A bizarre fish that was caught in northern Peru has prompted fears that the country is about to suffer an earthquake.
The oarfish, dubbed the ‘fish of tremors’ for its supposed link to earthquakes, was caught off the town on Mancora, a popular hang out for surfers.
It comes just days after a number of oarfish were spotted off Japan where they were previously sighted ahead of the 2011 Fukushima earthquake and tsunami which killed more than 20,000 people.
Oarfish, which are also believed to have been responsible for claimed sightings of sea serpents by ancient mariners, can grow up to 16ft long.
One species, the giant oarfish, is the world’s longest bony fish growing up to a length of 11 metres (36 feet).
The fish spend most of their time in the depths of the ocean, at a depth of at least 0.6 miles, and seldom venture near the surface.
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For this reason, they are rarely seen despite the fact they are found in all temperate to tropical oceans.
Some researchers suggest the oarfish move into shallower waters due to electromagnetic changes that occur when there is tectonic activity linked to faults.
However, most experts say there is no correlation between the fish and earthquakes, and point out that the fish have also been seen in years when there have been no quakes.
The belief they appear before earthquakes originates in Japan where they are linked to the myth of Namazu, a giant catfish which lives under the country’s islands and supposedly causes earthquakes by thrashing its tail.
But the appearance of oarfish before the 2011 Fukushima disaster has given the legend added weight.