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Strange Sea Creature That Bites Off Its Own Tail Washes Up On Beach In New Zealand (Photos)

| by Sean Kelly

A nearly 10-foot deep-sea oarfish that swims vertically and amputates its own tail washed up on a New Zealand salt marsh.

A man discovered the bizarre-looking creature at the entrance of the Otago Harbor in the city of Dunedin, New Zealand, on Thursday. The massive fish is reportedly extremely rare.

“I was in the area when a local man called me and said he had found a strange looking fish on his morning walk,” Department of Conservation Service Manager David Agnew said. It was unlike anything I had ever seen. It must have just washed up and it was very fresh. It’s a very weird looking creature. Instead of scales it has this smooth skin, like tinfoil, and if you rubbed it the silver would come onto your hand.”

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Agnew took pictures of the incredible fish and sent them to the University of Otago to find out more about the creature. “They got back to me very quickly to say it was an oarfish, which I had never heard of,” he said. “It’s incredibly rare to see them in New Zealand.”

The unbelievable creature can reportedly grow up to 36 feet, and is known to eat portions of its own tail. While little is known about the oarfish, including the reason behind the tail biting, its terrifying appearance has caused the deep-sea species to become the subject of a number of myths. According to reports, some believe that the Loch Ness monster is an oarfish.

The Otago Museum is currently investigating the oarfish’s random appearance to try and determine why it washed ashore. “Oarfish are typically often found hundreds of metres [sic] underwater,” Agnew said. It’s likely this fish was moved here from a very strong current.” 

Sources: Daily Mail, Otago Daily Times

Photo Credit: dailymail.co.uk