Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

10/21/2013 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Legend says oarfish predict major quakes, were seen in Japan a year before 2011 quake.

A rash of recent oarfish sightings in California could portend a disaster for the Pacific Rim state as traditional folklore and anecdotal evidence suggests.

Do oarfish at the surface portend disaster? Their presence isn't normal.

Do oarfish at the surface portend disaster? Their presence isn't normal.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

10/21/2013 (3 years ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: Oarfish, earthquake, prediction, Japan, folklore, California


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Oarfish are denizens of the deep and are rarely seen at the surface, or on the beach. However, within the past few weeks, two oarfish have washed up on California shores.

In Japan, there is a traditional correlation between oarfish and earthquakes that dates back for centuries. Traditional Japanese folklore says that oarfish beach themselves as a warning to the people before an earthquake. The normally elusive fish, which can be up to five meters in length, are said to be messengers from the palace of the Sea God.

Although scientists have not properly studied the matter, there does appear to be an anecdotal correlation between oarfish sightings and major earthquakes. Most recently, in the year before the massive March 11, 2011 earthquake in Fukushima Prefecture that took some 18,000 lives, Japanese fishermen reported a rash of oarfish sightings. These reports were made as early as March, 2010, following a major 8.8 quake in Chile.

A possible scientific explanation may be that deep-sea fish, such as oarfish, are more sensitive to seismic shifts and stress, and somehow respond to the tectonic pressure that builds before an earthquake by coming to the surface.

Does this mean the clock is ticking for Californians? It is still too early to tell. Two sightings, no matter how close together or rare, do not make for a verifiable trend that can serve as a reliable warning. Even if the beachings do correlate with a quake, it is still impossible to predict just when and where the quake will strike. That a major quake will someday occur in California is a foregone conclusion.

This 18 foot long oarfish washed ashore on Oct. 13.

This 18 foot long oarfish washed ashore on Oct. 13.


To be clear, the only evidence then is traditional Japanese folklore, which in a scientific sense isn't evidence at all. However, not all folklore is nonsense either.

Last week, it was revealed that the many Yeti sightings in the Himalayas could be based on the sightings of an uncatalogued bear species wandering the area. The DNA evidence, if it is to be believed, suggests  that people in the region are not necessarily hallucinating or hoaxing when they report they are seeing something.

The sensitivity of certain animals to seismic shifts has also been reported since ancient times, however scientists are still yet to verify a link between bizarre animal behavior and earthquakes. Much of the evidence is thought to be the result of confirmation bias and not actual evidence of a pending quake.

Still, it will be interesting to watch the beaches of the California coast and wait to see if any more messengers of the deep arrive on our shores. If they do, and a major earthquake follows within the next year, then scientists will have some deep diving of their own to do.

A birth foretold: click here to learn more!

---


'Help give every student and teacher Free resources for a world-class moral Catholic education'


Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for DECEMBER 2016
Universal:
End to Child-Soldiers: That the scandal of child-soldiers may be eliminated the world over.
Evangelization: Europe: That the peoples of Europe may rediscover the beauty, goodness, and truth of the Gospel which gives joy and hope to life.



Comments


More Technology

Would you ride this rocket? Space X nails rocket launch -- and landing on a barge in the ocean Watch

Image of Space X launches a rocket from Vandenburg AFB in California.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Space X faced a crucial flight of their Falcon 9 rocket on Saturday and they managed to turn in a successful launch. The rocket was launched from Vandenburg Air Force Base on the California Central coast, then it landed on a barge floating in the Pacific with an ... continue reading


NASA to study an asteroid that may destroy the Earth -- without even coming close Watch

Image of Asteroid Psyche is thought to be composed of precious metals.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

It's a staple of science fiction. An asteroid is on a collision course with Earth, so NASA sends a ragtag crew of astronauts to intervene, thus saving humanity. But in reality, the odds are even better that NASA could destroy the Earth, by sending a crew to an asteroid ... continue reading


It's time to STOP PLAYING GOD: Scienists say they are ready to create a baby using TWO MEN Watch

Image of What happens when men play God? Nothing good.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Mad scientists are real and they are working hard to play God, suggesting they may now be able to create a baby from two men, and no women. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - British scientists say they can now make babies using skin cells from two men. Other ... continue reading


NASA has a plan, to make a plan, to save you from killer asteroids Watch

Image of The launch of OSIRIS-REx to Bennu is NASA's first attempt to intercept an asteroid. The craft arrives in the fall of 2018.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Since the 1990s, the public has been regaled with tales of what would happen if Earth were in the sights of a killer asteroid. In every story, the world is saved by brave astronauts who commit their lives to saving humanity. But is that how the story is likely to go? ... continue reading


Is a new star of Bethlehem about to appear in the sky? Astronomers say new star will appear in 2022 in the constellation of the NORTHERN CROSS Watch

Image of A new star will appear in the sky in 2022 in the constellation of Cygnus, which is also known as the Northern Cross.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A new star is about to appear in the sky in the constellation of the Northern Cross. Scientists are predicting the appearance of a new star in our night sky in the year 2022. What does the appearance of this new star mean? LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) -- ... continue reading


What's a spoon doing on Mars? Better yet, what are TWO spoons doing on Mars and HOW did they get there? Watch

Image of What's this spoon doing on Mars?

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

What is a spoon doing on Mars? It's an excellent question given NASA has now found two such objects on the Red Planet. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) -- In the future, astronauts may enjoy a pint of their favorite ice cream on Mars. And it appears they won't have ... continue reading


Forget nuclear weapons, here's the REAL DANGER keeping experts awake at night Watch

Image of Biological weapons are possibly a greater threat than nuclear weapons.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Air raid sirens warn the residents of Tel Aviv that a rocket is inbound, fired from terrorist positions across the border. Residents deftly take cover, not knowing where it will land. It comes down in a residential neighborhood, then nothing happens... LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Scientists create antimatter in the lab at CERN, then they blasted it with a laser. Here's what happened Watch

Image of The particle accelerator at CERN can capture traces of subatomic particles when atoms are smashed together at nearly the speed of light.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Scientists have developed a new way to study elusive anti-matter directly, using lasers. The discovery could pave the way for new experiments and help to answer an important question about the universe. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) -- At the creation of the ... continue reading


Cosmic water witching: Scientists discover water on Ceres Watch

Image of A false-color image of dwarf planet Ceres. Scientists have just confirmed the presence of water on the dwarf planet.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Cosmic water witching. That's one way to think of the search for water on distant bodies in the Solar System. New research now confirms the dwarf planet Ceres has water stored as ice on the surface, with a great deal more likely beneath the surface. The discovery is ... continue reading


Bible VR gives inside look to the ACTUAL site of Jesus' miraculous birth Watch

Image of Come look at the Nativity.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Join virtual tour guide Danny Herman, known as "Danny the Digger," as you take a 360-degree look through one of the holiest sites on earth. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the Sancuary of Bethlehem, their virtual tour will go from simple images to an ... continue reading


All Technology News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Hebrews 8:6-13
6 As it is, he has been given a ministry as far superior as is the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 85:8, 10, 11-12, 13-14
8 I am listening. What is God's message? Yahweh's message is peace for ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 3:13-19
13 He now went up onto the mountain and summoned those he wanted. So they ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for January 20th, 2017 Image

St. Fabian
January 20: Eusebius, born just a few years after Fabian's ... Read More