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October 16, 2012

Oarfish Washes Ashore in Mexico

A 20-foot-long oarfish washed up on the shores of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

 

A 20-foot-long silver-sided fish is not what beach-goers expected to wash ashore the sands of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. 

"Three locals supported what appeared to be a monster from the deep," reported Pisces Fleet Sportfishing, a charter fleet located out of Cabo San Lucas.

The oarfish was estimated to be 20 feet long and struggling in the shallow waters. It soon perished and was taken away by a "Protected Areas" department boat. 

"The local beach guys were helping the fish to float, but it continued to drift toward the beach," said Pisces Fleet Sportfishing. " It really was a sight, silver colored with spots and a bright orange dorsal fin."

Oarfish are the longest bony fish in the sea, growing to 50 feet.

Though rare, they are found worldwide in tropical and temperate waters at depths from the surface to 3,000 feet. It's thought that oarfish probably only come to the surface when injured or dying, says NOAA.

They feed on very small fish, shrimp, and other invertebrates that they filter through their toothless mouths. 

VIDEO: Oarfish Washing Ashore at Cabo San Lucas

VIDEO: Underwater Video of an Oarfish Swimming