare 18-foot-long oarfish off the coast of Catalina Island on Oct. 13, followed by another snakelike 14-foot-long oarfish found on Oct. 18 in Oceanside.
Fishermen in Japan reported a sharp uptick in oarfish sightings in March 2010 following the massive magnitude-8.8 earthquake in Chile that same month, which marked almost exactly one year before the country was devastated by its own magnitude-8.9 quake in northeast Japan.
Oarfish, which can grow to more than 50 feet in length, are considered the longest bony fish in the world. They typically dive more than 3,000 feet deep, which makes sightings rare and has fueled various serpent legends throughout history.
According to traditional Japanese lore, oarfish rise to the water’s surface and beach themselves to warn of an impending earthquake, a notion that some scientists have speculated could be supported by the bottom-dwelling fish being more sensitive to seismic shifts.
Known as the “Messenger from the Sea God’s Palace,” over a dozen “ryugu no tsukai,” or slender oarfish, either washed ashore or were caught in fishing nets in the Ishikawa, Toyama, Kyoto, Shimane and Nagasaki prefectures near the quake’s epicenter months before the 2011 quake hit, according to several reports.
Scientists, however, say there is no data to support an actual link between the two phenomena.
“It’s probably just a coincidence,” said Rick Feeney, who has been studying fish for almost 35 years for the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.
According to Feeney, four sightings have been reported since 2010 from the Central Coast southward, including in Malibu in 2010 and Lompoc in 2011.
“We think that they come inshore to die actually because they’re in distress for some reason, but we don’t know what the reason is,” said Feeney, adding that the fish could have been starving or disoriented.
But the fish remain somewhat of a mystery to researchers because there have been few Oarfish caught over the years, he said.
A record number of sea lion sightings were reported along Southland beaches earlier this year, including one declared “unusual mortality event” in April that saw hundreds of ailing sea lion pups washed ashore.
Burmese Python Found With Record 87 Eggs
Aug 2012 - A double record-setting Burmese python has been found in the Florida Everglades. At 17 feet, 7 inches (5.3 meters) in length, it is the largest snake of its kind found in the state and it was carrying a record 87 eggs. Scientists say the finding highlights how dangerously comfortable the invasive species has become in its new home.
"This thing is monstrous, it's about a foot wide," said Kenneth Krysko, of the Florida Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida. "It means these snakes are surviving a long time in the wild, there's nothing stopping them and the native wildlife are in trouble."
The giant female python was discovered in the Everglades National Park and had been stored since May in a freezer at the museum; on Friday, researchers at the museum studied its internal anatomy, making the wild discovery.
Florida is the world capital for invasive reptiles and amphibians, and the Burmese python, native to Southeast Asia, is one of the state's most prominent new residents. The snake was introduced to Florida by the exotic pet trade three decades ago and is now one of the region's deadliest and most competitive predators. [See Photos of Record Burmese Python]
"They were here 25 years ago, but in very low numbers and it was difficult to find one because of their cryptic behavior," Krysko said in a statement from the University of Florida. "Now, you can go out to the Everglades nearly any day of the week and find a Burmese python. We've found 14 in a single day."
Officials worry that the snakes pose a threat to humans, as well as to native, endangered species, which turn up in the pythons' stomachs. This record-breaking, 164.5-pound (75-kg) specimen found in Everglades National Park had feathers in its belly that will be identified by museum ornithologists, the researchers said. Research published this year suggested the pythons are not only eating the Everglades' birds but they're also snatching, and likely swallowing whole birds' eggs.
Devil Worm is Deepest-Living Animal
October, 2012 - A "devil worm" has been discovered miles under the Earth, the deepest-living animal ever found. The new nematode species—called Halicephalobus mephisto partly for Mephistopheles, the demon of Faustian legend—suggests there's a rich new biosphere beneath our feet.
Before the discovery of the signs of the newfound worm at depths of 2.2. miles (3.6 kilometers), nematodes were not known to live beyond dozens of feet (tens of meters) deep. Only microbes were known to occupy those depths—organisms that, it turns out, are the food of the 0.5-millimeter-long worm.
"That sounds small, but to me it’s like finding a whale in Lake Ontario. These creatures are millions of times bigger than the bacteria they feed on," said study co-author Tullis Onstott, a geomicrobiologist at Princeton University in New Jersey.
"Shocking" Worm Evolved For Harsh Depths
Onstott and nematologist Gaetan Borgonie of Belgium's University of Ghent first discovered H. mephisto in the depths of a South African gold mine. But the team wasn't sure if the worms had been tracked in by miners or had come out of the rock.
To find out, Borgonie spent a year boring deep into mines for veins of water, retrieving samples and filtering them for water-dwelling nematodes. He scoured a total of 8,343 gallons (31,582 liters) until he finally found the worm in several deep-rock samples.
What's more, the team found evidence the worms have been there for thousands of years. Isotope dating of the water housing the worm placed it to between 3,000 and 12,000 years ago—indicating the animals had evolved to survive the crushing pressure and high heat of the depths.
"This discovery may not surprise passionate nematologists like Gaetan, but it’s certainly shocking to me," Onstott said. "The boundary of multicellular life has been extended significantly into our planet."
Worm Inspires Search for Extreme Life
Onstott hopes the new devil worm will inspire others to search for complex life in the most extreme places—both on Earth and elsewhere.
"People usually think only bacteria could exist below the surface of a planet like Mars. This discovery says, Hold up there!" Onstott said. "We can't negate the thought of looking for little green worms as opposed to little green microbes."
Mark 9:43 And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
Mar 9:44 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
Mar 9:45 And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
Mar 9:46 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
Sea serpent washed ashore in California
Dec 20, 2015 - For the second time in 2 months, a venomous sea serpent washed up on a local beach. The dead sea snake was discovered during a cleanup campaign in Huntington Beach. A sea snake was discovered in October after slithering onto a beach in Ventura County. It died shortly after.
The yellow bellied sea snake has a bright yellow underside and a flat, paddlelike tail with black spots. It is the most wide-ranging snake species on Earth, cruising the warm tropical waters off the coasts of Africa, Asia, Australia, Central America and Mexico, and Baja Calif.
July 7, 2016 accuweather - Eerie new fish never before seen alive.
It is the first of its kind ever found, deep in the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean.
Yet more evidence that the earth isn't flat - yeah, I know this shouldn't even be a discussion, but nonetheless this whole flat earth nonsense really has gotten out of control now.
Noahs Ark opens in Kentucky