Rare Sighting of World's Largest Bony Fish Caught on Camera

April 7, 2014

Video captures 15-FT deep-sea oarfish in shallow waters along Mexican coastline 

This past March, guests of Shedd Aquarium’s global travel program, Shedd Adventures, received an unexpected once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to view two, 15-foot long oarfish (Regalecus glesne Ascanius) up-close in the shallow waters of Mexico’s Sea of Cortés. Shedd and travel partner Un-Cruise Adventures are releasing this rare footage of the live oarfish for all public to view.

The oarfish is the world’s largest bony fish – known for its shiny, silvery body with bright red crests on their heads. The prehistoric-looking animal is found in tropical and temperate waters at depths up to 3,000-ft., making sightings of a live animal near the surface extremely rare without the use of underwater ROV technology. Little is known about their biology due to their scarcity of sightings – the first of which was caught on film in 2001 in the Bahamas.

Tim Binder, vice president of collection planning for Shedd, was the program trip leader for the March adventure to Baja offered by the aquarium. More information about the Shedd Adventures travel program is accessible here.

VISUALS: Shedd Adventures guests look on in awe as two oarfish swim among the shallow waters off the remote island of the Sea of Cortés. Both animals were exhibiting beaching behavior as they are known to come to the surface to do at the end of their lifecycle. Above water and underwater footage is shown.

VIDEO: A high resolution video is available to view: http://youtu.be/_xWaQ5E07yk Video download link:  https://backup.filesanywhere.com/fs/v.aspx?v=8c70658b5a6074bba968

Video credit: ©Shedd Aquarium/Un-Cruise Adventures

Editor’s note – Tim Binder, vice-president of collection planning, is available to speak to media. Please contact Michael Queroz at Shedd Aquarium at (708) 705-6631.

About Shedd Aquarium
The John G. Shedd Aquarium, a nonprofit organization dedicated to public education and conservation, is among one of the world’s largest indoor aquariums. The facility houses over 32,500 aquatic animals representing some 1,500 species of fishes, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates, birds and mammals from waters around the world.  Beautifully situated on the shores of Lake Michigan, Shedd Aquarium is known as “The World’s Aquarium.”  Since its opening in 1930, the aquarium’s mission has been to enhance public understanding and appreciation of the aquatic world.  Shedd Aquarium is committed to a number of projects designed to preserve threatened or endangered aquatic species.

About Un-Cruise Adventures
Un-Cruise Adventures’ fleet of eight vessels carries 22-88 guests on Active, Luxury and Heritage Adventures. Destinations include Alaska, Hawaiian Islands, Mexico’s Sea of Cortés, Columbia & Snake Rivers, and Coastal Washington & British Columbia. Un-Cruise Adventures, under the parent company of InnerSea Discoveries Alaska Inc., is a member of Trusted Adventures, dedicated to the highest standards of small-group travel and to giving back to the places visited.

Shedd Aquarium is supported by the people of Chicago, the State of Illinois and the Chicago Park District. Shedd Aquarium is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

Contact Us

See contact info for our PR team.

Multimedia Requests

Shedd Aquarium has an extensive library of photos and videos for media use. Learn more and submit a request.

Filming and Access

Find details about media requests and press visits to Shedd.

Calendar of Events

Find out about Shedd Aquarium's upcoming events.

Subscribe to Shedd News

Sign up here to receive press releases and other information distributed by Shedd Aquarium’s public relations team.

Follow Us