Oarfish Estimated at 24 Feet Long Washes Up on Catalina Island Beach

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This oarfish washed ashore on Catalina Island on Aug. 17, 2015. (Credit: Annie MacAulay)

This oarfish washed ashore on Catalina Island on Aug. 17, 2015. (Credit: Annie MacAulay)

A dead oarfish with a belly full of krill washed up on Santa Catalina Island this week, marking a rare sighting of the deep-sea creature and the largest to appear on the island in years, experts say.

The beast likely weighed from 150 to 200 pounds and was 24 feet long when it was alive, said Annie MacAulay, a marine biologist and president of Mountain and Sea Educational Adventures, who dissected it Monday.

Someone found the fish about 6:30 a.m. Monday at Pebbly Beach near Avalon with its tail severed off — which oarfish have been known to do to shed weight and save energy, she said.

The fish was about 15 1/2 feet when it washed ashore but because of its girth, MacAulay and her colleagues guess it was about nine feet longer with the tail.

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Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly spelled “krill.” The post has been updated.