Large Tropical Fish Washes Up On Oregon Beach In Rare Occurrence

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An unusually large fish has created quite a stir on social media.

A large fish, called Opah, washed ashore the coast of the US state of Oregon recently in what aquarium officials say is a rare occurrence. The 3.5-foot-long fish, also known as a moonfish, weighed 45 kilograms and was found on Sunset Beach in Seaside, a city on the northwest side of Oregon. In a Facebook post, the Seaside Aquarium said it was “rare to the Oregon Coast”. After seeing photographs of the fish, the officials quickly responded and recovered it before the birds could find it. Visitors were encouraged to take a look at the unusual fish.

Sharing a few photographs of the fish, the aquarium stated that it will be “frozen until the school year starts”. The post has gone viral with more than 19,000 shares so far. The aquarium added that “one lucky school group will get the chance to dissect this large fish” in collaboration with a local organisation, the Columbia River Maritime Museum, to get more data about the species.

Take a look at the photographs here:

There is little information available about the Opah, primarily because they live deep in the ocean and rarely come to the shore, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), an American scientific and regulatory agency.

Opahs can grow as big as 6 feet and weigh over 600 pounds (roughly 272 kilograms). The species is round and flat, NOAA said on its website, adding, “Their fins and mouth are red, and their large eyes are encircled with gold.”

“What a beautiful species. So sad this one was found dead. Such amazing colours. Does belong in an aquarium for all to appreciate its beauty,” commented Debra Teshara Marrone on the post.

Barb Damiani, who describes herself as a kindergarten teacher on her profile, said, “How cool! It’s absolutely beautiful! What a sight it would be to actually see it in the water swimming!”

Keith Chandler, the general manager of Seaside Aquarium, told CNN that he believed the fish had been on the beach for less than an hour and the aquarium’s employees removed it before the birds found it.

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