Catalina marine science instructor finds 18-foot oarfish

In the late afternoon of Sunday October 13th, 2013, Catalina Island Marine Institute instructors returned home to find an 18-foot-long oarfish in the crystal waters of Toyon Bay. (Submitted photo) 

By Nadra Nittle, nadra.nittle@langnews.com@NadraKareemon Twitter


The head of the 18-foot-long oarfish found by Catalina Island Marine Institute instructors in Toyon Bay in the late afternoon of Sunday October 13th, 2013. (Submitted photo)


A marine science instructor has made what’s being called the discovery of a lifetime: She found an 18-foot-long oarfish Sunday in Toyon Bay on Catalina Island.

While snorkeling, Jasmine Santana of the Catalina Island Marine Institute discovered the obscure fish, which had evidently died of natural causes. When she reached the bottom of the bay, she spotted a silver creature with eyes the size of half-dollars.

Santana’s colleagues saw her struggling to move the dead animal and came to her aid, ultimately discovering that it would take 15 people to move the animal to the beach.



Mark Johnson, a longtime CIMI staffer, said in a statement that he’d yet to witness such a sight during his tenure at the institute.

“In 32 years here, I have never seen anything like this,” he said.

Because oarfish dive more than 3,000 feet deep, sightings of the creatures are rare, according to CIMI. Oarfish have the distinction of being the longest bony fish species, CIMI reports.

Officials from the institute sent tissue samples and footage of the oarfish to an expert at UC Santa Barbara, where the species of the creature will be determined.


I have spent many weekends and more sailing, away from my wife and family. There is not a great deal of reason to regret. One can not undo the past. Frankly, I loved the sailing, but it did come at a price. It is something I did which was self centered. It did not include my family.

From time to time I do things with my wife away from the water. There are moments I feel like a duck out of water; but I never regret our sojourns. It has broadened my life.

Today, was one of those moments. A visit to the Sakonnet Gardens. And some idle wandering taking photographs all the time.


Envy is one of the seven deadly sins. It’s definition connotes unhealthy, unhappy feelings. I am envious of a group of friends that went to Bryce Canyon to photograph the eclipse. Yet I mean this with no ill feeling towards them in any way. On the contrary, I am happy that they were able to go. My feelings are the antonym of the word envy, but I cannot find a word that seems suitable.

Here are some photos of the Eclipse posted on CNN. By clicking on Bryce canyon you can see photos taken there.