Did you know the oarfish is the longest bony fish in the world? Bony fish are those that have real bones, as opposed to cartilage fish such as sharks. Oarfish are shaped like eels on steroids, and they live deep in oceans, at about 3,300 feet (1,000 meters) below the surface. Therefore, they are almost never seen alive by humans because they rarely survive near the surface. Why? Because at 1,000 meters down there are no water currents, therefore oarfish have very weak swimming muscles and cannot endure the turbulent water near the surface.
So, almost everything we know about the oarfish is from dead ones that have washed ashore. Live oarfish have only been caught on video on two or three occasions. We do know that oarfish feed by filtering plankton from the water.
Below is a photo taken in 1996. This oarfish, held by a group of servicemen, was found washed up on the shore near San Diego, California. The fish was 23 feet (7 m) long and weighed 300 pounds (140 kg).
- Oarfish - Wm. Leo Smith, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
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