The rarely seen giant oarfish has washed ashore in Sweden. The 12-foot fish known as the King of Herrings was found dead over the weekend and was given to Havat Hus, The Aquarium of the Sea in Lysekil for research.
Known to be solitary creatures of the sea, the giant oarfish that washed ashore over the weekend in Sweden has been turned over to Havat Hus, The Aquarium of the Sea for research according to a press release from Roger Jannson detailing the interesting discovery.
While some reports say that it has been as much as 130 years since these creatures have been seen, a random search of the Internet found hundreds of oarfish video's filmed by oceanographers, biologists and divers around the world and some caught by fishermen.
The serpent-like creature has been the basis of many myths and mysteries of the sea in stories told by sailors since the earliest days of the fishing and shipping industry. Many think that creatures like the Giant Oarfish is what fuels legendary stories such as the one of the Loch Ness Monster and similar tales that have been re-told from person to person over the years after an encounter with this or similar prehistoric snake-like fish.
Human encounters with the oarfish are rare since it is known to live at depths up to 1000 feet deep or more and when it does surface it is usually because it is injured or it is ready to die. There are other similar serpent like creatures that do surface often but the oar fish is seldom seem.
Giant Oarfish that washed ashore in Sweden
The common name oar fish is presumably in reference to either their highly compressed and elongated bodies, or to the former (but now discredited) belief that the fish "row" themselves through the water with their pelvic fins. The family name Regalecidae is derived from the Latin regalis, meaning "royal". The occasional beaching of oar fish after storms, and their habit of lingering at the surface when sick or dying, make oar fish a probable source of many sea serpent tales.
Although the larger species are considered game fish and are (to a minor extent) fished commercially, oarfish are rarely caught alive; their flesh is not well regarded due to its gelatinous consistency says Wikipedia.
The Guinness Book of World Records says the largest Giant Oarfish found was 17 meters or 56 feet long and is the largest bony fish in the sea.
Definitely not something you want to meet up with when enjoying a day at the ocean. Officials say the popularity of swimming pools have increased with tourist and hotel guests visiting the usually quiet, quaint village of Lysekil, Sweden since the weekend's rare discovery was announced.