Sea Monster from Sea of Cortez Resurfaces in Shape of an Oarfish

August 3, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog, Press

A 15-foot oarfish that surfaced last year in the Sea of Cortez is hoisted by three adults who made the discovery.

Who said there are no sea monsters?

The 15-foot oarfish in a photo being passed around by Bill Roecker of was actually taken in May 2007 at Baja California’s East Cape region, near Rancho Leonero Resort, by Troy Tinney of Encinitas.

These bizarre denizens, who occupy the dark depths most of the time, occasionally surface, usually dead or dying. A few have been discovered in recent years in the Sea of Cortez.

They can measure 50-plus feet and undoubtedly — with their long, oar-shaped fins and crimson manes — are among species to have spawned tales of sea serpents among ancient mariners.

You may recall the surfacing of a live oarfish in 2006 inside a bay at Santa Catalina Island. Harbormaster Doug Oudin donned snorkeling gear and swam alongside the fish, before it died, and described its coloring as “metallic silver with bright blue-brown spots and splotches, along with its amazing pinkish-red full-length dorsal fin.”

Their modern discovery may date to 1808, when a 56-foot serpent-like creature washed ashore in Scotland. In 1901, a 22-foot oarfish drifted onto the sand in Newport Beach, becoming, according to one reference book, “the basis for many sea-serpent stories told by local bar patrons for more than a decade after its discovery.”

The oarfish in the photo looks to have had its tail bitten off. In the Sea of Cortez, apparently, there is no dignity in dying.

— Pete Thomas

Possibly Related Posts:

Post to Twitter

Featured Categories


  • Copyright © 2008 - 2024 CalyCanto Casitas™
  • All Rights Reserved

Welcome to the website for CalyCanto, offering Todos Santos vacation rentals and information about the area. We operate a boutique community, currently consisting of 3 casitas in Todos Santos, each with ocean views, about 2.5 miles from the town center, on the way La Pastura, a world class surf break. We at CalyCanto are passionate about eco-friendly travel that provides us with succulent surfing, pristine beach combing, intimate restaurants, exotic bird watching, super special sunsets, horseback riding on the beach, local tours and activities that support the local community. We believe in causing the least harm (approaching zero) while doing business. Environmentalism, sustainability and a commitment to protecting the natural environment through activism are part of our mission as we work to continually reduce our carbon footprint. We hope you'll follow our adventure here, on Twitter and on Facebook while you enjoy your coffee (or tea) or drink a Pacifico (if you've already made it here). If the tequila gets passed around the table too much, gringos might try and spell CalyCanto like calicanto, calecanto, or cal y canto. However you spell it, you are always welcome at Calycanto Casitas. Thank you for visiting.