Scientists capture 'sea serpent' in its natural environment for the first time
Tuesday, June 11, 2013, 1:33 -
Scientists working in the Gulf of Mexico have finally managed to capture footage of a rare and serpent like creature called the oarfish.
This clip was one of five different encounters filmed between 2008 and 2011 and the researchers' observations are published in the Journal of Fish Biology.
Some footage was taken by a remote-operated vehicle (ROV) from the SERPENT Project (Scientific and Environmental ROV Partnership using Existing Industrial Technology), while other observations came from different sources.
The oarfish, or Regalecus glesne, has no teeth and feeds mainly on plankton, jellyfish and squid.
The oarfish in the video is thought to be about eight feet long, but the species is believed to grow upwards of 50 feet long and weigh as much as 600 pounds.
The freakishly long creature, which spawned legends of sea serpents back in the day, has previously only been seen dead or dying on the shore or surface of the water.
Experts say this is the first real glimpse of the creature in its natural habitat. The reason it hadn't been caught on camera before is because it lives at extreme ocean depths.