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
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!