Jasmine Santana of the Catalina Island Marine Institute needed more than 15 helpers to drag the giant sea creature from the waters of Toyon Bay, about two miles from Avalon and 22 miles off the Port of Los Angeles.
It was the “discovery of a lifetime,” according to a news release from the Catalina Island Marine Institute, where Santana works.
“We’ve never seen a fish this big,” said Mark Waddington, senior captain of the Tole Mour, CIMI’s sail training ship. “The last oarfish we saw was three feet long.”
The snake-like fish was found late Sunday afternoon dead but nearly intact, according to the release, adding it appeared to have died from natural causes.
The oarfish, which can grow to more than 50 feet, is a deep-water pelagic fish — the longest bony fish in the world, according to CIMI.
They are likely responsible for sea serpent legends throughout history.