Giant, 11-Foot Herring Turns Up in Sweden

Called the King of Herrings, an 11-foot fish was discovered on a beach in Sweden, the first time the fish has been seen in more than 130 years.

The Regalecus glesne, known as the King of Herrings or Giant Oarfish, was found dead in the small fishing village of Bovallstrand on Sweden's west coast, about 56 miles from the Norwegian border, reported the AFP.

The specimen uncovered, while a staggering 11.4 feet long, is surprisingly small for the King of Herrings. The fish can reportedly reach nearly 40 feet in length and can weigh as much as 600 pounds.

"Down at the water, there was something big floating. At first we thought it was a big piece of plastic. But then we saw an eye. I went down to check and saw that it was this extremely strange fish," Kurt Ove Eriksson, the passer-by who found the specimen, told daily Svenska Dagbladet.

AFP reports that the fish was taken to the House of the Sea museum in Lysekil, Sweden, which stated that the giant herring hadn't been seen in the country since 1879.

"We don't know much about the species," it said, "but believe it lives in deep waters, at least 3,280 feet deep, and many believe it's at the origin of the sea serpent myth," or stories of mythological Loch Ness Monster.

The dead fish, which was frozen at the museum, had a deep cut through its body and was missing its beautiful, typical back fin, the museum said, adding the fish might be added to an exhibit on sea monsters planned later this year.