Watch freaky oarfish frolic in the Sea of Cortez


*Gulf of California.

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Lady Rainicorn? I thought we were going to play viola?

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That fish looks like she is having a shitty day to me for some reason.


Someone should tell the sea life that’s not how evolution works.

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When perfectly normal human organs are suddenly visible, my innate reaction is that something is very wrong. In the same way, watching these guys swim around in a place that’s usually deadly to them, gives me a sense of nausea. I feel something terrible has happened, we just don’t know what yet. It seems quite plausible that in addition to breaking the atmosphere, humans have also broken the oceans. And we won’t do anything different until its been proven beyond the shadow of a doubt, and such proof will never be presented.

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I was really hoping there would be a little more back story in this article, however, with a little digging here a link to a very interesting explanation on the Shedd Aquarium page:


I try to reassure myself that there seem to be records of deep sea creatures surfacing throughout recorded history, and that in early times these sightings became the source of legends of sea monsters. And I try to reassure myself that the only reason we seem to be hearing about them more often is just because there are more people with cameras, and news gets around faster these days.

I try to reassure myself, but it doesn’t do much good. Even if the distress that caused these creatures to move to shallow water has nothing to do with human activity the fact is we’ve still done, and keep doing, a lot of damage to the oceans.

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She’s certainly having a bad hair day…

A dead washed up oarfish doesn’t bother me as much as this live one does. When I think about what deep sea divers must go through to safely come back up, a live oarfish must have gone through a lot of trouble to have made it so far. It seems unlikely that it will safely make the return journey back to the pressures for which it evolved. And we don’t know why, and mostly we don’t care… Bummer, dude!


I assume that it fled from Cthulhu.

It may not be a good thing. There have been a few of these fish washing up dead in recent history. I wonder if it has anything to do with habitat destruction, food supply and so on. End of the world!

Even if we could prove beyond a shadow of a doubt (which is not how science works…) that we are increasingly changing ecosystems on a global scale, we wouldn’t do anything about it with our current system of morals. We’d have to first reach deep consensus that other species are inherently worth something, that biodiversity has a value unto itself.



The more immediate threat from increased CO2 is not global warming, as bad as that is, but ocean acidification. Just like adding CO2 makes soft drinks fizzy and acidic, so adding CO2 to the atmosphere makes the oceans more acidic.
Among the immediate effects of more acidic oceans is to make many warm, deep zones inhospitable to life. This has already happened near Long Beach, Ca.

If you have the time, this public outreach lecture from the National Academy of Science by the Dr Brewer of the Monterey Bay Aquarium lays out clearly what is happening, including some pretty depressing videos of what is currently occurring at depth offshore of California.

If this acidification effect has taken hold near Baja, as it has near southern California, then one would expect the long-lived keystone species such as Oarfish to leave the depths in search of food.


This oarfish is beautiful. I love watching him or her glide. She really does look like a Chinese dragon.



I wonder if the oarfish left its environs off the coast of California because of the military testing a powerful kind of new sonar. Weren’t dolphins or whales beaching themselves for similar reasons off the coast of southern California a few years ago?

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