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12 animals mistaken for mythical creatures

By: Bryan Nelson on June 9, 2010, 1:25 p.m.
Four men hold giant oarfish.

Photo: Troy Tinney via latimesblogs

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Giant oarfish

The giant oarfish, also known as the king of herrings, is the world's longest bony fish. Looking at this unbelievable animal, you might understand how it could give rise to tall tales of sea serpents. Growing upward of 55 feet long, the giant oarfish spends most of its time slithering through the ocean's deepest depths (between 300 and 1,000 meters), and is rarely seen on the surface. But when it does occasionally come up, it's the stuff of legend.