RING of fire earthquake fears locals after “disaster-predicting” oarfish are being spotted all over the world.
The oarfish, dubbed the “fish of tremors” for its supposed link to earthquakes, was caught off the town on Mancora, a popular hangout for surfers, in northern Peru.
A four-metre oarfish was found washed up on the north-coast prefecture of Toyama after getting tangled in nets[/caption]
It comes just days after a number of oarfish were spotted off Japan where they were previously sighted ahead of the 2011 Fukushima earthquake and tsunami which killed more than 20,000 people.
Oarfish, which are also believed to have been responsible for claimed sightings of sea serpents by ancient mariners, usually grow up to 16 ft long.
One species, the giant oarfish (Regalecus glesne), is the world’s longest bony fish growing up to a length of 36 ft.
The fish spend most of their time in the depths of the ocean, at a depth of at least 0.6 miles, and very rarely venture near the surface.
For this reason, they are rarely seen despite the fact they are found in all temperate to tropical oceans.
Some researchers suggest the oarfish move into shallower waters due to electromagnetic changes that occur when there is tectonic activity linked to faults.
But most experts say there is no correlation between the fish and earthquakes, and point out that the fish have also been seen in years when there have been no quakes.
EXPERTS SAY ‘NO CORRELATION’
The belief they appear before earthquakes originates in Japan where they are linked to the myth of Namazu, a giant catfish which lives under the country’s islands and supposedly causes earthquakes by thrashing its tail.
But the appearance of oarfish before the 2011 Fukushima disaster has given the legend added weight.
Worried locals have recently reported numerous sightings and captures of the 5.5-metre long creature since the start of this year.
Some researchers speculate the oarfish moves into shallower waters due to electromagnetic changes that occur when there is tectonic activity linked to faults.
Experts, however, have urged for calm and assuring people that there is no correlation between the fish and earthquakes.
The oarfish has a long silvery body and is believed to live 200 metres below the surface of the northern Pacific and the Indian Ocean.
They migrate to the Sea of Japan on the Tsushima Current, reports the Japan Times, and are recognised by locals as messengers from the palace of the sea god.
Despite rarely being caught in fishing nets, six of the serpents were recently captured or found beached in Toyama Bay, on the western shores of central Japan.
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Two oarfish were also netted off the village of Yomitan in the Okinawa Prefecture, south Japan, and three more were caught in separate locations across the country.
Just this month another two more were found off Sado Island and Joetsu city, towards the north of Japan.
The fish has also been spotted in waters off the the northeastern South Korean province, according to local reports.
An oarfish measuring nearly four metres was found dead tangled in a fishing net off the port of Imizu, near Toyama[/caption]
Two researchers lie beside a giant oarfish at Hagi Museum[/caption]
The silver fish can grow up to 5.5 metres long and is believed to dwell 200 metres deep[/caption]
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