Jasmine Santana, a 26-year-old instructor for the Catalina Island Marine Institute, happened to be snorkeling in Toyon Bay on Sunday afternoon. Everything seemed normal, that is until…she saw a giant eye staring back at her from the sandy depths. That creepy eye belonged to a mythical 18-foot-long oarfish, a find so rare, the institute hailed it as a ‘discovery of a lifetime’. Continue reading for a video and more information.

Here’s what Mark Waddington, an instructor who takes middle school-age students out on the institute’s Guided Discoveries tours has to say:

I remember looking over and seeing her wrestling with it. When I saw the long tail, I thought, ‘Oh that’s got to be an oarfish.’

I was beside myself, I’m sure I said ‘awesome’ a lot. I had heard of it in studies, but never thought I would see one in person.

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