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'Sea serpent' oarfish washes up on beach

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Kristin Moore
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« on: June 05, 2015, 12:48:47 am »

'Sea serpent' oarfish washes up on beach
Posted on Friday, 1 May, 2015

A 19th century depiction of a 16ft oarfish that washed up on a beach in Bermuda. Image Credit: PD - 1860
The enormous fish, which grows up to 36ft, is believed to have sparked many legends about sea monsters.
Despite usually only being found in the depths of the ocean, oarfish have been known to wash up on beaches from time to time.

Back in April a particularly impressive specimen was found on the shoreline at Otago Harbour on New Zealand's South Island where it attracted the attention of local conservationist David Agnew.

"It was really fresh, it had just washed up on the night tide and looking at it, it was a pretty weird looking creature," he said.

"I have never seen such a fish in 20 years of living here."

It isn't clear how the fish ended up on the beach but in a strange twist it was found to have vanished entirely by the following morning. Officials have since issued a caution to anyone who might have taken it to avoid eating it as they had been unable to determine exactly how it had died.

Oarfish have long sparked stories and tales of sea serpents in many parts of the world and in Japan their appearance has been linked to the likelihood of an impending earthquake.

Particularly large oarfish of 1.5m or more have even been known to chew off their own tales.
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