It is crazy to think that we have explored outer space many millions of miles away more than the oceans of our own planet. Now the technology for deep-water exploration has expanded and we are logging more hours in the deep where no human eyes have ever peered. Discovering new species is common and observing living creatures that had previously only been found dead or dying is amazing.
One of these incredible creatures is the Oarfish. There is stiff competition to be the most unique creature in the sea, but the oarfish may be a contender. It does lay claim to being the longest of the bony fishes and can obtain a reported length of 50 feet. Oarfish live most of their lives in the dark, depths of the abyss. Most observations of this unusual fish have been from dead or distressed specimens that washed ashore or were found floating.
It has now been filmed multiple times at depth in its natural habitat, giving us insight into how it swims and possibly feeds. Like many of the oceans largest creatures, the oarfish feeds on tiny zooplankton, jellyfish, small fish and squid. It is thought that oarfish may live in depths of up to 3300 feet.
The SERPENT project (Scientific and Environmental ROV Partnership using Existing iNdustrial Technology) is a new joint venture between deep-water researchers and the gas and oil industry. Industry has been spending time at depths searching for fossil fuels, but the scientists did not have access until this project. Now more deep-water footage is being documented than ever before.
Here is the newly re-surfaced video of a live, healthy oarfish. Best close-ups are in the latter half of the video.
BD has had previous encounters reporting about this unique fish. Here are some links that you will want to revisit.
Encounters with this fish still occur so keep your eyes open!
“This oarfish washed up on the shore many years ago. My Father had it mounted and hung it on the dining room wall,”
commented Felipe Valdez, Hotel Buena Vista Beach Resort Manager.
“It has always been a great conversation starter.”