If good things come in pairs, the discovery of another giant, nearly mythical sea creature should portend positive things for a bunch of bewildered beachgoers who early Friday evening happened across the second so-called "discovery of a lifetime" in less than a week.
The 13-and-a half-foot-long oarfish, which washed up on a beach in Oceanside Harbor, Calif., is the second of the rarely seen creatures to be found in a matter of days.
"It's so rare to find in Southern California, especially in surface water," Suzanne Kohin, of the National Marine Fisheries Service said. "They thought it was a very rare event the first time, so these two events that we heard of in the last few weeks are the only ones I've ever heard of."
The first discovery was made by a snorkeling marine scientist who wrestled the dead 18-foot monster (with help) to shore near Catalina last Sunday.
"I was thinking I have no idea what that is and like it looks like a snake but it kind of looks like a giant eel," said onlooker Alexandria Boyle, who was one of a class of third-graders on a beach trip when the newest oarfish was found.
Boyle was among a crowd of about 75 who crowded around the creature as police were called, and waited around for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to come and collect the carcass.
Oarfish can grow up to 50 feet in length and live in depths of up to 3,000 feet. Little is known about their habits and life cycles, but the NOAA writes on their website they "probably only come to the surface when injured or dying."
When the first oarfish was found last week, the Catalina Island Marine Institute hailed it in a news release as a "discovery of a lifetime."
Mark Waddington, a school training guide with the Insitute told ABC News he spotted another instructor, Jasmine Santana, trying to bring the fish to shore, and immediately jumped in to help, along with 15 to 20 others.
"I had heard of it in studies, but never thought I would see one in person," said Waddington, who was "beside himself" when he saw the size of the fish.
Divers inspecting a navy buoy in the Bahamas were the first known to videotape a five-foot long oarfish in 2001, claims the NOAA.
The terrifying-looking and toothless oarfish is also known as a ribbon fish, possessing bony, silvery bodies and bright red-crested heads. They are thought to have spawned ancient folk tales about sea serpents.
ABC News' Lauren Effron contributed to this report.
- Nature & Environment