Instructors at the Catalina Marine Institute (CIMI) found the carcass of a rare, 18-foot-long oarfish on Sunday afternoon.
It was discovered in Toyon Bay on Catalina Island off the coast of California.
The fish appeared to have died from natural causes and its body was “almost perfectly intact,” according a news release from CIMI. This is likely because it hadn’t been dead long.
The oarfish is the longest known bony fish in the world, though it is rarely observed, especially alive.
In June, scientists released a video of an apparently healthy 8-foot long oarfish swimming in the Gulf of Mexico.
This was the first time the animal had ever been caught on video alive in its natural habitat.
The oarfish lives in deep waters (they can dive down to over 3,000 feet), which makes them hard to study.
In a news realease, the longest-serving CIMI employee said: “In 32 years here, I have never seen anything like this!”
It took 15 adults to haul the silvery fish out of the water and up to the beach.
The CIMI staff hasn’t decided what to do with the dead fish yet, according KTLA in Los Angeles, but they have been in touch with a couple southern California museums.
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