just simply for dramatic effect perhaps?

Swimming about with the jaws theme in its head?
Oarfish swim with the body held vertically, moving by a scullling motion of the dorsal fin (as do seahorses). Whatever this guy saw it wasn't an oarfish. As round as a 5-gallon bucket doesn't fit an oarfish either - they are flattened like a plank of wood. More likely an undescribed species of giant eel (yes - there is an unknown giant eel out there, known only from its larval form - a leptocephalus which grows to 4 or five times the size of the leptocepahii of other known eels.
myopsida said:
As round as a 5-gallon bucket doesn't fit an oarfish either - they are flattened like a plank of wood. More likely an undescribed species of giant eel...


You're right, the "five-gallon bucket" standard of measure doesn't seem applicable to a flat-bodied animal.

An enormous eel would be exciting, but what would one be doing loitering at the surface, sticking its head out of the water? Aerial gaping from great whites is one thing: their gills are set far back enough from the mouth to make the practice survivable. Most eels have their gills near the jaw-hinge (excepting the lamprey, which has a row of holes for gill apertures on either side of its body).

Have you seen footage of an oar-fish and its motive posture? I'd love to see one go.

There is an image of an oarfish in typical swimming posture at:

As you can see, a long way from horizontal serpent-like movement. Freshwater eels are capable of moving across damp ground out of water during thier migrations - there is no reason that a marine eel wouldn't be capable of sticking is head out of water to check out nearby objects. I've seen conger eels swimming at the surface regularly. A giant eel would be virtually impossible to catch in a trawl or on a line so its not surprising that it remains "unknown"
I kinda like the Giant Lamprey idea...or maybe some sort of mutated jellyfish bombarded by gamma rays????

Thanks much for the oarfish image. Frankly, I'm growing weary of their ubiquity as "sea-serpents." So often have oarfish been used to "explain" all strange, serpentiform beasties, you'd think they were taking over.

In any event, the mega-eel theory handily trumps the "long-necked seal" and "cryogenically preserved plesiosaur" theories I've heard.

An extremely rare Oarfish was found washed up at Perth Australia two days ago. From the Sydney Morning Herald:

A rare - and dead - oarfish washed up at City Beach in Perth yesterday, proving more than a handful for Troy Coward, Andy Mole and Axel Strauss (pictured).

The serpent-like animal was found six metres offshore, bringing to at least six the number of oarfish that have washed up on the West Australian coast in recent months. Prefering to live in the depths of the ocean they have only been known to come to the surface when sick or dying and have rarely been seen alive.

Living in the world's warmer oceans, it feeds on plankton and is harmless to humans. The longest bony fish in the sea, it grows up to nine metres long with a bright red crest that runs the entire length of its body.

It is probably the creature that sparked "sea serpent" legends following sightings by ancient mariners.

Last year a woman in Cleveland on the north-east coast of England caught a 63.5kg, 3.5m-long oarfish while fishing for cod, using a squid bait.

Scientists were disappointed when the woman, who weighed 13kg less than the fish, sliced it up and put it in her freezer.

The fish is not good to eat.

The specimen found yesterday was too decomposed to keep and has been disposed of.


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"sea badger" Ha! Nonsense. But I'm sure I've seen poeple who dumped and ate very rare fish before. Not uncommon if you don't know the differnce between a small bimac and a over large dwarf octo.

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