Two rare, ribbon-like fish that washed up on Southern California beaches last week have puzzled and excited scientists, who know little about the creature that inspired sea serpent lore. The oarfish, deep-sea dwellers that remain largely mysterious to researchers, have been seen underwater only a handful of times. What is known comes from the few carcasses that have washed ashore. "If all you knew about deer was road kill … how much would you actually know about deer?" said Milton Love, a research biologist at the Marine Science Institute at UC Santa Barbara. "That's kind of where we are with oarfish." The 18-foot giant found off Santa Catalina Island on Oct. 13 was among the largest oarfish reported in nearly 20 years. A 14-foot fish beached in Oceanside on Friday was dissected and examined by scientists Monday. Read and view pictures at latimes.com. See video report at CBS2 Los Angeles.
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