Legend of the Mekong Naga

Travelers visiting Cambodia and Laos are often shocked to discover a strange picture of American military men holding a 25-foot “Naga.” This mysterious animal, named after the legendary Hindu serpent deity, is said to have been pulled out of the Mekong by the American soldiers in Laos in 1973. Wow, that’s incredible!

Naga Picture

Except that it’s not true. In reality, the picture is far more domestic in origin than I would have imagined. The picture shows American military men in my home region of Southern California holding an oar fish. Although I’m a diver, I had never even heard of an oar fish until I started researching the picture on the Internet. Now, I realize there is yet one more amazing animal that I have to put on my must-see list.

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