Tourists in Baja, Mexico, got a rare sighting of two live oarfish swimming near the shore off Isla San Francisco, and staff from Chicago's Shedd Aquarium captured the encounter on video.
Oarfish, which are thought to be the inspiration behind tales of sea serpents, are deep-water animals that typically stay away from shallow water unless they are injured or dying.
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Ecotourists preparing to go kayaking as part of an expedition with Shedd Adventure and Un-Cruise Adventures in early March watched the 15-foot oarfish for 20 to 30 minutes, GrindTV reported
The oarfish is the world's longest bony fish, reaching lengths of more than 50 feet and weighing up to 600 pounds, according to National Geographic
. They live at depths of about 3,000 feet.
"It was one of the most stunningly beautiful fish I've ever seen," Tim Binder, vice president of collection and planning for the Shedd Aquarium, told National Geographic.
Eventually the two oarfish beached themselves and died.
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