According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, to date, scientists have only explored less than 5 percent of the ocean. Less than 5 percent -- that means over 95 percent of what lies below the water's surface is a complete and utter mystery to even the most advanced scientists.
Earlier this week, one of those rarely seen deep sea-lurking creatures washed ashore on a salt marsh in New Zealand's Otago Harbour.
The fish -- a deep sea oarfish -- measured nearly 10 feet long and surprised researchers, who insist the deep sea dwellers are rarely seen out of the water if at all.
David Agnew, who works for the nation's Department of Environmental Conservation, said,
According to researchers, the elusive fish is known to partially amputate its own tail by biting it off. Scientists say they do not know why the oarfish self-mutilates but believe it is most likely a defense mechanism.
The Otago Museum is currently testing tissue samples in an effort to determine the creature's cause of death.
Check out some pictures of the spooky swimmer below.