Oarfish are extremely elongated and large fish. They’re found in all temperate to tropical oceans, but they’re rarely seen. They live in the great depths of the ocean. The oarfish family consists of four species in two genera and one of them, the king of herrings, is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest bony fish alive, at 56 feet in length.
The common name “oarfish” came from either reference to their elongated bodies or the past belief that they “row” themselves through the water with their pelvic fins. Occasionally the oarfish beach on coasts after storms.
They also tend to linger near the surface of the water when they are sick or dying. Oarfish are probably the cause of sea serpent tales for this reason. They aren’t commercially fished, because they have a gelatinous consistency to their flesh that is undesirable to fishermen.