The two oarfish, measuring 15 feet, were seen trying to beach themselves. After Un-Cruise Adventures captured the rare video, Shedd Aquarium posted the compelling underwater footage of the living sea creatures.
According to Grind TV, "Usually when we hear about oarfish sightings, the long, slender, odd-looking fish are dead, such as the 18-foot monster discovered off Catalina Island, California, last fall and the 15-footer that washed ashore in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, two years ago."
However, these two oarfish were alive and showcased a rare sight to captivated tourists.
"It was absolutely fascinating," Tim Binder, a marine biologist who led the Shedd Adventures trip, told GrindTV Outdoor. "First, to be able to see one alive was just amazing, but the fact that two of them were there and we were able to observe them for several minutes was really quite a spectacular opportunity.
"To be in that moment of time in an inhabited place and have that happen, the odds have got to be pretty spectacular."
Although it's not overall first, the footage of living oarfish in near-shore waters might be first one, Grind TV reported.
"It's very rare," Binder said. "I don't know of any records of people seeing two come ashore, although they've been reported in pairs. But I don't know if anybody has seen them live like this."
Known to inhabit depths of 1,500 to 3,000 feet, the creatures tend to reach 50-plus feet in length.
"When the deep-water creatures venture into shallow water, as they did in this case, it usually means they are injured or dying," Grind TV reported. "Sure enough, these two oarfish wound up beaching themselves and dying, but not before giving a group of tourists a once-in-a-lifetime encounter that lasted 20 to 30 minutes, even though most were unaware of what they were looking at."