First-ever footage of a live 8-foot long oarfish is amazing [Video]

oarfish screenshot image
Video screen capture Craig McClain via YouTube

Sometimes, the diversity of life we have yet to explore and understand in our oceans is too much to comprehend. But when you look at a species like the oarfish -- strange, beautiful, unknown -- the reality of all we don't know hits like a ton of bricks.

Oarfish have been found washed up, or sometimes caught by fishermen by accident. They are not commonly seen and because they can reach over 50 feet in length, it is thought that these are the creatures behind sea serpent legends. And seeing them alive in their watery habitat is a very rare event indeed. Even more rare is capturing them on film -- in fact, this is the very first footage of a live oarfish swimming around the deep blue sea. It is incredible.

The footage was captured by scientists working in the Gulf of Mexico, who have published an article titled "Five in situ observations of live oarfish Regalecus glesne (Regalecidae) by remotely operated vehicles in the oceanic waters of the northern Gulf of Mexico". According to io9, "The unprecedented footage was taken at a depth of 196 feet (60m) by an ROV (remote-operated vehicle) operated by the SERPENT Project (Scientific and Environmental ROV Partnership using Existing iNdustrial Technology). This clip was one of five different encounters filmed between 2008 and 2011."

Tags: Animals | Conservation | Fish

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