Readuponit: Travel and voracious reading

Max Hartshorne, travel website editor, sharing some of the stuff I read, hear and see with you. Updated every day. Click on the photos to enlarge them.

When the Oarfish Come Ashore, Watch Out!

by Max Hartshorne on March 11, 2010

Oarfish in Japan.

Japan is bracing itself for bad times after scores of the usually rare, giant Oarfish have washed ashore and been caught in coastal fisherman’s nets. Tonight I read this on a news website called Motherboard.

“The sightings started after the ‘quake in Chile and the 6.4 magnitude earthquake in Taiwan. The rash of tectonic shifting around the Pacific “Ring of Fire” is causing concern that Japan is next, and these gigantor fish aren’t helping.

The Oarfish is traditionally known as a messenger fish from the sea gods, and it’s tidings are usually grim. The fish can grow up to five metres in length and usually found at depths of 1, 000 ft. Long and slender with a dorsal fin that runs the length of it’s body, the fish resembles a kind of steam-rolled snake.

According to folklore, the fish will come ashore and beach itself to warn of an impending earthquake and there are scientific theories that bottom-dwelling fish may very well be susceptible to movements in seismic fault lines and act in uncharacteristic ways in advance of an earthquake – but experts here are placing more faith in their constant high-tech monitoring of the tectonic plates beneath the surface.”

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