Creature from the
February 7, 2005
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).
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. Preferring 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.
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.
were disappointed when the woman, who
weighed 13kg less than the fish, sliced
it up and put it in her freezer.
is not good to eat.
specimen found yesterday was too
decomposed to keep and has been disposed