Thursday, October 24, 2013

Strange Creatures Spotted Off California Coast

As if nature knows Halloween approaches, stranger and stranger creatures have been sighted in the passing days! Not one but two "sea serpents" have been found off the coast of California in the past couple weeks. Reports indicate that two massive oarfish have been found, the first measured a whopping 18 feet, the second almost 14 feet long. They may not be the "sea monsters" of lore, but the large crowds these fish attracted prove that people are still drawn to the unexpected and unusual, particularly in nature. It also proves that with all our scientific knowledge of Mother Nature, she can still surprise us now and then.

Oarfish usually dive thousands of feet below the surface, so sightings are few and far between. It's their significant size and rarity that have resulted in their mythic association with "sea monsters" and "sea serpents." Indeed, lore continues to grow around these serpents as harbingers of disaster. As a recent news report notes, fishermen in Japan reported a surge in oarfish sightings after a major earthquake hit Chile and just before the 2011 Japan quake.

Learn more about the fascinating lore behind these strange creatures with Antoon Cornelis Oudemans' 1892 work The Great Sea Serpent, in which Oudemans' details a history of sea serpent sightings and seeks scientific explanations for these wondrous beasts, and J.P. O'Neill's The Great New England Sea Serpent, which chronicles sightings from 1638 to present day off the Gulf of Maine.

The Great Sea Serpent is available in hardcover for collectors and booklovers and in paperback for those of us who just want to read a nice affordable edition.
The Great New England Sea Serpent is available via Paraview Press in paperback or for Kindle, as well as in numerous digital formats here.

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