Incredibly Rare Footage Shows Baby Oarfish Swimming on Great Barrier Reef

Incredibly rare footage of a young oarfish swimming on the Great Barrier Reef has been captured in Australia.

Oarfish are hardly ever seen by humans and often live in deep waters at about 650 feet below sea level.

The creatures can grow to enormous sizes, however the one captured in the video was a juvenile, meaning it only measured about 5 feet.

The footage was taken by Master Reef Guide and Scuba Diving Instructor at Wavelength Reef Cruises Tahn Miller, after Jorja Gilmore spotted the creature while snorkeling.

Oarfish
A picture shows an oarfish, filmed by Tahn Miller on the Great Barrier Reef. Tahn Miller/Wavelength Reef Cruises

"My brain took a few moments to work out it was a fish," Miller told Newsweek.

"At first I thought it was a jelly fish with something caught up in it all tangled, then I saw it swimming, and then noticed the eyes...It's colour was an like mercury or very polished chrome. It turned on a dime, continuously tuning to avoid being seen. From the back it looked quite thin and hard to see."

Miller said he was lucky to have finally taken some shots of the creature from the side.

"It's an extremely rare encounter, no one has ever filmed this [species] as a juvenile," he said. "[It was a] once-in-a-lifetime type of thing."

As the species usually only live in the depths of the ocean, seeing one in a shallow reef is "really incredible," Wavelength Reef Cruises said on Facebook.

On Facebook, Miller said that as this species lead solitary lives, they can sometimes be washed up into shallow waters. Opal Reef is only six feet below surface level, meaning this young oarfish was out of its element.

As the species are so rarely observed, there is little data on them. But, some researchers have reported that they can give off electric shocks, Wavelength Reef Cruises said on Facebook.

Fully grown, this species can often grow to huge sizes. The largest oarfish ever found was 36 feet long, but average they are usually around 10 feet

They live in waters across the world, and are usually only seen when they become washed up on a beach. More often than not, they are already dead when found.

Footage of the species swimming is scarce. A U.S. Navy team captured rare footage of an oarfish swimming in the deep in 2001.

As the fish grow so large, they are possibly the source for many sea-monster legends because of its unusual appearance and great size, according to the Florida Museum.

In April, an oarfish was found on Aramoana Beach in New Zealand, where it was spotted by local beachgoers. The creature was estimated to measure nearly 12 feet long.