Second oarfish washes ashore in England

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An oarfish, Regalecus glesne, has been found washed up in northeast England, making it the second specimen of this rare species to be washed up on British shores this month.

The three-metre long oarfish, found dead on Tynemouth beach, in North Tyneside, has been taken to the Blue Reef Aquarium in Tynemouth, where an autopsy will be conducted.

Earlier this month, a similar oarfish found in a state of decay near Amble, in Northumberland, was thought to have stranded following the Gulf Stream towards the UK.

Oarfish image by wwmo2, Creative Commons.

According to Zahra d'Aronville of the aquarium, Until relatively recently, sightings of oarfish were incredibly rare. Very little is known about the life cycle of these truly magnificent creatures and it's a mystery why two of them should have washed up on our coastlines so close together.

This particular individual is in really good condition and there are no obvious reasons why it should have died. At this stage it's impossible to tell whether it was alive when it stranded or whether the currents simply washed it ashore.