TikTok users are vowing to ‘build an ark’ after a 16ft-long sea creature was captured off the coast of Chile, with the creature traditionally seen as a bad omen for tsunamis and earthquakes. Watch a video of the giant fish here:
A group of fishermen from the city of Arica recently caught a colossal oarfish, also known as a rowing fish, with footage shared on TikTok showing the huge fish being hoisted up to show its sheer scale.
The video of the monstrous fish, which was more than five metres long, attracted 10 million views and 600,000 likes on the platform – where many users couldn’t believe their eyes.
One commented: "That’s a scary amazing fish,”
Another said: “And now where do we escape?”
A third wrote: "Yup, we're dead.”
A fourth added: “Imagine being swimming and you know that appears... I'm dying.”
Someone else asked ‘why the hell’ the fishermen captured the giant fish, while another joked: "I'll start building the ark myself just like Noah did.”
Offering up something of an explanation for the concern, one other user said: "Oarfish live in the depths. It is said that when they start to the surface it is because the tectonic plates are in movement.”
Indeed, oarfish – which are sometimes referred to as ‘rowing fish’ - have long been seen as an omen for oncoming tsunamis and earthquakes by Japanese people, who also believe whoever finds one will be cursed.
Reaching lengths of up to 11 metres, the fish live in deep water and only return to the surface when they are sick, dying or breeding – which has fuelled speculation they may return to the surface with changes in the weather.
While this is a theory that has never actually been confirmed by science, local authorities must now consider what brought the creature to the surface.
According to National Geographic, the oarfish is the world’s longest bony fish, but is rarely seen because it lives at ‘considerable depths’ of around 3,300 ft (1,000m).
Thankfully, however, they are not dangerous as they just eat tiny plankton.
“Although oarfish were likely the source of many historic tales of sea serpents and sea monsters, they are hardly dangerous to people,” the science and nature outlet explained.
“Oarfish feed on tiny plankton and have a small opening to their digestive system. They don’t even have real teeth, instead having flimsier structures called gill rakers to catch tiny organisms.”
It added: “Oarfish have occasionally been seen at the water’s surface, but scientists think they are pushed there by storms or strong currents, or they end up there when in distress or dying.
“A sputtering oarfish may look like a terrifying sea monster, but it is not thought to pose a danger to people or boaters.”
Featured Image Credit: Jam Press