Opah Is The Devil
That’s “Opah”, not Oprah, and although this big beached beauty may look somewhat satanic the lower reaches it hails from aren’t hellish in the least. Known variously as Sunfish, Moonfish, or Kingfish, these deep-ocean fish are rarely seen even when biologists and anglers are looking for them.
(image via: Pete Thomas Outdoors)
It “looked like it was from another planet,” stated Scott Williams, a local surfer who discovered the massive fish being battered by waves one morning in October of 2010, just off the coast of San Diego. It’s estimated the manhole-sized, 100-lb Opah would bring $12 per pound if sold at market prices but being that it was a fish out of water, literally, eating it might not be advisable.
Violets Are Blew
(images via: Hatena.net and Australian Museum)
Purple Storm Snails (Janthina janthina) are rarely seen anywhere BUT washed up on a beach. These exquisitely beautiful gastropods have paper-thin shells and blow “bubble rafts” of transparent chitin to keep them afloat on the ocean’s surface. They acquired their colloquial name from their propensity to being blown onto beaches by strong storm winds.
From Russia With Ugh
I see your Montauk Monster and raise you a Moscow Monster! This seriously decomposed… something… was found by soldiers stationed on Russia’s far-eastern island territory of Sakhalin in 2006. Sakhalin, by the way, is about 5,000 miles east of Moscow… just sayin’.
Once the story broke, Russian Special Service personnel quickly removed the remains from the beach “for in-depth studies”, though over five years later not a peep has been heard from them. Independent observers working from photos taken and transmitted before the FSS (the KGB’s successor) put a bearhug on further reporting noted similarities between the washed-up creature’s skull and skeleton to those of Orca and Beluga Whales, the later of which are rather populous in the waters off Sakhalin.
Bigfoot, Meet Bigtooth
Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water… it IS safe in the water, just stay off the beach! OK, the only danger posed by the toothy creation above is potentially stubbing one’s toe on it. And by “creation”, we don’t mean it in the biblical sense. Tampa Bay artist Juan Cabana conceived, composed and posed the purported Sea Monster as one of his “Seamystery” series of mythical creatures, monsters, mermaids and aliens. The ferocious fish-beast above was auctioned off at eBay by Cabana in June 2006 and any image seen on the Internet is derived from the photos Cabana included in the auction description.
Six, er, Fourteen Feet Under
The thrill of victory and the agony of the feet, the latter of which were washing ashore along the Canadian and American Pacific northwest coast so often authorities were wondering what in the wide world of sports was going on! Just whose feet were they – and where were the rest of the bodies? The so-called “Salish Sea Human Foot Discoveries” date from August of 2007 and as of early 2012 fourteen beached feet had been recovered… plus a “hoax foot” consisting of an animal paw stuffed into a shoe. Nice.
(image via: Top Ten Thailand)
To date, less than half of “The Feet on the Beach” have been identified though the case offers some tantalizing clues. One commonality revolves around the shoes holding the remains: most were made and sold before 2004, prompting some to wonder if victims (of parts thereof) of the 2004 Asian Tsunami were directed to the Salish Sea islands by ocean currents.
So, are you up for a nice, peaceful walk on the beach or does the possibility of stumbling across something unexpected make you want to wave it off? One thing you should know: from whales to snails and fish to feet, things washed up on the shore have all seen better days, so stowaway your fears and enjoy nature’s bounty!