“Sea Serpent” Beached

Posted by: Loren Coleman on July 27th, 2006


Cryptomundo pal David Pescovitz over at Boing Boing, on July 27, 2006, posts news of the latest beaching of a relative of the ribbonfish and oarfish. These types of fish may infrequently have been mistaken for Sea Serpents.


David writes:

Huge fish washed up in Oregon

This huge King-of-the-Salmon fish, nearly six feet long, washed up on the shore near Seaside, Oregon last weekend. These rarely-spotted fish, Trachipterus altivelis, usually are found at depths of 1600 feet.

Pescovitz shares more in his blog on this.


Despite such a comparative remark on my part, the appearance of these animals on shore may not be so Sea-Serpent-like in the ocean. From The Field Guide to Lake Monsters, Sea Serpents, and Other Mystery Denizens of the Deep:

There are…very real animals that people might mistake for Sea Serpents…. One is the Oarfish. Reaching lengths of 36 feet (perhaps even 50 feet), this pale silver fish with blue streaks is the longest bony fish in existence. The oarfish is found in subtropical waters and has two long narrow pelvic fins. But aside from its size, the oarfish cannot extend its head above the water, and along its spine is a bright red crest—two factors that reduce the likelihood of misinterpretation as a Sea Serpent. Furthermore, the oarfish spends most of its time swimming in a vertical position, not a horizontal one, as would be expected from a Sea Serpent lookalike.

Photos: The full-body and head only images of the actual new beached fish are from the Salem News and Beach Connection. The two older photos with scientists comparing themselves to the length of previously found Trachipterus altivelis are offical United States government public domain photos. I guess you’d do the same thing in a similar situation, right?

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. 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. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

16 Responses to ““Sea Serpent” Beached”

  1. youcantryreachingme responds:

    Beautiful fish. Look at the size of its eyes! Astounding!

  2. planettom responds:

    There’s always a bigger fish! 😉

  3. harleyb responds:

    this thing looks like a sea serpent gosh!

  4. Batgirl responds:

    In the 1870’s a portuguese fisherman was hauling trough when he and several people on shore saw a black dorsal fin, some 20 feet high (sticking out of the water). The dark mass then went under his boat and the boat came up off the surface of the water. He estimated the creature to be about 80 feet or so long. It was pitch black and resembled a shark. THE MEGALODON.
    My point is, the things that are a complete mystery to us, just because we aren’t pulling them out of the water, at the end of a hook, that doesn’t mean they aren’t there.


  5. twblack responds:

    I wonder what killed this big guy?

  6. imofftoseethewizard responds:

    In recent years, a deep-water hypoxic zone has been forming off of Oregon during the summer. A summary of what’s known can be found here.

  7. MattBille responds:

    The book Very Crazy, G.I.!: Strange but True Stories of the Vietnam War by Kregg P. Jorgenson includes a “monster” sighting report of what sounds like two very large oarfish, but they were golden instead of silver. An unknown Pacific variant, perhaps?

  8. Rialle91 responds:

    Big fish… Wonder what happened to have it washed up like that… You’d think, if they lived at that sort of depth, something would have eaten it before it got to shore. It’s a hungry ocean out there. Still, pretty fishy.

  9. sausage1 responds:

    edible? Not to much meat on it, but the eyes would see you through the day.


  10. crypto_randz responds:

    Its not impossible that a fish is that big. In LAKE STORSIE IN SWEDEN there is research going on a possibility that there may be huge catfish species living in the lake large enough to swallow a human.

  11. sschaper responds:

    It’s a Singing Eel! Aieeee!

  12. rgus30 responds:

    looks like a giant herring.. use to fish with that kinda bait but have never seen them get that big.

    eyes are the same and so is the body.

    but like on this list most everyone is “WRONG” lol and its probably some unknown kinda ..weird.. mutant fish..

    swimmin next to toxic crap in the ocean will do that to ya.

  13. Toirtis responds:

    They have washed up on the shores of British Columbia (and been caught by fishermen off the shores of BC) for hundreds of years…I saw one when I was a kid in BC, and the natives there have folklore about them that reaches back to pre-European explorer times.

  14. Jeremy_Wells responds:

    If it LOOKS like an oarfish, and SMELLS like an oarfish… well…

    I like toxic waste jokes as much as the next guy, but known animals are known animals and this guy is an oarfish.

  15. 12inchPianist responds:


    You want to see a truly big fish, look up ‘Sturgeon’. I was out fishing a couple months ago and caught a 7 1/2 footer, as big around in the middle as a wine barrel. They get longer than 20 feet, and they’ll still jump completely out of the water.

    A lot of people didn’t believe they existed for many years, and many still won’t believe my 20′ claim.

  16. CryptoInformant responds:

    Ah, yes, the Beluga Sturgeon, the largest sturgeon alive.

    Interesting story, and a territorial shark will display its size to intruders, but Megalodon’s dorsal was only ten feet tall, and it was only 60 feet long. This, however, could be another member of the Carcharodon genus, Carcharodon gigantocharias, not officially discovered yet, but plausible given the amount of other giant swimmers.

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