The usually deep sea dwelling oarfish, which can reach eight metres in length and have been known to bite their own tails off, was found dead by a stunned wildlife expert, who had never seen such a sight.
It washed up at the Otago Harbour, near Dunedin, on New Zealand’s South Island.
David Agnew, of the local Department of Conversation, said: “It was really fresh, it had just washed up on the night tide and looking at it, it was a pretty weird looking creature. I have never seen such a fish in 20 years of living here.
“It didn’t have scales like other fish, it had smooth skin, like tinfoil, and if you rubbed it the silver would come off.”
The New Zealand Marine Studies Centre and Aquarium posted on Facebook: “Healthy oarfish are known to wash up on beaches and are sometimes found near the water surface – so may be the origin of some ‘sea monster’ myths.
The oarfish is believed to have given rise to the sea monster legend
The size of the fish is seen when compared to a man
An oarfish swims up to a rubber dinghy in YouTube footage
It had just washed up on the night tide and looking at it, it was a pretty weird looking creature. I have never seen such a fish in 20 years of living here.
Mysteriosuly, the creature was gone from the beach the next day, either washed back out to sea, or taken by someone.
Officials urged for it not to be eaten as it was unclear how it died and the fish is not believed to taste good.
According to ancient Japanese mythology, an oarfish being washed up is a sign of an impending earthquake.
This belief became further entrenched when 20 of the species beached themselves before the nation’s disastrous 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Original Article: http://www.express.co.uk/news/nature/574007/Bizarre-sea-serpent-predict-earthquakes-washes-beach?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+daily-express-news-showbiz+%28Daily+Express+%3A%3A+News+%2F+Showbiz+Feed%29