It’s not often that humans and former sea monsters meet, but according to a blog in GrindTV, that’s what apparently happened.
A bizarre-looking fish washed ashore in Cabo San Lucas, intriguing beach-goers, the blog noted.
Bearing an elongate, snake-like body, the oarfish (Regalecus glesne) stranded on the shoreline conjured up images of the sea serpents that tormented the minds of ancient mariners. At 15 feet long, this fish, which is found worldwide in all tropical and temperate waters, was comparatively small, according to records kept by the Australian Museum.
Indeed, sightings of oarfish that were more than 17 meters long have been recorded, the museum reports.
Adorned with a frilly, bright orange-red crest and sinuous dorsal fin, the fish probably fueled the imaginations of sailors and it’s likely that this is how the legends of sea monsters originated, GrindTV reported.
Beach-goers attempted to revive the fish and return it to the sea, but their efforts were unsuccessful and the fish was collected for scientific study, according to the blog.
The silvery, metallic fish, highlighted with wavy stripes and blotches must have been an imposing sight to mariners of old. Their fears were all for naught, because oarfish feed on small crustaceans, plankton and shrimp and are harmless, according to Sea and Sky. They have also been observed swimming slowly by keeping their bodies relatively straight, only undulating their dorsal fins, the site reported, and also noted that while observations of oarfish in the wild are uncommon, it’s believed that their numbers are reasonably abundant. Therefore, the fish aren’t considered to be endangered.
Sightings generally occur when the fish are injured, sick, dying, or already dead, the site reported. They are creatures of the deep sea and as such, generally inhabit depths between 600-3,000 feet.
Undoubtedly, seeing one of these legendary creatures is something people are unlikely to forget.
Photo source: Tim Evanson