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Stranger Than Fiction

  • Marine Depot
  • Mar 14, 2008

Back in February, I posted a picture of a very unusual fish.

A fish so unusual, in fact, that I posed the question: is this monster of the deep, in fact, real … or some Photoshop’d monstrosity created by a graphic designer with too much time on his hands.

A month passed before an anonymous commenter concluded our “Fact or Fiction?” was indeed fact. Further, our unnamed hero even identified the silver beast as an Oarfish.

SeaSky.org had this to say about the Oarfish:

The oarfish, or Regalecus glesne, is the longest bony fish in the sea. Also known as the ribbon fish, it can grow up to 50 feet in length and weigh as much as 100 pounds. The oarfish is easily distinguished by its shiny, silvery body and its bright red crest that runs the entire length of its body. Oarfish live in the deep ocean at depths down to 3000 feet. They have only been known to come up to the surface when sick or dying and have rarely ever been seen alive. Oarfish have a small mouth and no teeth. They strain crustaceans from the gill rakers in their mouth. It is believed that an oarfish can survive with only half of its body intact. Many researchers also believe that the oarfish may have been responsible for the many sightings of sea serpents reported by ancient mariners. It is indeed one of the strangest looking fish in the sea. Oarfish are found throughout the deep seas of the eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea.

Conclusion: Fact
Case: Closed

I would like to leave you with a poem:

Crashing waves bring something in
Among the swell a bright red fin

What is this coming in to the shore?

A strange sea creature never glimpsed before.

With a piercing glare and silvery eyes

I stopped to stare at its unusual size

An enormous beast and true sea monster

Spawned from deep to creep and leap

From ocean waters to scare young daughters

Who beg & plead for no more fish
One more victim of the old Oarfish

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