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The Sunfish Is An Amazing Sea Beast

The Sunfish is an amazing sea beast.

(Blogger’s Note 6/26/12–This post, which I made almost 5 years ago, still gets hits. Today a number of people came here looking for information on a world record sunfish. I was not able to find online what they looking for. The closest I saw was this report from Field & Stream about a new record freshwater sunfish from 2011.  While the freshwater sunfish is a different creature than the subject of this post, I’m certain that it is also a fish worthy of further consideration.) 

Here are some facts about the Sunfish from Oceansunfish.org.

The most common of the ocean sunfishes is the Mola mola. These fish, like all sunfishes, appear as if their bodies have been somehow truncated leaving them little more than a large head equipped with long sweeping fins atop and below. The body is less than twice as long as it is deep.

Mola mola have a rounded tail, gritty sandpapery skin covered with copious amounts of mucus. Typically silvery in color with a slight opalescent sheen, they can exhibit strikingly changeable spotty patterns. They presently hold the record for the world’s heaviest bony fish–a 3.1 meter (10 ft) long specimen weighed in at 2235 kg (4927 lbs).

Aren’t you glad your skin isn’t covered with mucus.

According to the map at the above mentioned website, Sunfish live near me in the Gulf of Mexico.

Sunfish live in oceans all over the world.

Here is an excellent article published in August of 2010 from New Scientist Magazine about Sunfish.

Here is a picture of a Sunfish that shows how big it is in relation to people. I’m sorry this Sunfish lives in a tank.

I’ve never seen a Sunfish in person. Someday I hope that I am lucky enough to do so.  

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December 24, 2007 - Posted by | Sea Life | ,

13 Comments »

  1. I think it is really interesting that you put things like this on the internet for others to learn about.

    Comment by stacy | January 28, 2008

  2. Great—Please keep reading the blog and thanks for the comment.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | January 28, 2008

  3. I caught one of these while doing “deep sea long line fishing for shark” for the aquarium and Israel university Eilat in the Red Sea just out of Eilat. It was below 1500 feet. It was housed at the aquriam for awhile then released.
    Paul

    Comment by Paul Redfield | July 20, 2008

  4. I’m glad it was let go back the ocean.

    It must have been something to see such a fish up close. Thanks for the comment.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | July 20, 2008

  5. Thanks for good photo- a sunfish washed up near Ocean City NJ this week -it was about 400 pounds and was the victim of a boat propeller. I wondered what they look like in the wild- it just showed the poor thing dead in the sand. I think they are fascinating looking!

    Comment by Evergreen | July 22, 2008

  6. Evergreen–Thanks for the comment. Glad you enjoyed the picture.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | July 22, 2008

  7. they look crazy to me really

    Comment by stephan wauchope | September 30, 2009

  8. My husband and I and our friends were out crabbing today and saw about a 1,000 lb Sun Fish in the John Wayne Marina Bay, it was incredibile!

    Comment by Mary Ann Mauk | July 8, 2010

  9. Ms. Mauk–It sure would be something to see such a creature. Thanks for your comment.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | July 9, 2010

  10. I went sailing with some friends last sunday and saw the fin sticking out of the water look like a shark at first but then the fin was in the soft side, when we got close we can see clearly that was a sun fish, pretty cool looking!, thanks for the info about it!

    Comment by mj | July 27, 2010

  11. sunfv j

    Comment by Hayley | August 26, 2010

  12. hi.
    i live in the uk and use a kayak to tour and fish the coast and on a trip to devon south west england,i had a sunfish of around 400lbs come up to the kayak,i thought it was a basking shark at first,with its large fin,they are a late visitor to our coast,and are protected,i did find out when i returned home that they have been known to leap and crash onto small boats.

    Comment by steve russell | November 7, 2010

  13. I saw a sunfish whilst on my speedboat in south devon, I saw a fin poking out thinking it was a basking shark. I I I I I went over to it andthen erm Jamie dont write this jay go back go back right so erm I saw the sunfish then it dived so I went knee boarding and after say, 12 minutes or so I came to the conclusion that, although we had patted our ways some time ago it was destiny that I shall have this fish as part of my daily diet so Thank you for the recommendation and I hope you participate with me in making this a dietry necessary.

    Comment by will | November 8, 2010


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