Oarfish, Mystery Sea Monster Revealed


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Nessie? The Loch Ness Monster? Or some other unidentified creature of the deep? Officials in Spain last week were left with these very questions, but it looks like these questions may finally be put to rest. The fish, found on the shore of Luis Siret Beach in Villaricos, with horns protruding from the head baffled discoverers.

Several factors made identification of the creature difficult. First, the smell of decomposing flesh is hard to work around, and second, the decomposition left little to view in terms of clearly representing the complete structure of an identifiable sea creature. Lastly, the sheer length of thirteen feet means that the organism could belong to several different species of present day marine life. Like a type of shark, for example. Is it possible that the creature isn't something scientists expect? Could the fish belong to some unknown species that lurks in the depths somewhere?

According to David Shiffman who shared his views through the ecological blog site Southern Fried Science, "It’s hard to tell, but the official guess that it could be a thresher shark seems plausible." When prodded further about other possibilities, David Shiffman said, "Certainly the tail looks oarfish-y. It maybe could be a thresher shark, but nothing else."

Sharknado, anyone?

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) the oceans cover 70 percent of the globe with much exploration still left to complete. The NOAA's Office of Ocean Exploration and Research is on the front line of investigative efforts where previously unknown and elusive parts of the ocean are being considered for research. With much of the area still open for exploration, is it possible that organisms may still be discovered? Boundaries still open for being crossed? Will these questions ever be answered? Most importantly, will people continue to ask these questions?

[Image via Wikimedia]