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The fish that can predict Tsunamis

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The Japanese legend of the oarfish, known as “Messenger from the Sea God’s Palace,” is a fascinating and mythical tale that has been passed down through generations. The legend is closely associated with the rare appearance of the oarfish, a deep-sea fish known for its long, serpentine body.

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In Japanese folklore, the oarfish is believed to be a messenger or servant of the dragon god Ryūjin. According to the legend, the oarfish is said to reside in Ryūjin’s underwater palace, known as “Ryūgū-jō,” which is located at the bottom of the sea. Ryūgū-jō is described as a magnificent and opulent palace where the dragon god dwells.

The appearance of an oarfish near the shore is often considered a sign of an impending natural disaster. This belief is rooted in the idea that the oarfish, as a messenger of the sea god, is trying to warn humans. Because of this association, the oarfish has earned a reputation as a “harbinger of doom” in Japanese culture.

More about the legend

The legend of the oarfish has been intertwined with real-life events over the years. There have been instances where oarfish were found washed ashore or spotted near the coast shortly before or after significant earthquakes or tsunamis. These occurrences have reinforced the belief in the oarfish’s supernatural connection to natural disasters.

It’s important to note that while the legend of the oarfish is deeply rooted in Japanese folklore. The scientific understanding of the relationship between oarfish and earthquakes/tsunamis is not well-established.

And today?

In modern times, the legend of the oarfish continues to capture the imagination of people in Japan and around the world. The mystique surrounding the fish’s rare appearances and its role as a messenger from the sea god’s palace has contributed to its enduring cultural significance.

About the Oarfish

Here are some interesting facts about the oarfish:

  1. Longest Bony Fish: The oarfish (Regalecus glesne) holds the title of being the longest bony fish in the world. It can reach lengths of up to 56 feet (17 meters) or more.
  2. Deep-Sea Dwellers: Oarfish are primarily deep-sea dwellers, inhabiting depths ranging from 200 to 1,000 meters (656 to 3,281 feet). This makes them elusive and rarely seen by humans.
  3. Elongated Bodies: Oarfish have an unmistakable appearance with their long, ribbon-like bodies. They are silvery in color and possess a distinctive dorsal fin that runs almost the entire length of their bodies.
  4. Adapted for Deep Sea: Their long bodies and pelvic fins, which resemble oars, help them move gracefully through the deep waters. They undulate their dorsal fin to propel themselves.
  5. Mysterious Behaviors: Due to their habitat, not much is known about the behavior of oarfish. It’s believed they may vertically orient themselves in the water to feed on plankton and small fish.
  6. Rare Sightings: Oarfish are rarely sighted by humans, spending most of their lives in the depths of the ocean. Sightings are often associated with the fish being washed ashore or floating near the surface.

Where are the oarfish predominantly found?

Oarfish are primarily found in the Pacific Ocean, particularly in the warm and temperate waters of the eastern and western Pacific regions. It’s important to note that oarfish are deep-sea dwellers, typically found at depths ranging from around 200 to 1,000 meters. Their elusive nature and preference for deep waters make them challenging to study and observe.

Katia Cao

Can animals sense when a natural disaster is coming?

Numerous research efforts have indicated that certain animals possess the ability to perceive significant shifts in weather conditions. For example, worms have been observed to relocate when groundwater levels rise. Birds demonstrate sensitivity to alterations in air pressure and frequently take shelter prior to substantial storms. In Florida, investigators studying tracked sharks have observed that these creatures move towards deeper waters in arrival of major hurricanes.

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