Seismologists in Peru are on high alert as a very rare deep-sea fish called an oarfish washed up on the coast of Mancora. Traditionally in Peru, it is believed if an oarfish washes up onshore there is trouble brewing in the tectonic plates below. This could mean an earthquake is imminent. Mancora is a popular tourist destination with lots of scenic resorts. The tourists there were told to be cautious.
Interestingly, it would seem that the mysterious creatures were already washing up on the coasts of Japan a few days earlier. Their carcasses were last spotted in Japan only days before the Fukushima earthquake in 2011 which killed over 20000 people and even caused a nuclear accident.
The fish spend most of their time in the depths of the ocean, at a depth of at least 0.6 miles (one kilometer), and seldom venture near the surface.
In Peru it has been dubbed ‘the fish of tremors’. At first sighting the fish one Peruvian claimed “It’s because those fishes live in very deep waters and go to the surface due to the currents which precede natural disasters’. It is well-common in Peruvian lore to regard these creatures as a symbol of bad omen. One local was very sure that it was not a coincidence, he said, ” its not a myth, this a very real phenomena.” Dozens of the fish were also discovered ahead of an 8.8 magnitude earthquake which struck Chile in 2010. Of course, there are also scientific explanations to why this has happened, the oarfish move into shallower waters when they feel electromagnetic waves that emanate deep down due to unusual tectonic activity. Some scientists even suggest that there is no correlation between the fish and the quakes whatsoever since they have also been seen before in years and followed not even by slight tremors. Nevertheless, the people of Peru have been advised to keep friends and family close.