The Oarfish

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Anonymous

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Okay - well I found this very good post (by cthulhu) on the excellent memepool.com site - 27th Feb 2003.
The oarfish is the longest bony fish in the world. It has been reliably documented at eight meters - some specimens over fifteen meters have been claimed. The oarfish is a deep-water fish, which normally lives on strained plankton and only surfaces when sick or dead. It is often thought that ancient maritime legends of sea serpents originate from rare sightings of oarfish. Because the oarfish looks like a snake, it was always assumed that it moved like a snake in water as well. Recently, however, video footage of the oarfish proves otherwise. The fish moves with its body in a vertical swimming position.

Slight edit. memepool.com is well worth a daily visit.
 

bogzla

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Wow! thanks, that video is amazing.
 

EnolaGaia

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18-foot-long sea creature found off Calif. coast

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A marine science instructor snorkeling off the Southern California coast spotted something out of a fantasy novel: the silvery carcass of an 18-foot-long, serpent-like oarfish.

Jasmine Santana of the Catalina Island Marine Institute needed more than 15 helpers to drag the giant sea creature with eyes the size of half dollars to shore Sunday.

Staffers at the institute are calling it the discovery of a lifetime.

"We've never seen a fish this big," said Mark Waddington, senior captain of the Tole Mour, CIMI's sail training ship. "The last oarfish we saw was three feet long."

Because oarfish dive more than 3,000 feet deep, sightings of the creatures are rare and they are largely unstudied, according to CIMI.

...

The oarfish, which can grow to more than 50 feet, is a deep-water pelagic fish — the longest bony fish in the world, according to CIMI.

They are likely responsible for sea serpent legends throughout history.

SOURCE: http://news.yahoo.com/18-foot-long-sea- ... 12100.html

Large photo at:

http://news.yahoo.com/lightbox/photo-re ... 12088.html
 

Yithian

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Video links not working. Can anyone rectify or relocate?
 

EnolaGaia

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???? ... I only linked to the main article and to the specific URL for a single photo.

All video links accessible indirectly from either of those two places are working for me.
 

Yithian

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Sorry, I wasn't being clear: the first post in this thread.
 

EnolaGaia

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The video was recorded back in 2003 by two divers working for the US Navy. A text description of their encounter can be found at:

http://scenicbackroads.tripod.com/id7.html (See excerpts below)

This article mentions the video had been made available online (in .rm and .avi formats) back in 2003. Both URL's are 'dead'.


RARE SIGHTING OF OARFISH FILMED

Divers from the U.S. Navy's Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center
(AUTEC), a Detachment of the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Newport, Rhode Island, were startled recently when they were visited by a strange looking sea creature.

The divers, Brian Kakuk and Bill Cooksey, employees of Range Systems Engineering Co., a subsidiary of the Raytheon Corp., under contract to the Navy, were inspecting a buoy installation in the south end of the Bahamian waters known as the Tongue of the Ocean (TOTO), when a large serpent-like creature appeared.

The creature, never before seen by either of the two veteran divers, displayed no aggression as it gently swam towards them. Swimming vertically using only its elongated dorsal fin, the creature, over 5-feet in length, approached to within an arms-length of the divers.

SMOOTH TO THE TOUCH

"It approached and hovered about ten feet away, about 20-feet below the surface. It looked at us. My first impression was that the eyes moved in the sockets and followed our movement", said Cooksey. "I approached the fish and much to my surprise it allowed me to touch the lower part of its body. It was smooth to the touch and fine scaled like a mackerel" ...

MOVING AGAINST THE CURRENT

The divers surfaced and picked up a video camera. "We moved away to the buoy to do a safety stop. I turned around and saw that the fish was following us," noted Cooksey. "It had incredible control of its elongated pelvic and dorsal fins. On the ends of these fins were yellow and blue tassels. It appeared to have control of these little flags moving them against the flow of the current".

"After a few moments of filming it began to swim into deeper water", said Cooksey. "We dropped from 10 feet to 80 feet quickly. I was amazed that it could move so fast in its heads up swimming style. It stopped for a moment and was gone".

Back on shore, the video was reviewed and creature identified as an oarfish (Regale-cus glesne). ...

FIRST TIME ON VIDEO

According to one source, the number of people who have actually seen the fish alive is very small. By all accounts a live oarfish has been photographed on only two other occasions, one of those times by a sport diver, also in the waters off AUTEC. This encounter is believed to be the first time that a live oarfish has ever been captured on video.

The oarfish is thought to prefer living at depths down to 2000 feet, but has been sighted on occasion near the surface where it has been misidentified as a sea serpent. Lacking caudal or anal fins, it was once thought to slither through the water like a sea snake or eel.

This recent sighting and a previous one show that the fish actually swims vertically in the water column using an undulating dorsal fin to propel it. "The back fin that ran from its head to the end of its body controlled its movement in the water. In its heads up attitude the fish had total control of its position in the water", said Cooksey.
 

rynner2

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Quake rumours over new beached 'sea serpent' in US

Social media has lit up with earthquake rumours after a giant oarfish washed up on a California beach - the second such discovery in several days.
The 4.3m (14ft) dead snake-like fish was found in the city of Oceanside - five days after another and larger specimen (5.5m) had been found.

Reports on social media recall an ancient Japanese myth linking extremely rare oarfish sightings to tremors.
But scientists remain sceptical of any link to increased tectonic activity.

They remain puzzled, however, by the two discoveries of this rare deepwater fish near the beach.
The larger specimen, found on Santa Catalina island, has now been dissected and it appears well-fed, healthy and with little sign of disease.
"It looks good enough to eat - if you have a 13ft pan," biologist Ruff Zetter said. 8)

Tests are also being done for radiation, following Japan's Fukushima nuclear leak on the other side of the Pacific.
But it is also a rare chance to gather information about a little-known species that hovers vertically in the ocean and grazes on passing proteins.
The elusive fish - which can grow up to 15m - dives to depth of up to 1,000m and is found in all temperate to tropical waters.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-24619600

Some deepwater species like squid only mate once in their life, and then die. Perhaps something similar happens with oarfish - it might explain why we have two together...?
 

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