Extreme angler and TV presenter Jeremy Wade is no stranger to the weird and wonderful creatures that live in our waters – but even he was shocked by his latest discovery!
Jeremy was filming in the Mediterranean Sea for his show, River Monsters, when he came face-to-face with the rare and extremely elusive oarfish.
Never one to shy away from a challenge, Jeremy was forced to swim at depths of 80ft underwater in order to catch a glimpse of this unusual creature.
Giant oarfish, also known as ‘sea serpents’, are normally only seen when they are washed ashore, making this underwater encounter all the more special.
Jeremy explains, ‘what is exactly is an oarfish fish? Well basically very little is known about them. What we do know is that they live very deep down in the oceans, that they’re normally not seen at all, they normally stay down there out of sight of people.’
‘This was all about the stories of sea serpents. The investigation really was about is this entirely out of peoples imaginations or is there possibly a real animal that might have given birth to the sea serpent myth.’
‘The likelihood of just dropping in somewhere in the ocean and encountering an oarfish is practically zero. This is what is called ‘blue water diving’. The bottom is not in sight, it’s actually a mile and a half deep there, so the challenge is to hold yourself at a certain depth and it’s actually not that easy.’
‘You could spend a whole lifetime in the water at random and you’re not going to see an oarfish.’
‘I think more people have seen the earth from space than have seen one of these this close.’
Overjoyed by his chance encounter with this magnificent sea creature, Jeremy admits that he would count this experience as one of his career-defining moments.
He says, ‘It’s really hard to single out a most memorable experience. If I was forced, if I was absolutely forced to select one, I think the oarfish might be it.’
‘There are these unseen wonders in the world and normally they exist completely separately from us. At the time it seemed almost unbelievable. Here is this very rare fish that I never thought I would see in my life, certainly not a live healthy one that had come up from the bottom of the sea! ‘
Watch the video above to see Jeremy’s exciting encounter – and catch a glimpse of the oarfish for yourself!