An oarfish was found Monday, June 24, in Barangay Poblacion in Compostela town in northern Cebu at around 2 p.m.
The oarfish, which was around 13.9 feet long and 1.6 feet wide, died after some town residents ripped off its head while trying to pull it from the rocks where it was hiding, according to a Facebook post by the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO).
Residents said it was the first time that an oarfish, locally known as liwit, was washed into their waters.
The discovery also sparked discussions on social media.
Some netizens commenting in the social media claimed that oarfish washing ashore in Compostela in Cebu is a sign that a natural catastrophe will soon follow.
The oarfish is known in Japan as ryugu no tsukai or “messenger from the sea god’s palace,” according to the Japan Times.
The National Geographic Channel said that “Deep-sea fish living near the sea bottom are more sensitive to the movements of active faults than those near the surface of the sea.”
Scientists speculate that the bottom-dwelling creatures are more sensitive to seismic shifts.