An amazing discovery of a 18 foot oarfish carcass off the coast of Catalina Island, a denizen of the deep once thought to be a sea serpent. It was discovered Sunday October 13, 2013 by Jasmine Santana, a marine science instructor at the Catalina Island Marine Institute. The oarfish was dead, but the body was still intact.
Oarfish are large greatly elongated pelagic lampiform fishes comprising the small family Regalecidae. 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. Its shape is ribbon-like, a narrow laterally width dorsal fin along its entire length, stubby pectoral fins and a long, oar-shaped pelvic fins from which its common name may be derived. (http://www.wikepedia.org).
Oarfish might be responsible for some of the so called sea serpent sightings that were seen by ancient mariners and modern sailors."Its physical characteristics and undulating swimming motion have led to speculation that it may be the source of many sea serpent sightings (http://www.wikepedia.org).
Here is two sightings that fit the oarfish (king of herrings) :
Capt. Peter M'Quhae and most of the officers and crew of H.M.S. Daedalus were treated to the sight of "a sea-serpent of extraordinary dimensions" while on passage from the East Indies to Plymouth, England, in 1848. In a detailed, matter-of-fact statement dated October 11, Captain M'Quahae advised the lords of the admiralty that at 5 p.m. on August 6-the Daedalus then being in the South Atlantic 300 miles off the western coast of Africa-"something very unusual was seen by Mr. Sartoris, midshipman, rapidly approaching the ship from before the beam".
Mr. Sartoris immediately reported the circumstance to Captain M'Quhae and two officers walking the quarterdeck. What they and several other incredulous viewers saw was an enormous, undulating, snakelike thing with head and shoulders kept about four feet constantly above the surface of the sea. As nearly as the men could judge by making a comparison with the length of their main topsail yard, the serpent's visible length was a good 60 feet; its diameter behind the head was 15 or 16 inches, and there seemed to be some kind of mane down the creature's back.
Maintaining its course to the southwest at a pace of 12 to 15 miles per hour, the creature passed the Daedalus rapidly but, stated M'Quhae, "so close under our lee quarter, that had it been a man of my acquaintance, I should easily have recognized his features with the naked eye. (Bernard Heuvelmans, In the Wake of the Sea-Serpents, pp. 198-217)
Two paratroopers on leave from the British Army, Capt. John Ridgway and Sgt. Chay Blyth, spent 92 days rowing across the Atlantic in 1966 on a self-imposed survival test that, as it turned out, included a strange encounter. In the predawn of July 25 the sergeant was sound asleep and Ridgway, drowsy himself was mechanically pulling at the oars of their 20-foot open boat when something disturbed the still darkness. As Ridgeway wrote afterward : "I was shocked to full wakefulness by a swishing noise to starboard. I looked out into the water and suddenly saw the writhing, twisting shape of a great creature. It was outlined by the phosphorescence in the sea as if a string of neon lights were hanging from it. It was an enormous size, some thirty-five or more feet long, and it came towards me quite fast. I must have watched it for some ten seconds. It headed straight at me and disappeared right beneath me" (John Ridgway and Chay Blyth, A Fighting Chance, pp.12, 131-132).
Sea serpents always have fascinated people for generations. In the past, they did not know what lurked in the depths of the sea. When they seen these extraordinary creatures for the first time they thought they saw a sea serpent until the creature was identified by scientists.Oarfish are rare deep sea fish. God created this fish for a purpose. What other deep sea creatures are waiting to be discovered that were thought to be sea serpents.