While researchers were investigating the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2011, their camera came upon the fish. The result is the longest and highest-quality video of the species yet, says one of the scientists behind the video, which was posted online in tandem with a new paper last week.
Found in all temperate to tropical oceans yet rarely seen, the oarfish family contains four species in two genera. One of these, the king of herrings (Regalecus glesne), is the longest bony fish alive, at up to 17 meters (56 ft) in length. The common name oarfish is presumably in reference to either their highly compressed and elongated bodies, or to the former (but now discredited) belief that the fish “row” themselves through the water with their pelvic fins. The family name Regalecidae is derived from the Latin regalis, meaning “royal”. The occasional beachings of oarfish after storms, and their habit of lingering at the surface when sick or dying, make oarfish a probable source of many sea serpent tales.
Oarfish coloration is also variable; the flanks are commonly covered with irregular bluish to blackish streaks, black dots, and squiggles. These markings quickly fade following death. The king of herrings is by far the largest member of the family at a published total length of 11 meters (36 ft) (with unconfirmed reports of 15 meters (49 ft) or more) and 272 kilograms in weight. The streamer fish is known to reach 3 meters (9.8 ft) in length whilst the largest recorded specimen of Regalecus russelii measured just 540 centimeters (17ft 8in.) standard length.
Rare encounters with divers and accidental catches have supplied what little is known of oarfish behaviour and ecology. Apparently solitary animals, oarfish may frequent significant depths up to 1,000 meters (3,300 ft). An oarfish measuring 3.3 meters (11 ft 4 in) and 63.5 kg (140 lb) was reported to have been caught on 17 February 2003 by Ms Val Fletcher using a fishing rod baited with squid, at Skinningrove, United Kingdom. The Oarfish in this video was measured to be 8ft in length and was swimming at a depth of 200 ft while being filmed.
This is some great footage and what a find. This Oarfish seems to know he is being viewed so just wait for it and your going to get a good look at this fellow, I know I’ve never seen one and looks quite alien if you will but also handsome and what a HAM! Also this is the first Oarfish that has gone viral. Your popular Bud and to see something good come from that well, thanks buddy.
Video uploaded by U Tube user Craig McClain