Sunday, 27 January 2013

Giant headless fish at center of intriguing mystery off Kona, Hawaii

Sea Strike Capt. Dale Leverone poses with giant headless mystery fish found recently off Kona, Hawaii. Credit: the Leverones

By: Pete Thomas,

The pristine waters off Kona, Hawaii, teem with big game and spawn many exciting fish tales. But this tale is unlike any other, a mystery involving a giant slender fish discovered on the surface minus its head and tail, making it nearly impossible to identify. 

The case may never be solved because scientists have little to go on besides the photos accompanying this post, and because the fishermen filleted the carcass and tossed it overboard.

The only thing that appears certain is that the headless mystery fish belongs to a species that resides at great depth, and is rarely encountered by humans.

The best guess, and some might have already ventured this theory, is that this was an oarfish. Oarfish are long and slender prehistoric-looking fish believed to have spawned tales of sea serpents among ancient mariners.

That's what Capt. Dale Leverone of the Sea Strike, which stumbled upon the 7-foot-long ribbon-like fish, initially believed.

That's also what Jon Schwartz supposed. Schwartz, a fishing photographer and friends of the Leverone family, spent an entire day last week trying to solve this mystery, and blogged about his detective work. His title: "Giant Headless Mystery Fish Baffles Fishermen and Scientists."

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