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18-foot oarfish found off coast of Catalina Island

A dead, 18-foot long oarfish was found off the coast of Catalina Island on Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013.

October 14, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
An 18-foot long oarfish was discovered off the coast of Catalina Island on Sunday.

Jasmine Santana, an instructor with the Catalina Island Marine Institute, found the fish while snorkeling in the waters of Toyon Bay.

The body of the fish was almost perfectly intact and it appeared to have died naturally. Santana decided to pull it to shore.

Other Catalina Island Marine Institute instructors who just got back from a trip to Santa Barbara Island saw Santana struggling to pull up the large fish. It took 15 adults to carry it up the beach to get a better look.

Biologists say the giant oarfish is the longest bony fish species, growing as long as 56 feet. They are also thought to be responsible for sea serpent sightings throughout history.