Oarfish usually dive thousands of feet below the surface, so sightings are few and far between. It's their significant size and rarity that have resulted in their mythic association with "sea monsters" and "sea serpents." Indeed, lore continues to grow around these serpents as harbingers of disaster. As a recent news report notes, fishermen in Japan reported a surge in oarfish sightings after a major earthquake hit Chile and just before the 2011 Japan quake.
Learn more about the fascinating lore behind these strange creatures with Antoon Cornelis Oudemans' 1892 work The Great Sea Serpent, in which Oudemans' details a history of sea serpent sightings and seeks scientific explanations for these wondrous beasts, and J.P. O'Neill's The Great New England Sea Serpent, which chronicles sightings from 1638 to present day off the Gulf of Maine.
The Great Sea Serpent is available in hardcover for collectors and booklovers and in paperback for those of us who just want to read a nice affordable edition.
The Great New England Sea Serpent is available via Paraview Press in paperback or for Kindle, as well as in numerous digital formats here.