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

'That is an extremely important goal that has not been achieved yet' - Vatican talks to scientists about Power and Artificial Intelligence Watch

Image of Artificial Intelligence has come under scrutiny by the Vatican.

By Elise Harris (CNA/EWTN News)

This week the Vatican hosted a high-level discussion in the world of science, gathering experts to discuss the progress, benefits and limits of advances in artificial intelligence. Vatican City, Italy (CNA/EWTN News) - A new conference at the Vatican drew experts in ... continue reading


The speed of light may have been MUCH faster in the past, but WHY SHOULD YOU CARE? Watch

Image of Einstein's theory is about to be challenged. Will it survive the test?

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Measure what is measurable, and make measurable what is not. This maxim from Galileo Galilei is part of the basis of modern science. The work of a scientist is to make things measurable and devise tests. Such a test has now been developed for a possible modification to ... continue reading


DOOMSDAY - experts calculate the odds and they're scary Watch

Image of The odds of doomsday are worse than most think.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

What are the odds of the world coming to an end in any year? According to experts, those odds are more likely than most assume. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Experts have calculated the odds of global catastrophe and concluded there's a better chance of the ... continue reading


Turns out YOU are the reason we can't have nice things! The real reason why self driving cars still aren't for sale Watch

Image of Yep, that's the reason we can't have nice things.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

It turns out you are the reason we can't have nice things. Mercedes Benz CEO, Deitmar Exler told people at AutoConference LA, that humans, not technology, are the reason why self-driving cars are not quite available now. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - ... continue reading


Scientists to celebrate 'Gold Mass' - Science and Faith are compatible Watch

Image of Scientists at MIT will celebrate their first Gold Mass on Nov. 15.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Scientists at MIT are about to celebrate a 'Gold Mass' as a way to affirm the compatibility of faith and science. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - There has been a long debate for the past few centuries over the compatibility of faith and science. Science deals ... continue reading


'We are building the technology to give anyone the power to share anything they want' - Facebook has a 10-year-plan you don't want to miss! Watch

Image of Where is Facebook headed?

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook CEO Mike Schroepfer unveiled the social media giant's 10-year plan - and you're not going to believe what they have in store! LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - At the F8 conference, Zuckerberg and Schroepfer took the stage to announce ... continue reading


Elon Musk proposes universal basic income, but there's a hidden dark side nobody thinks about Watch

Image of When the robots do all the work, what is there left for the people to do? What do you do with billions of people you don't need?

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Another day brings another warning from someone in the know that the robots are coming to steal your jobs. What will people do when all labor is performed by robots? How will people support themselves and feed their families? Elon Musk proposed universal basic income. ... continue reading


What happens when humans fall in love with robots? We're about to find out. Watch

Image of What happens when humans and robots do more than work together?

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The robot revolution is troubling enough with its anticipated impact on jobs. But there may be an even greater problem on the horizon. People are likely to fall in love with their robots. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - What happens when your spouse starts ... continue reading


EPIC! A massive cloud of gas is on a collision course with our galaxy - here's what happens next... Watch

Image of As interstellar gas is compressed by gravity, stars are formed. A similar phenomenon is being observed at the heart of our galaxy where a supermassive black hole is compressing gas to form stars.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

There is a massive cloud of gas on a collision course with our galaxy, closing in at 700,000 MPH. What happens when this cloud arrives? NASA has the answer. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - In 1963, a Dutch astronomer discovered a massive cloud of gas in space ... continue reading


Hate cooking? Good! First robotic chef to arrive in 2018! Watch

Image of The Moley Robot can cook over 100 meals and learn from you.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Do you hate cooking, but love gourmet food? Then we have good news for you. The world's first robotic chef is coming to market and it can cook fully gourmet meals and even clean up after itself. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - The world's first commercially ... 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, Isaiah 40:1-11
1 'Console my people, console them,' says your God.2 'Speak to ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 96:1-2, 3, 10, 11-12, 13
1 Sing a new song to Yahweh! Sing to Yahweh, all the earth!2 ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 18:12-14
12 'Tell me. Suppose a man has a hundred sheep and one of them strays; ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 6th, 2016 Image

St. Nicholas
December 6: The great veneration with which St. Nicholas has ... Read More