A rare - and dead - oarfish washed up at City Beach in Perth yesterday, proving more than a handful for Troy Coward, Andy Mole and Axel Strauss. The serpent-like animal was found six metres offshore, bringing to at least six the number of oarfish that have washed up on the West Australian coast in recent months. Prefering to live in the depths of the ocean they have only been known to come to the surface when sick or dying and have rarely been seen alive. Living in the world's warmer oceans, it feeds on plankton and is harmless to humans. The longest bony fish in the sea, it grows up to nine metres long with a bright red crest that runs the entire length of its body. It is probably the creature that sparked "sea serpent" legends following sightings by ancient mariners.
Mathew Ingram and his blog A Complete Waste of Time have moved to www.mathewingram.com/blog. Drop by if you're in the neighbourhood.