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October 25, 2013

Meet the Oarfish - Videos and Photos

In 1997, Navy SEALS were dared to eat these sea serpents, but nobody brought their appetite to the October beached sightings.

Oarfish have been making headlines. Yes, that is a true sentence.

An 18-footer washed up on the beach off Catalina Island. A diver and some friends dragged the dead monster, which was estimated to be nearly 400 pounds, out of the water. Five days later, another oarfish washed ashore at Oceanside Harbor, which measure at 14 feet long. The Guardian reported that the smaller oarfish was about to become a mother and contained hundreds of thousands of eggs that were nearly ready to be released.

The cause of death for the pair remains unknown. Scientist said the deaths may forever remain a mystery.

Let's learn a bit of basic facts about this near-mythical creature which could definitely scare the beejesus out of children. Might be a good halloween costume as well.

  • They are a pelagic lampriform fish. In Layman's terms: a ray-finned fish in the pelagic zone.
  • Etymology: Regalecus russlii: Latin, regalis = belong to a king.
  • Dorsal fin makes up most of the body, from the eyes to the entire length of the fish
  • A Giant Oarfish was once pictured with United States Navy SEAL trainees near San Diego, California (23 ft./300lbs.)

According to the April 1997 issue of All Hands, a U.S. Navy publication, they were dared to eat the sea serpent by the Scripps' Senior Museum Scientist H.J. Walker.

"Walker dared the BUD/S trainees to sample their find, knowing well that oarfish, when cooked, tastes like paper. He tried eating it himself when an oarfish was caught in some fishing nets off Southern California coast a decade ago."

Apparently, oarfish taste like a giant college ruled notebook.

To get more acquainted with the them, take a look at these video clips of oarfish caught on camera.

Did we miss a video? Please let us know in the comments below.