Sea serpents do exist, if it’s true that the oarfish, which can attain a maximum length of 50 feet of more, count as being “serpents.”
Oarfish are the longest bony fish in the sea, and while they’re technically not at all serpents, but are rather fish, to countless sailor they have called up images of monstrous denizens of the deep.
The mysterious oarfish, or Regalecus glesne, have rarely been seen alive.
Occasionally, a dead or dying one might wash up on a beach, or be spotted swimming in a disoriented manner near to shore. It’s rare to see one in nature because giant oarfish tend to inhabit deeper waters of the Gulf where human beings rarely venture.
However, these elusive sea creatures have recently been captured on video for the fifth time ever — by marine scientists from Louisiana State University’s Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences.
In August 2011, scientists obtained footage of the giant deep-sea fish in its natural habitat, which is the Gulf of Mexico.
The oarfish has been captured previously on camera four times before in the Gulf. These sightings occurred between 2008 and 2011. This fifth instance, it’s believed, is the first time when the fish was observed with HD clarity.
The quality of the video was so clear that the team was able to spot a parasite on one of the fins, and to observe the undulating movement of the oarfish’s tail.
Coincidentally enough, the name of the project that succeeded in capturing the footage of a 8-foot-long oarfish specimen was called SERPENT.
Marine scientists who make up SERPENT (Scientific and Environmental ROV Partnership using Existing iNdustrial Technology) have now recorded not one or two but five videos of the giant oarfish in its natural habitat.
LSU Assistant Professor Mark Benfield, Director of the LSU program, who was in the Gulf of Mexico on Thunder Horse, the world’s largest oil rig, as part of the SERPENT project when the discovery was made, stated:
“It was just so exciting to be in that control room, and we were beaming that footage onto a big screen. People could just not believe the clarity,” said Benfield, commenting on the discovery.
The SERPENT project uses ROVs provided by oil and gas companies to allow exploration of life in the deep seas. It is coordinated by the National Oceanography Center of Southampton (NOCS), United Kingdom.
However, in the Gulf of Mexico, the Gulf SERPENT Project is run by LSU.
You might pause for a minute and reflect upon the seemingly strange relationship that marine researchers and the oil-and-gas industry might have, but in this case, it seems to work for both parties.
By using a HD camera-equipped Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), scientists observed a 8-foot oarfish specimen at a depth of 1,500 feet for approximately ten minutes, before the fish darted out of sight.
Though the oarfish has a long, lean form, it does not swim like a snake or an eel. Instead, it hangs almost vertically in the water.
The oarfish, in Europe, has been called the “king of herrings.” This is perhaps because it would occasionally be sighted near herring shoals. Some fishermen believed that the oarfish guided the herring.
In Japan, the oarfish are bad omens. The Japanese associate earthquakes and tsunamis with the appearances of dead or dying oarfish that have been washed ashore.
The discovery was published on June 5, 2013 in the Journal of Fish Biology, under the title “Five in situ observations of live oarfish Regalecus glesne (Regalecidae) by remotely operated vehicles in the oceanic waters of the northern Gulf of Mexico.”
Commercials have taught us that M&Ms and Santa exists. These recent scientific videos are proof that sea serpents, of a sort, also exist.
If you’d like to see one of the videos, please view the one below.
Written by: Douglas Cobb
Louisiana scientist believe they captured the Mysterious Giant Oarfish