Guide to Patagonia's Monsters & Mysterious beings

I have written a book on this intriguing subject which has just been published.
In this blog I will post excerpts and other interesting texts on this fascinating subject.

Austin Whittall

Monday, February 8, 2010

"Sea Serpent" caught on Video


swimming oarfish
Sea Serpent-like Oarfish, caught on Video.
Click Here to see the article and the video.
Copyright © 2010 by BBC. From [1]

This post is dedicated to all those who believe in sea serpents!
Yes, today I read an article online at the BBC's website, in which they report that a giant deep sea fish was caught on video by scientists. They filmed an Orfish (Regalecus glesne), which can measure up to 17 m (56 ft.) long.

Oarfish are not seen very often on the surface, and if so, it is in their death throes or dead and washed up on the shore.

Sea Serpent: oarfish may be the clue to the myth

Profesor Mark Benfield from Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, USA, using a remotely operated vehicle caught a glimpse of a “Sea Serpent” (coincidentially, the research project was named Serpent< Project) in deep waters.

I quote the article below:

Their strange appearance may have provided the basis for the sea serpent myths told by early ocean travellers.
Not only are they elongated, they also have a prominent dorsal fin which gives it an unusual "serpent" appearance. […]
"What was interesting about the fish was its swimming behaviour," said Professor Benfield.
"It moved by undulating its dorsal fin in waves that propelled it backwards at quite a good speed."
Early estimates measure the fish at between 5 m and 10 m in length. [1]

Oarfish that washed ashore on a Bermuda beach in 1860.

I am skeptical about sea serpents and have posted three times about them, once regarding one seen in the River Plate and another time regarding Joselito, a sea serpent at Necochea. Neither of them in Patagonia.

My third post was about a sea serpent in the Strait of Magellan, in Patagonia and in very cold waters.

Oarfish are found in temperate waters around the world, do they frequent Argentina's Patagonian coast or the Strait of Magellan? If they did, they could account for these sighting.

To find some clues, I did some googling, and came up with the following paper [2]:

Oarfish in Patagonia?

It provides new information on oarfish from the Argentina Trench (Southwestern Atlantic), below I quote from the abstract:

This study considered [...] characteristics of the distribution of three rare fish species [...] recently discovered in the southwestern Atlantic: [...] tropical Regalecus glesne [Oarfish][...], known by rare catches in temperate waters of the Southern Hemisphere. [...] R. glesne [i.e. Oarfish] penetrate to the south with the vortices of the warm Brazilian current down to 48° S[...] [2]

If so, then they are tropical fish that are dragged south by the Brazilian sea current and it could be possible for someone to sight them along Argentina's Patagonian coast (and also its Buenos Aires coastline -where Necochea and the River Plate are).

Further reading on this strange fish:

- NOAA (photo and a Palau stamp).
- Australian Museum.


- Oarfish-Sea Sepent, on YouTube:


[1] Bourton, Jody. BBC. Giant bizarre deep sea fish filmed in Gulf of Mexico. Online. 08.02.2010.
[2] Trunov, I., Kukuev, E., (2005). New Data on Fish of the Family Trachipteridae and Regalecidae (Trachipteroidei) from the Argentina Trench (Southwestern Atlantic). Journal of Ichtyology. V. 45. NO. 3. 03-04/2005. pp. 223-228

Patagonian Monsters - Cryptozoology, Myths & legends in Patagonia

2010 International Year of Biodiversity
Copyright 2009-2010 by Austin Whittall ©

1 comment:

  1. I am not sure which is stranger - the truth about what lies beneath the sea or the "fiction" (the myths etc.)

    Lovely illustration of an oarfish.


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