A Real, Deep-Sea Monster, the Oar Fish, is Rarely Seen by Man

So you don't believe in Sea-Monsters? Ha!!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Hey!  They've caught Nessie1If this isn't a sea-monster, what is?Loch Ness.  Is Nessie really a giant Oarfish?        photo credit freedigitalphotos.netSea of Cortez:  Not an Oarfish...might be a Mermaid, though?Huge Hammerhead Shark:  Sea of Cortez.  Many monsters in this lovely body of water.
Hey!  They've caught Nessie1
Hey! They've caught Nessie1
If this isn't a sea-monster, what is?
If this isn't a sea-monster, what is?
Loch Ness.  Is Nessie really a giant Oarfish?        photo credit freedigitalphotos.net
Loch Ness. Is Nessie really a giant Oarfish? photo credit freedigitalphotos.net
Sea of Cortez:  Not an Oarfish...might be a Mermaid, though?
Sea of Cortez: Not an Oarfish...might be a Mermaid, though?
Huge Hammerhead Shark:  Sea of Cortez.  Many monsters in this lovely body of water.
Huge Hammerhead Shark: Sea of Cortez. Many monsters in this lovely body of water.

They are rare, but Sea Monsters do exist!

Be Envious, Loch Ness, We Have a Real Sea Monster!

The Sea of Cortez, lying between Baja and Mainland Mexico, was formed when Baja fell over like a slice of pie, leaving a deep, V-shaped division between the two land masses. OK, not much of an analogy, but waddya want for 2 pennies a click, Robert Crais?
Anyway, the mighty Pacific quickly created the “Vermillion Sea,” as it is sometimes referred to, one of the deepest seas of all, when you take into consideration its comparatively small area. In fact, this lovely body of water has depths of over two miles in places.
Whales? Tons; Sharks? By the thousand - you’d better go to Blackpool this year! Sea Monsters? “Ha, ha,” you say, pull the other one, it’s got bells on.”
But an old timer in Mexico, Baja Bob, has actually seen the monster and lived to tell the tale. Here‘s what he had to say:-

“I was camping in an arroyo,” Bob reminisced. “Three local kids ran up the beach shouting, ‘Bob, Bob, hay un monstrou por la playa, y es mas grande que tu camionetta.” (There’s a monster on the beach bigger than your pickup!’).
“I smiled at ‘em and ambled down to the beach expecting to be the subject of some prank or to find a large needle fish; a conger eel, or something ordinary. But true as I sit here, there was a monster on the beach! Half in and half out of a large tide pool.”
“It had one huge eye that I could see, yellow, with a black pupil, about 2 inches in diameter. The eye was flat and flush with its head, not bulging like many fish. But the most chilling thing was its mouth. It had thick, rubbery lips, like the black rubber on this diving mask..and its mouth opened to about 12 inches, like the shutter on a camera, and it had baleen-like filters in its mouth like some whales.”
I was beginning to feel a bit sceptical about the whole yarn by then and was expecting Bob to say the thing was some dummy from the Disney Studios further north. But he went on.
“This monster was something like a dorado (dolphin fish) silver coloured with a blue stripe and a fin running down its back. Later we measured it to be 18 feet long! “
“As we watched, it threw up a whole heap of brine shrimp, its colours became very bright, then faded to dull silver again. The kids were terrified of it, but I was just fascinated as it didn’t seem at all dangerous.”
Bob's story was fascinating me, too, so I poured us both another Bohemia beer and bid him carry on.
“One of the most compelling thing about this creature was it had feather-like growths coming out of its head. We watched it for hours and saw it had criss-cross marks down its side, which we found out later were from trawler nets. We tried to keep it alive by throwing sea water on it and dragging its head into the tide pool, but it was obviously dying and this it did, just before the sun went down on that beach. We all felt quite sad, really”
“We decided to take it into town as it might be valuable to a museum or something. The kids and I rolled it up, all 18 feet of it, like a slippery fire hose! We took it to the fishing camps in Playita and Palmilla (near Cabo). The fisherman all crossed themselves and said it must be magic, they wouldn’t touch it, they had never seen anything like it!”
I sat there on that day, about ten years ago, wondering what the heck this thing was…perhaps a real sea monster?
Bob continued. “Anyway, me mate, Ken, took it home, got pissed and left it in the back of his truck; by morning, it had started to go rotten, so we threw it away.!”
I recoiled in horror. Threw it away? A real monster; a once-in-a-lifetime encounter?
“Yeah,” smiled Bob,” But we had taken pictures of our monster and we took them eventually to the curator of the San Diego Museum in Balboa Park. He said he had seen pictures of a creature like this once before and that our find really was a monster in a way. It was, he explained to us, a pre-historic, deep water fish, and it had a name, ‘Oarfish.’ And he said our 18 foot sea monster was really only a baby. Fully grown, Oarfish can grow to nearly 40 feet in length.” Nessie, hide your head in shame!
The curator also said it is believed that it is the Oarfish that has led many an ancient mariner to bring back stories of sea monsters.
Bob said he and the kids were really pissed when he found out this rare fish would have been worth upwards of $10,000us had they been able to preserve it and contact museums and collectors.
Although the Oarfish is completely harmless to man, imagine coming face-to-face with a 40-foot adult one, its rubbery mouth gaping wide, while you’re doing a bit of quiet snorkelling in La Paz Bay! You’d die of shock: well, I would!

Just a thought:  Loch Ness is a very deep and mysterious body of water, quite deep enough in parts to suit an oarfish.  Maybe one of these IS Nessie and she/he does really exist.  That would be one up the keester for the sceptics!


More by this Author


Comments 11 comments

KillMeCutie profile image

KillMeCutie 6 years ago

I love your story, it's very interesting and it kept me captivated the whole time.


diogenes profile image

diogenes 6 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

thanks guys


ShipShape70 4 years ago

12-09-2011 [in] Minnesota: Great article diogenes. Baja Bob, told - and proved - his experience with the Oarfish. Honestly enjoyed everything - especially the pictures of all that mass of humans it took to hold 'the lady' up... Now, I go looking for more articles about the fabulous "oarfish". ron [in] Minnesota


diogenes 4 years ago

Goodness, this is an old article. So glad you enjoyed it and told me...Bob


Teresa Coppens profile image

Teresa Coppens 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Fantastic story! I love the personal connection. I was contemplating doing a hub on real monsters of the deep. You have inspired me to continue collecting info on the rare and unusual creatures only just being discovered. Voted up and inspiring.


diogenes profile image

diogenes 4 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

Hi Teresa: It's amazing how many "new" creatures get discovered all the time, but not as many as are leaving us unfortunately.

The poor old Oarfish is such a harmless chappie; few are seen as they normally live at great depths.

Bob


Teresa Coppens profile image

Teresa Coppens 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

So true Bob. Although it is interesting to see new life forms being discovered you have to wonder how long they'll now be around since their discovery by us.


diogenes profile image

diogenes 4 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

Good point, Teresa. Creatures like the giant squid which live at truly awe-inspiring depths are pretty safe from us. Sperm whales feed on them, diving to these great depths to do so. Many of the whales bear scars from the battles with these squid, some of which are more than 30 feet in length.

Bob


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas

Photos of oarfish on Google look like a kind of eel. According to the History Channel, which I used to watch when I still had a TV, the Lock Ness monster may also go on land.

Interesting story, Bobby. Going to share it.

xox


diogenes profile image

diogenes 2 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

Off to beddy byes...You are 6 hours back? xoxo


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas

Yup, 5:23 PM here. Have a good sleep.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working