By Kathleen Perricone
Imagine if you were snorkeling all by yourself and then you see a dark mass beneath you in the water!
That terrifying scenario was the real deal for Catalina Island Marine Institute student Jasmine Santana, who discovered an 18-foot oarfish in Southern California over the weekend.
Brave Jasmine called in to On Air with Ryan Seacrest to tell us about the experience … and let’s just say she’s much more calm telling the story than we are hearing it.
The oarfish is “harmless,” she tells us. “As far as we know, it’s harmless. We don’t know a lot about it.”
As Jasmine tells us, “I went out for a snorkel by myself. All of a sudden I see something really big in the water at the bottom … so it did scare me a little bit. My heart was beating really fast. But the curious marine scientist in me decided to get closer and see what it was.”
And when she did, she didn’t swim for the shore … she reached down and grabbed it! ”It’s probably was 300-400 pounds,” explains Jasmine. “It took 14 or 15 of us to lift it … Once I decided it was dead and I wanted to bring it up. I grabbed it by its tail at the narrowest part and I had to push myself off from the bottom to be able to lift it. But then it floated.”
Photo: The Catalina Island Marine Insitute