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Scuba Diving : Articles : Scuba Diving Trivia : 8 Rarest Fish in the Oceans

8 Rarest Fish in the Oceans popular

Submitted by xmesox on 2009-02-06 | Last Modified on 2010-07-30

Rating: 12345   Go Login to rate this article.   Votes: 2 | Comment: 1 | Views: 94837


While the average human has grown used to the familiar site of a goldfish placed inside a bowl swimming aimlessly in circles, a tropical fish on display in an aquarium with a backdrop of printed cardboard and then of course the ever well known Clown fish (Anemone Fish) which is splashed throughout the media, scuba divers have a much larger list of marine life they have grown accustomed too; Barracudas, Sea horses, Manta Rays, Angelfish and so much more.

Though beyond the comfort of the Open Water diver's 10 to 20 meter depth range and even below that of the regular 35 to 50 meter range of the advanced deep diver there lurks a world which man is really yet to understand. A habitat nothing of which we have ever truly seen, with majority of the world covered in water and with plenty of that water descending down to depths only imaginable by the average diver it is no surprise that there is a whole different experience awaiting, lurking in the dark depths of the unexplored ocean.

With time man has ingeniously come up with ways to peer down into the mysterious depths of our deep oceanic waters, thanks to the advancement of technology and its vital place in the current world. While deep sea exploration began in the nineteenth century only really over the past few decades we have seen numerous deep sea explorations, often involving sonar or the launching of a submersible vessel which is able to house people. An example of such a submersible is the DSV Alvin which is owned by the United States Navy, and used to send a person down to witness firsthand the dark, sunlight forbidden waters.

Earlier last year construction started on what was to be a new submersible vessel which would be capable of reaching depths of 6000 meters. This will lead mankind into a new chapter in deep oceanic discovery.

While we are reaching new "heights" in deep sea exploration, there is still far too much ocean for 1 or 2 specialized vehicles to explore, so we are and still will be with the wonder of what truly lurks in the shadow below for quite some time.

While not all of the rare fish listed below are deep sea creatures, the vast oceans beds thousands of meters below our daily lives is where majority of the these rare fish exist. Maybe with time we will discovery that they in fact are not that rare at all, and just that we have not been looking hard enough. Here's the list:


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This is the name of an order of fish which is believed to be the oldest species of gnathostomata. Until the late 1930s when a Coelacanth was discovered in a river off the east coast of South Africa, this fish was believed to have been extinct. Remarkably since the initial finding back in the '30s this fish has been spotted in various other countries including Tanzania, Mozambique and the Comoros. While Coelacanth’ have certainly been spotted over the last century they still remain one of the rarest fish in existence.

The Coelacanth is a large fish often weighing up to 80 or more kilograms and can reach lengths in excess of 2 meters. It's eyes, like that of many deep sea creatures are extremely sensitive and they make a habit of remaining at depths of 100 to 400 meters during hours of the day, though they are known to come up to depths of just 60 or so meters during the nights. View video of the Coelacanth

Borna Snakehead

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Also known as the Chel Snakehead, this is a very rare fresh water fish which forms part of the Channidae family. These fish tend to grow anywhere from 20 to 25 centimeters in length and can exclusively be found in a single area in northern Bengal, India. The waters where the Borna Snakehead breeds are generally in the region of 25 degrees Celsius, and during periods of heavy rain it is possible though rare to find juveniles in flooded areas.

This fish may not sit alongside the greats such as the Coelacanth or the Megamouth shark in size or flamboyancy. But this creature has earned its way onto the list as one of the rarest fish.

Megamouth Shark

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One of the rarest animals in existence the Megamouth Shark has only been spotted a few times, with the initial discovery only being made less than 35 years ago, there are only 3 recordings of this shark in existence. It lurks in the cold deep waters at depths which are hardly visited by man or machine. This shark is somewhat like the Whale Shark and Basking Shark in the sense that it uses its large mouth to filter feed. Its diet tends to consist of jellyfish and plankton.

The Megamouth Shark can grow up to 6 meters in length and possibly more, due to the lack of information on this animal. There have been reports of this creature weighing over 1200 kilograms. The physical features of this shark are relatively unknown due to the lack of specimens to study but in general they have a black/blown top with a white underbelly. They are distinctly recognized cause of their large mouths which hide relatively small teeth. View video of the Megamouth Shark

Goblin Shark

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Also known as "Mitsukurina Owstoni" is another rare deep sea shark which lives off the coast of such countries as South Africa, Japan, Australia and the United States at depths in the range of 200 - 500 meters. While these fascinating creatures tend to live in moderately deep waters they are also known to have the ability to exist in more extreme depths, in excess of 1000 meters.

The Goblin Shark tends to feed upon such marine life as squid, fish as well as crabs. Though as the case with many of these rare fish, the details as to their feeding and breeding is somewhat limited, especially in the case of the latter.

The most distinguishing characteristic about this shark is its long nose which is far larger than any other species of shark. The colour of the Goblin Shark is also different to majority of sharks and is actually a light pink colour. View video of the Goblin Shark

Colossal Squid

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Often a creature of horror movies and Japanese maritime tales. The Colossal Squid is no fallacy, this (another deep sea specimen) monstrous marine creature can grow to sizes in excess of 14 meters (46 feet) and is believed to be the largest squid species in existent (or at least thus far discovered). The Colossal Squid is also sometimes called the Giant Cranch Squid or Antarctic.

This amazing squid does not only have suckers attached to its tentacles but sharp hooks which add to the 'horror movie type' feel.

The first discovery of the Colossal Squid took place in the 1920s when a sperm whale was cut open and inside, to amazement of the world laid the remains of a squid of which man had never seen.

A couple years ago in February 2007 the largest specimen was discovered and last year this specimen was then studied in detail. What they found was that this half a ton creature was much smaller than the remains of those found within sperm whales.


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Not to be confused with the mythological creature the 'Chimera', this marine creature is a rare deep sea fish which lurk at the extreme depths of the ocean. The Chimaera is known to exist in depths in excess of 2500 meters (8,500 feet) and grow up to 1.5 meters in size.

This interesting creature of which not many people have heard about belongs to the same family as the ray and the shark. Instead of having scales it has a smooth skin, with a venomous spine for protection.

Black Swallower

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A fascinating and rare fish which lives in depths of up to 1 500 meters, what makes this fish unique is the fact that unlike many other deep sea fish which require cold, dark conditions the Black Swallower also makes warm tropical waters it's home. Little is known about this creature; it grows up to lengths of 25 centimeters and has the ability to make use of bioluminescence. The distinguishing feature of the Black Swallower is the ability to stretch its stomach 3 times that of its original size as to adjust to larger prey.

Black Lizardfish

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Also known as the 'Deep-water Greeneye' this rare fish is located only in the extreme depths of the southern oceans of the world. It lives in waters of around 1 500 to 3000 meters deep. It grows to a length of around 30 centimeters, is coloured a purple-black and prowls the ocean floors with a mouth of razor sharp teeth.


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sangiro  sangiro
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5 out of 5 stars Check out that video of the Goblin Shark... that's one weird fish!

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