In 2013, we have a better knowledge of the moon surface than of the bottom of our oceans. The Deep Sea is home to gigantic creatures that have inspired persistent myths and legends. This year, the first video recording of a giant squid in its environment was a great event. Today, technology, passion and the expertise of some men allow us a new magical encounter with the longest bony fish in the world: the giant oarfish (Regalecus glesne).

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Throughout history, sailors gave it the name of sea serpent or king of herrings, because it seemed that the fish guided the shoals of herrings. Many myths are associated with this fish, including the symbol of the “payanak”, a queen snake in Asia. The only specimens that we could study were found stranded on the shores of the four corners of the world. Many photos of proud sailors holding in their arms a giant oarfish are a testimony of these findings. In 1996, twenty members of the U.S. Navy carried a specimen of 7.3 meters. Several months later, the picture was diverted and entitled “payanak on the Mekong River by U.S. Army, 1973…”

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We still know very little about its characteristics and behavior. While the only information we had about this fish came from specimens stranded or dying on the shores of every ocean except the Arctic and Antarctic, the last few years, living giant oarfish were observed furtively by ROV (remotely operated vehicle). We know it lives in the high seas, swimming between 20 meters and 1000 meters. Its maximum size is unknown, but we know it can be 3 to 11 meters long, it can weight more than 200 kg and feeds primarily on krill (tiny shrimp) (FishBase). Among its most amazing properties, it swims both vertically and horizontally and can shed its tail when it reaches adulthood. A unique fact in the animal kingdom: while lizards mutilate themselves when they are attacked, the giant oarfish may voluntarily get rid of the terminal part of the body located after his anus. The fish doesn’t seem to mind: as it spends most of its time swimming vertically, this appendix seems useless!

Questions remain about the bioluminescence of the animal and its ability to detect electromagnetic fields.

BLOOM and SAINT THOMAS PRODUCTIONS have presented the 16th of september an encounter that will exceed everything experimented and filmed by men so far.

The spectacular encounter filmed by the crews of Saint Thomas Production and made available for BLOOM to plead the cause of the deep-sea biodiversity has been shot with the best quality of the images existing today: 5K, 30 times the HD quality. More than a year of filming was necessary for the divers, led by Jean-Charles Granjon, to be able to observe the fish many times and at different depths. They had to multiply their schemes to approach the fish and scuba dive down to 80 meters.

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Sailors of the past feared the monster from the Deep, the exclusive images of Saint Thomas Productions reveal a majestic creature, harmless and a symbol of the stunning marine biodiversity, still unknown but already threatened by human activities.

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