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Oarfish found in Butuan City before the Earthquake

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 Photo by Pinoy History

Oarfish found in Masao Beach, Butuan City in January 19, 2017
Now, some are claiming that oarfish washing ashore is a sign that an earthquake will soon follow. Shortly before the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami struck Japan, about 20 oarfish stranded themselves on beaches in the area, Mark Benfield, a researcher at Louisiana State University, told LiveScience in an earlier interview.
The oarfish is known in Japan as ryugu no tsukai or "messenger from the sea god's palace," according to the Japan Times. Dozens of the deep-sea denizens were discovered by Japanese fishermen around the time a powerful 8.8-magnitude earthquake struck Chile in March 2010.

Oarfish have been said to forecast Earthquakes

In Japan, oarfish have long figured into folklore. Smaller than the giant oarfish, the related slender oarfish (Regalecus russelii) is known there as the "Messenger from the Sea God's Palace." And according to traditional belief, if many of the fish wash up, it may signal a coming earthquake.

According to Japan Times, there could be some scientific basis to that story, even if scientists don’t currently use fish behavior to predict tremors. Kiyoshi Wadatsumi, a scientist who studies earthquakes at the nonprofit organization e-PISCO, told the paper, “Deep-sea fish living near the sea bottom are more sensitive to the movements of active faults than those near the surface of the sea.”


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