GANGNEUNG, Jul. 25 (Korea Bizwire) — Fish of a species found only in the deepest depths of the sea are popping up around Gangneung in Gangwon Province. As strange as the discoveries themselves, the appearance of the fish is causing a certain degree of fear and consternation among the public.
Social media platforms are abuzz with frantic discussions as to whether the emergence of the fish is a sign of impending earthquakes or tsunamis.
On July 23, a photo of a dead oarfish that had washed up onto Anmok Beach spread like wildfire through social media.
The day before, photos of two oarfish captured at Anmok Beach were also shared on social media. With over 500 comments, the posts attracted considerable attention from social media users.
Prior to the discovery and capture of the oarfish at Anmok Beach, two oarfish that were approximately 1.2 meters long and 20 centimeters wide were found at the nearby Gyeongpo Beach.
Dating back to May there have been a number of reported discoveries of oarfish, some alive, some dead, that washed up near the beach.
Social media users have expressed their fears of a looming ecological disaster. Comments such as “I’m scared. What if there’s a tsunami coming?” and “This is a sign that either means earthquake or tsunami” were common.
However, despite the fears, some believe that the appearance of such fish so close to land is a good omen for fishermen.
Marine biologists believe that the oarfish, which typically dwell 400 meters below the surface, came up in search of food and were carried by the current to the coast.
One commenter seemed to have put the appearance of the fish into perspective by inviting people to “come to Gangneung to see oarfish, a rare marine animal”.