Less than a week after an 18-foot oarfish carcass was found by a snorkeler in a bay at Santa Catalina Island, another large oarfish was found 35 miles across the channel on the beach in Oceanside.
The Oceanside discovery was made Friday afternoon by elementary school students (see photo at right, courtesy of ABC San Diego).
The Catalina discovery was made Sunday, by an instructor with the Catalina Island Marine Institute.
Long, slender oarfish, which are presumed to have spawned tales of sea serpents among ancient mariners, inhabit dark depths of the world's oceans. They're rarely encountered, dead or alive.
It remains unclear why two specimens have come ashore in Southern California in so short a period.
One reader on the ABC San Diego Facebook page commented, "Japan radiation."
Beaked whales are few in number, shy and elusive, and difficult to study. The 14-foot specimen is being studied at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. It's either from sub-Arctic waters to the north, or warmer waters to the south.
–Oarfish image is via ABC News 10's Facebook page