A rare 12.5 foot oarfish which was discovered bloody and disfigured on the shore in Leyte province, Philippines
A rare 12.5 foot oarfish which was discovered bloody and disfigured on the shore in Leyte province, Philippines.
A rare 12.5-foot oarfish, which was discovered bloody and disfigured on the shore in Philippines, has ignited fears of an impending natural disaster.

The ribbon-shaped fish, which is also known as the 'Harbinger of Doom', was spotted to be heavily bleeding with severe injuries to its face by fisherman on Wednesday.

Its discovery has sparked fear amongst locals, as the more superstitious believe the sighting of the animal signals an impending earthquake.

In Japanese mythology the long creature are notorious for being a bad omen, dubbed 'ryugu no tsukai' or as messenger's from god's palace in the sea.

Around a dozen oarfish were washed ashore between 2010 and 2011 prior to the Tohoku earthquake which killed more than 20,000 - an argument many mystics used to support the theory.

Although this folklore maintains that with their arrival comes doom, no connection between natural disasters and oarfish has ever been scientifically proven.

Villagers immediately contacted local wildlife officials to save the oarfish when it was discovered, however the giant eel-like creature passed before they reached the shore.

Officials have urged residents to remain calm, insisting there is no truth to the Japanese folklore.

The Office of Municipal Agriculture said: 'Upon examination, it was discovered that the oarfish had suffered severe injuries to its face, including disfigurement and heavy bleeding.

'Oarfish, also known as Regalecus glesne, are deep-sea creatures characterised by their elongated, ribbon-like bodies.

'Despite their rarity, oarfish are often linked to myths, such as predicting earthquakes. However, there is no scientific evidence supporting this belief, despite occasional coincidental sightings during seismic events.

'Unfortunately, despite efforts to save it, the injured oarfish was pronounced dead and subsequently buried. This incident serves as a reminder of the importance of understanding and conserving the diverse marine life inhabiting our oceans.'

Oarfish live in warmer and more tropical regions at ocean depths of up to 3,280 feet.

Although the large and greatly elongated creature tends to flourish in deeper waters, when they are drudged into shallower water by turbulent currents they struggle to survive.

They mainly feed on small fish, plankton and squid.

This comes after a giant oarfish was spotted by a scuba diver off the coast of Taiwan.

The giant oarfish with shimmering silver scales was spotted floating eerily upright near Ruifang District in Taipei.

It appeared to have several holes in its body which were believed to be bites inflicted while escaping from a shark attack.

One diver reached out to stroke the oarfish - which is colloquially known as an 'earthquake fish' - which flinched when touched.

Diving instructor Wang Cheng-Ru, who captured the encounter, said: 'I was diving with the group and we immediately recognised the earthquake fish. It was a very special encounter, as I've never seen one in real life before.

'There were holes in the oarfish's body which probably came from a shark attack. I hope that this is not a bad omen.'

The diving instructor told said that the giant fish was near the surface as it is likely it was dying after the attack.