The giant ocean sunfish

26 febrero 2007

The ocean sunfish (mola mola) is the largest bony fish in the world. It is a unique pelagic fish, and specimens of ocean sunfish have been observed up to 3.3 m (11 ft) in length and weighing up to 2,300 kg (5,100 lb).

Curiously, the Ocean Sunfish has a very small brain compared to its size: A 200 kg specimen may have a brain the size of a nut weighing only 4 g. It would explain their quiet behaviour and how often they get trapped into fisher nets.

According to the National Geographic if it lives to adulthood, a sunfish can gain over 60 million times its starting weight: "the equivalent of a healthy, bouncing human baby growing to a weight equal to six Titanics".

The images of scuba divers next to a giant sunfish gives us a better idea of their incredible size. Fortunately, ocean sunfishes float serenely in midwater.

Ocean sunfish is generally thought to be solitary fish, swimming freely in the ocean alone. However, certain sightings of molas in groups of more than ten have been reported. Frequently, giant sunfishes lie inert on the ocean surface, apparently sunning themselves.

Sometimes, ocean sunfishes are caught accidentally by fishers nets and a crane is needed to lift them on board.

Another threat to ocean sunfish are floating plastic bags which look like their natural prey, jellyfish. Sunfish can choke as they try to swallow the bags, or slowly starve as the plastic clogs their stomach.


Recently, a Gaza fisherman trapped a giant sunfish. He threw his nets into the water and was surprised when the fish got stuck in five of his nets. His catch measured 3.5 metres or 11 feet in length, 1 metre in width and weighed one tonne. Many fishers have lived the same experience, and it seems pretty impressive.


Some years ago, Australian Museum acquired such a large specimen that they had to use ropes to haul it up and get it inside the building through a window. As you can see, the size of other specimens is as big as a parking place.


On the other hand, giant sunfishes are an important menace for little ships. A collision at high speed can cause both injury to sailors and damage to yachts.


Finally, the flesh of the ocean sunfish contains neurotoxins similar to those of other poisonous tetraodontiformes, but it is considered a delicacy by some people.


More info: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

27 Respuestas ( Deja un comentario )

  1. nando dijo...
  2. Whoa! This incredible! Thanks for the awesome post!

  3. Stijn dijo...
  4. Nature is amazing! A great collection of images you've got here.

  5. Andy dijo...
  6. Why does the diver in the first photo have *horns* on his wetsuit?

  7. Mike dijo...
  8. This page is a rip off of the wikipedia article with a few images thrown in.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mola_mola

  9. The Pandora Effect dijo...
  10. these fishes are like.. HEEEUUGE. gawd. great entry!

  11. Goose dijo...
  12. Amazing... great post!

  13. aberron dijo...
  14. This page is a rip off of the wikipedia

    No it isn't. You would have notice if you had read longer than the first paragraph. Anyway, I spent many hours writing this post. How much time did you spend on writing your coment? Thirty seconds?

  15. Anónimo dijo...
  16. Yiannis Goutis, the owner of http://www.startpoint.gr/ makes makes money out of your posts systematically.

  17. Anónimo dijo...
  18. And i make money, too from their posts... What is your problem. If you are smart, make money, too :-)

  19. aberron dijo...
  20. There's no problem while they put on a link. ;-)

  21. David dijo...
  22. Hey, I've seen one of those in the Osaka Aquarium in Japan, though it wasn't quite as big. It struck me as being quite depressive, going round and round in a comparatively small tank. They actually put up a net inside the tank to make it rounder, otherwise it would've got stuck in the corners all the time...

  23. rch dijo...
  24. BIG fish!

  25. Anónimo dijo...
  26. Why they killed it? Damn monsters, let the fish live!!

  27. Species dijo...
  28. that's fantastic
    Sea contain thousand of species that still unknown

  29. greenpete dijo...
  30. who would have guessed that the jap's would be killing them, cutting them up and eating them! they're having a whale of a time

  31. Shermon dijo...
  32. It's incredible! It's huge! If I saw one at llive time it's possible that I would be scared.

  33. Ole Blue The Heretic dijo...
  34. Fantastic! I would not like to hook one of those while fishing!

  35. Jens Kuhfs dijo...
  36. You don't use my copyright on my Mola Mola picture. You have cropped it !!!
    NO GOOD ! Please put my copyright in my picture or take off my Mola Mola picture.

    Jens Kuhfs

  37. aberron dijo...
  38. Sorry, take a look now. The picture links to your web.

  39. Jens Kuhfs dijo...
  40. Thanks ! That's okay ;-)
    Jens

  41. Anónimo dijo...
  42. It´s a marvelous and fantastic fish. I love nature. I love the life.

  43. 5 oceans dijo...
  44. good article and great images!

  45. Anónimo dijo...
  46. It really helped with my homework assignment thanks

  47. Anónimo dijo...
  48. Este comentario ha sido eliminado por un administrador del blog.
  49. celebrities wallpapers dijo...
  50. thank you very much..great entry..big fish

  51. horozima dijo...
  52. Wow... It looks like a big soviet submarine...

  53. Mola Mola Bali dijo...
  54. Juni until September you can found mola mola sunfish in bali . . .