A rare, three-metre oarfish has been found washed up on a beach in New Zealand.
The vertical swimming, self-amputating deep-water fish, found on Aramoana Spit at the entrance to Otago Harbour, has been described by the New Zealand Marine Studies Centre and Aquarium as a “sea monster”.
Oarfish are the longest known bony fish in the world, and they are believed to grow to more than eight metres in length.
Not much is known about their habits and life cycle because they live at great depths — up to 3,000 feet from the surface — making them difficult to study.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the US, the oarfish has been known to surface when injured or dying.
The New Zealand authorities have not said why they think this particular animal died.
A live oarfish was caught on video for the first time a couple of years ago. See the footage here.
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