A rare oarfish in New Zealand is making headlines today after its body washed up on shore. According to the Tech Times, the strange 10-foot creature was found by a local resident in the salt marsh at Aramoana Spit in Dunedin. Strange looking as it may be, the rare sighting has grabbed the attention of thousands of curious people who have never actually seen something like this before.
“It must have just washed up and it was very fresh. It’s a very weird looking creature, Instead of scales it has this smooth skin, like tinfoil, and if you rubbed it the silver would come onto your hand,” explained Department of Conservation David Agnew.
“They are usually found in deep water in tropical temperatures, but I think they do come up to feed on the surface,” said New Zealand Marine Studies Center and Aquarium manager, Tessa Mills.
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The rare oarfish in New Zealand was pretty typical in its appearance. It was very long, narrow, and a silver color. Also known as a ribbon fish because of its super-flexible, ribbon-like body, the oarfish lives in very deep waters, about 3,000 feet down. According to the Sea, most oarfish swim near the water’s surface when they are sick or dying — and that’s not the only time.
“These unusual creatures have been known to wash ashore on beaches after storms, providing endless hours of fascination for curious onlookers.”
According to the Business Insider, oarfish are the “longest known bony fish in the world.” More and more research is being done to learn about these mysterious creatures of the deep, which are quite fascinating to look at.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, many refer to the oarfish as a sea serpent. Growing to about 10 meters (32 feet) — though some sources say they can get as long as 50 feet — the size of a fully mature adult oarfish is quite impressive, to say the least. The fish is almost a cross between an eel and a snake, and has very peculiar markings on its body.
At this time, authorities in New Zealand aren’t sure why this particular oarfish washed ashore, but its body is being studied for possible clues.
Are you intrigued by the mysterious oarfish?
[Photo courtesy of the Hulton Archive via Getty Images]