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“Sea Serpent” of Bahia Discovered

Posted by: Loren Coleman on September 22nd, 2009

As I mentioned recently, a strange long, weird-looking “sea serpent” with a body like a giant ribbonfish or oarfish, with a bizarre fat head, had been seen in Frenchman’s Bay, off the coast of Maine in 2003. Richard Klyver conducted interviews of the eyewitness and did a drawing of this creature that were distributed on our Sea Serpent-Whale Watch, over Labor Day weekend.

Now comes word that a similarly-appearing new species has been discovered, thousands of miles south.

Could it be related to the Frenchman’s Bay “sea serpent”? The previously unknown species has been found off Brazil’s Bahia coast. It is more than six feet long, has small teeth, and has no scales covering its gelatinous body. It is a fish, not a serpent, of course. Here are some of the first images of it:

Claudio Sampaio, Oceanographer, Federal University of Bahia: “It is a rare gem to find a species like this, which is completely new, scientifically speaking. There is no human record of this fish.”

Well, maybe it is only ethnoknown, although never verified before?

The fish will be preserved in formaldehyde and maintained in the zoology department of the Federal University of Bahia, where experts hope to discover more about the fish, including its origins.

Join the past patrons and benefactors including the BCSCC, Craig Woolheater, Philip Levine, John Hodgman, Matt Walker, and Kevin Hemenway in supporting the International Cryptozoology Museum as it opens in downtown Portland, Maine.

Please click on the button below (not the one up top) to take you to PayPal to send in your museum donation.

If you wish to send in your donation via the mails, by way of an international money order or, for the USA, via a check (made out to “International Cryptozoology Museum”) or money order, please use this snail mail address:

Loren Coleman, Director
International Cryptozoology Museum
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Portland, ME 04112

Thank you, and come visit the museum at 661 Congress Street, Portland, Maine 04101, beginning November 1, 2009!! This educational/scientific/natural history museum is not a 501(c)3.

About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013.


19 Responses to ““Sea Serpent” of Bahia Discovered”

  1. MountDesertIslander responds:

    Very cool, very ugly fish. I wonder if that fish could hold its head above the water though. It seems most reports clearly state that as one of the traits of the ‘serpent’.

    That fish does raise some questions though. I hope they can determine if it is a juvinile or adult example of that species.

  2. cryptidsrus responds:

    Ugly critter. Great discovery in of itself, though.

  3. Dj Plasmic Nebula responds:

    Finally!! :O

    have you noticed that everytime someone finds something unknown in the oceans, beach..etc, it’s always small!!! i was hoping it was the size of a whale or shark..darn. It’s just another Small -Medium unkown Fish. I’m Happy though.

  4. shownuff responds:

    I do not think it could be the same fish they saw up North, But in the ocean anything can be possible. Its weird looking. looks like an inside out creature. Like those inside out babies. The face i mean. I like that theres still new things to be found. Simply awesome.

  5. Dj Plasmic Nebula responds:

    Oarfish i don’t think
    Ribben fish, same answer.

    the head is to fat and large to be either one.

    At least they found something unknown. This is a great news.

    unexpected yeah. :D I wish more people would take cameras and video cameras on their boat trips whether they’re there for a job or fishing or vacation. Cell phone cameras would work too. Something that can capture it’s image.

    Since they have the body, i wonder if they’re examining it. And put it in the animal records and name it.

  6. Sordes responds:

    This fish is most probably some kind of rattail or grenadier fish.

  7. fortgeorge responds:

    I’m thinking it’s probably a very deep water fish usually, just because most gelatinous fish tend to be so. Maybe because the pressure holds their body in shape or something? I don’t know but it’s a cool discovery.

  8. faron27 responds:

    O.K. why the heck did they have to kill it? Something unknown kill it hurry!!!!!!!!
    EEL Fish maybe or one of its kind.

  9. planettom responds:

    faron27, the fish when found was already dead.

    fortgeorge, I agree that is is probably a deep sea fish. Probably found recently dead before it was eaten by scavengers or decomposed enough to sink to the floor? Purely an assumption by me, but what little I do know, it is probably a deep sea dweller.

  10. Dj Plasmic Nebula responds:

    faron27: i agree

  11. MattBille responds:

    Look at the giant grenadier in the photo here. Not identical, but certainly similar. It’s still cool to find a decent-sized new species of fish, though, if such it proves to be.

  12. red_pill_junkie responds:

    Like fortgeorge, I also think this might be an abisal species, that for some reason was driven from the deep and died because of the change in pressure.

    Maybe this is the baby of a new (and very big) fish! ;)

  13. Kaiwhekea responds:

    Evidently, it is most likely not a new species, and it is a representative of the Jellynose fishes. They are normally deep sea fishes.

  14. Weird New Englander responds:

    Very interesting new find. It is very ugly looking though any new discovery is beautiful in my opinion. The ocean is great for finding new species eh?

  15. dogu4 responds:

    No scales? No teeth? I suggest one look up the variety of fish known as giant wrymouth. While wikipedia says they are confined to the atlantic, giant speciments lately have been identified being brought up by fishermen in crab cages and using line, off of Homer in Tutka Bay and near Kodiak. A recent article with remarkable pictureof of one in the Anchorage Daily News has a nice description which matches this latest report quite nicely.

  16. Sordes responds:

    It has now been identified by ichthyologists as a jellynose fish, possibly a still unknown species.

  17. dogu4 responds:

    Good catch, Sordes.
    Better jellynose than bellicose.

  18. springheeledjack responds:

    I don’t know if I’d go so far as to say it’s small–six foot is pretty good sized.

    And while it doesn’t completely fit the sea serpent motif…there have been a variety of sea serpent “Species” described…some with scales, some not, and often sea serpents are described as undulating where as a fish moves side to side (however, i wonder if the undulating movement could be tied to the waves around it…like an optical illusion of sorts, but I digress…)…this fish is a significant find once again…even if it was ethnoknown…one of many strange critters still undiscovered in the murky depths…still plenty of room out there for the sea serpent.

  19. patroche08 responds:

    Hello everyone i am new to this site but i absolutely love unknown animals and Cryptozoology.



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