Video footage taken by a group of tourists kayaking in shallow water off the Baja, Mexico coast offers a rare look at the elusive oarfish.
Ancient mariners used to describe oarfish as sea serpents - the creatures are pug-faced, and eel-like and can grow as big around as grown man's waist. While some cartilaginous fishes are bigger, the oarfish is the longest bony fish in the world, and some species of oarfish can grow up to 50 feet long. The scaleless fish have ribbon-like bodies and can weigh hundreds of pounds.
Oarfish, which can be found in temperate to tropical waters around the world, are able to dive 3,000 feet below the water's surface. It is believed they typically dwell at such great depths, which is one of the primary reasons the fish seem so rare -- we hardly ever see them and they remain largely unstudied.
Most of what scientists do know about oarfish comes from finding dead specimens washed up on beaches.
According to the Shedd Aquarium, which organized the trip where the footage was obtained, there were two oarfish spotted swimming in the water.
The specimen captured in the video appears to be about 15 feet long.
Last year, two oarfish carcasses were found on California beaches within days of each other, puzzling marine experts. The first of the washed-up pair was 18 feet long and weighed 400 pounds. The second measured 14 feet long and was found a few days after the first.
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