The Philippines has always taken pride in the various species of marine life found along the pristine waters that run along its shores.
However, the rise of illegal fishing has caused an imbalance in the ecosystem, which has caused the displacement of many of our marine friends, such as this rare oarfish which was captured along the shores of General Santos City, South Cotabato.
Last September 2016, fishermen from the Gen San area caught a 7-feet long oarfish which happened to present itself along the coastline. Instead of celebrating, the local community were not happy, for many say that this rare fish only presents itself when a looming earthquake is on its way.
Villagers believe that the giant fish, also known as the ribbon fish, is bad omen and will not bring any good to the community.
Reasearchers say that an oarfish typically dives more than 3,000 feet deep, the same reason why sightings can be rare. Just a few days before the deadly 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami struck Japan, about 20 oarfish were found along the beaches in the area, Mark Benfield, a researcher at Louisiana State University, told LiveScience, an online scientific news website.
Just this January 2017, another oarfish, which was 13 feet long, was found along the coastline of a beach in Albay, dead and lifeless. Villagers were ecstatic and butchered the massive and rare marine life, then distributed it amongst themselves.
Catherine Dukes, a researcher from the University of Virginia, told LiveScience that there are no conclusive data as to whether animals can truly detect an earthquake, however, they do sense high levels of emitted ozone gas that is the result of crushed rocks underneath the Earth due to high pressure.
Do you believe in animals ability to sense natural disasters? Share your thoughts in the comments section!