Rare video of healthy oarfish swimming in mesopelagic zone

While this isn’t really shark news, it’s still somewhat relevant to the theme of this site, so I figured I’d post it…

DiscoveryNetworks YouTube channel has recently posted a video of a healthy oarfish shot in the mesopelgic zone (depths between 200m-1000m or 650′-3300′). The video was shot in the Gulf of Mexico as part of the SERPENT project during a survey using an ROV (Remote Operated Vehicle). The scene was captured in August of 2008 at a depth of around 460m (approximately 1500′).

While researchers are still trying to estimate the size of the oarfish in the video, Mark Benfield, of LSU’s Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, thinks that it’s somewhere in the range of 5-10m (16-33′), based on comparisons to an oil rig pipe seen in the video. Benfield also says that oarfish seen near the surface may be the origin of sea serpent myths.

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