Debate Rages Over Whether Viral Video Shows A Sea Monster, An Oarfish, Or Something Unknown

Giant Oarfish underwater

iStockphoto / dottedhippo

A viral video of a serpentine creature slithering through the waves at a beach has sparked a debate over what the creature might be.

Most levelheaded individuals are in agreement that the creature in the video below is an oarfish, the infamous ‘earthquake fish’ that has a reputation of being a bellwether of earthquakes. But the comments are all over the place with 90% of folks saying ‘it’s not an oarfish…’ and adding jokes about it being an Alaskan Bull Worm or something else.

Oarfish can max out at 36 feet in length but I’m semi-convinced it’s a sea monster:



♬ original sound – Gavin Cox

Of course, it appears the person filming the video was using a 1st Gen iPhone based on the video quality. That, or given the subject nature of ‘sea monster’ we might be walking toward the conclusion that this person is being intentionally misleading.

Frankly, to me, it looks more like a sunken boat or part of a former reef or seawall that’s broken off and is getting exposed as the waves roll through. But given the length of the supposed sea monster AND how it appears to move like a water dragon, Oarfish is the most likely culprit.

What say you all? Oarfish? An optical illusion? Sea monster?

Oarfish Sightings In Recent Years And Sea Monster Myths

I’ll be the first to admit I don’t have a ton of experience seeing Oarfish swimming like this in shallow water near the shore. Typically, an encounter with an oarfish involves extremely deep water. They live in depths up to 3,280 feet. Oarfish also typically swim upright as can be seen in this incredible encounter filmed back in July:

Prior to Japan’s catastrophic 2011 earthquake, there was an ‘unusual number of’ slender oarfish which appeared off Japan from December 2009 to March 2010 and many of these fish washed up on the beaches. This only led to more people buying into the ‘earthquake fish’ theory on these gorgeous sea monsters.

It happened again more recently when a 13-foot oarfish showed up on a beach in Baja’s Pichilingue Bay in La Paz, Mexico back in July 2020. Oaxaca, Mexico had experienced a 7.4M earthquake the month prior.