In the past few months a number of sea creatures have been showing up in the wrong parts of the world, but Oarfish on display at the Smithsonian (Photo by Tim Evanson/Creative Commons via Wikimedia)none have been quite as unusual as the elusive oarfish. The oarfish has rarely been seen alive in the ocean and almost as rarely found washed up on beaches dead or dying. Recently one washed up on a beach in Cabo San Lucas.

This one was small for an oarfish at just 15 feet long. They can grow to be nearly 60 feet in length and are long and slender with bright orange dorsal fins and manes. Their silver bodies have no scales. They are named for their paddle-shaped pelvic fins. It is believed that the oarfish, with their unusual appearance and undulating motion were the cause of some of the stories mariners have told of sea serpents over the centuries. The giant oarfish is also known by the name King of the Herrings. Despite this nickname, it is not related to herrings in any way, but apparently received the name for being spotted among shoals of herring.

The people who found the creature said that it was struggling to breathe and all attempts to help return it to the Sea of Cortez were in vain. The remains have been collected for scientific study.

Oarfish found by Navy Seal trainees in 1996 (Public Domain Image)

Sources: GrindTV, World Fishing Network, Wikipedia


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