Oarfish Earthquake Myth Exposed

Could there be a link between the two giant fish that were beached in southern California?
3:00 | 10/22/13

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Transcript for Oarfish Earthquake Myth Exposed
This is a special room. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Our question could rumblings in the two. Washed up last week and since -- are now looking into urban legends of animals being able to protect. An earthquake in fact Japanese -- says that or fish circus in -- themselves. As a sign of an impending quake. Fourteen. Washed ashore Japan in March 2010 it was one year before that big earthquake in 2011. Most scientists say though there is no concrete evidence that these bottom dwelling fish sense movement in seismic fault lines. There's a big difference between suggesting something like that and actually proving what did an animal sense what did it feel that we didn't feel that told us about a coming -- Proving mix is exactly what scientists want to do animals on land on -- -- Shown they have a sense for predicting tremors and facts. Something and went uphill. In in Indonesia and India and other countries you -- really. Which is why some geologists are trying to study orchestra -- little more closely trying to turn. Perhaps superstition into an actual super science so with that -- want to bring in Dr. Phil Hastings from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego. Doctor thank you so much for being with us -- we appreciate this description of separating between fact and fiction. -- -- so is there any possibility of that or fish from the place where they. Spend most of their time in the ocean -- -- get a peek of seismic activity. I know of no credible scientific evidence to support that that assertion. This -- are generally very -- from very far from shore and so would not necessarily be interacting. With fault lines like and and then frankly -- -- -- -- -- through sensory systems that they might have that would would allow them to detect that. We look at these pictures and they really are amazing where how deep do they actually live in the bush. Whether there really are truly amazing finishes the they're found from the surface waters down to -- -- one and a thousand meters some callers to 2000 meters or so. We of course he rarely ever see them until they come to the surface and then unfortunately in rarely see them until they -- on the beaches. Has -- ever been found alive. We'll certainly they've been found -- -- but not kept alive for very long there are some recent videos of of some swimming in shallow water. But in general the ones that are seen are stranded in individuals that do not live for very long and about how big can these things get because you look at the -- made just -- They are very large in fact. One beached itself here in the Southern California in the San Diego area in 1996 it was seven point three meters and links. So very very substantial for expectant affect the longest fish in the world is so what exactly looking for them when your dissecting the animal you -- for what it's eating its its habits. Still we did did -- -- -- section yesterday with no staff as well and we looked -- Scott contents. The general condition of the specimens. Whether ms. reproductive returns at the one that washed up and Oceanside. Was in fact a very healthy looking. Bright female so I don't think there was any sort of distress in the fish and other than probably getting stranded in the surf -- And becoming disoriented and then eventually some coming to that. So what do you say then maybe not perhaps apply to meat or fish -- -- animals in general and some of the signs and some of the study that's been put behind been able to actually predict major -- events like this. Well again I I don't know of any credible evidence that -- is -- -- the ability at all to do this and in fact I would put my money on on the geologist prediction and sort of officials production. And Agassi infamous -- -- an obvious question about why is it that we seat and so rarely. Well it's it's -- -- sure it's species the there is not at home in the shallow waters were where people are found. There were people moderately observed Wednesday -- -- occupied surface waters but they do -- fairly deeply. And so we rarely ever see them unless they're in trouble. They obviously -- and other large -- -- -- I'm assuming. No actually they have a very small mouth and actually no teeth and available evidence in the case -- if you don't you -- houses which are small -- like creatures that are quite common in in the open ocean. It is still somewhat of a mystery -- because they are so difficult kind of capture. Well we still don't understand a lot -- -- -- inferences we don't know how old how long they live held. Quickly they grow old seven meter long specimen -- we just simply have no information about. When you come across something like this in your dissecting it what is it goes what goes through your mind then as a scientist and you're able to kind of get this very rare species -- -- Well first of all very excited to have to have the sort of a job -- if they are presumed to see. Things like this that other people don't get to see -- we we also -- trying to look for. Unique observations that that have been made before that we can actually. Her progress -- science to some extent. Well it has been a -- -- discovery we certainly appreciate your time Dr. -- Hastings. -- Muslims and institution of oceanography at the interest of California San Diego thank you of course we have more on the mysterious or fish and ABC news dot conference on desktops -- New York where this ABC news digital special report.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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