Tuesday March 30, 2010

There is an old saying in Japan that oarfish washing up on beaches are an omen of a big earthquake. In light of the recent tectonic activity around the world, the appearance of at least a dozen oarfish on the beaches and in fishing nets off the coast of Japan has superstitious Japanese on edge. Oarfish have a long history of creating a stir. The fish can reach up to 50 feet in length and their long, slender sliver bodies and bright red dorsal fin may have been the origin of the sea serpent myth.
Very little is known about these unusual creatures. It is exceptional to see an oarfish alive, since they generally live at depths of around 3,300ft in temperate to tropical oceans. Recently an oarfish was filmed using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) by marine scientists in the Gulf of Mexico. At first they thought that the long shiny object was a drilling pipe being lowered into the water, however on closer inspection it turned out to be a rare oarfish swimming vertically in the water column
Photo source: DiverNet

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