‘Wicked Tuna’ Captain Dave Marciano Named the ‘Strangest’ Creature He’s Come Across at Sea

by Jon D. B.
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We earthlings know more about the moon orbiting our planet than we do what lurks at the bottom of our oceans. And like any seaman, Wicked Tuna‘s Captain Dave Marciano has seen some strange things.

Take a sunfish for example. Not the freshwater species, but the Ocean Sunfish that looks like God made a giant fish, flattened it, chopped it in half, then threw only the front half back into the ocean to spawn. Or the incredible true-life sea serpents, oarfish. Or the giant squid. All squid, for that matter! Our incredible oceans are filled with endless possibilities. And with each year that passes, more and more remarkable creatures come to light from the depths. Literally.

The good captain knows it, too. Captain Dave Marciano of NatGeo’s Wicked Tuna fame, that is. Yet throughout everything he’s seen, one creature with a fantastic name sticks out to Marciano as the “strangest thing” he’s ever seen at sea.

“I guess the strangest thing I’ve come across on a rare occasion is a torpedo ray,” the Wicked Tuna captain reveals as part of a Q&A for Boston Magazine. “They’re right out here in the Gulf of Maine. They have a range from about here to Florida, so all up and down the coast.”

Not much of a reveal without a visual aid, though, is it? Don’t worry, you’re at Outsider. And an Outsider never leaves another Outsider hanging. Behold:

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CIRCA 2002: Common torpedo, Ocellate torpedo or Eyed electric ray (Torpedo torpedo), Torpedinidae. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images.)

They’re generally a deepwater species,” Marciano cites. But what he finds truly “interesting,” however, is that the species has “a body kind of shaped like a shark, expect the head of them is shaped like a stingray. They are very odd-looking,” he says.

‘Wicked Tuna’s Captain Dave Marciano Pranks ‘New Guys’ with Electric Rays

And it gets better. “The real kicker is they’re electric like an electric eel,” Marciano explains. Which leads into his favorite prank he’s played on “new guys” over his decades at sea.

“In the fishing industry over the years, that’s always one of our favorite tricks to play on the new guys on the boat. I’m sure I played it on Jay when he was new,” the captain laughs of his Wicked Tuna crewman.

“If you’re handling them, you can tell if you watch, just before it contracts its muscles, that’s when it’s going to give a shock,” he continues. As a result, “You can go, ‘Oh yeah, they’re fine to touch,’ and it’s always a good laugh when the new guy reaches out to touch it and basically gets knocked on his butt.”

Now this Wicked Tuna fans would pay to see.

Known commonly as a torpedo or electric rays, the specimens aren’t just one species but actually a family of 69 ray species in four families. Like other rays, they’re flat cartilaginous fish (which means, like sharks, they have cartilage for a skeleton and not bone). And that fantastic electric discharge Captain Marciano loves so much? It can range from 8 to 220 volts, National Geographic cites.

See? Stick with us Outsiders and we’ll learn something new every day.

Outsider.com