Two dead oarfish washed up at a nature reserve in the Philippines on August 10th.
This is just a few hours before a strong M6.3 earthquake struck the northern island of Luzon, today, August 11th. So are these giant king of herring a sign of impending earthquakes?
Two Messenger From the Sea God’s Palace’ – 3.7 metres (20kg) and 4.4 metres (50kg) – were found dead in the coastal region of Saint Bernard in Southern Leyte. One of them was full of eggs, ready to lay down.
After today’s M6.3 earthquake in the Philippines it is normal I would say to study the link between the dead sea creatures and seismic activity.
Oarfish are deep-ocean giants living 1,000 meters deep and rarely coming in surface waters. So it is clearly RARE to see two at once!
Some will say that the distance between the oarfish and the epicenter of the quake is too large – around 1,300 km apart. But multiple cases exist in which the two phenomena occurred together.
20 oarfish washed ashore in the days leading up the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. Dozens were discovered by Japanese fishermen around the time a powerful 8.8-magnitude earthquake struck Chile in March 2010.
Although there is no direct scientific evidence suggesting that oarfish feel seismic activity, these animals live in close proximity to underwater fault lines.
When an earthquake occurs there can be a build-up of pressure in the rocks which can lead to electrostatic charges that cause electrically-charged ions to be released into the water. This can lead to the formation of hydrogen peroxide, which is a toxic compound. The charged ions can also oxidise organic matter which could either kill the fish or force them to leave the deep ocean and rise to the surface.
There is clearly a link between oarfish and earthquakes.