CULTURE Boulder-sized sunfish washes ashore in Australia

CULTURE

Boulder-sized sunfish washes ashore in Australia

AFP

07:33, March 22, 2019

7963dd83c7d0b8ea78d0ea0c45fefd1d91894f9d.jpg

A mola mola -- or ocean sunfish -- washed up on an Australian beach. (Photo: AFP)

A boulder-sized fish of a kind known to "sink yachts" has washed up on an Australian beach.

The 1.8 metre (six feet) specimen -- believed to be a Mola Mola, or ocean sunfish -- came ashore near the mouth of the Murray River in South Australia at the weekend.

The enormous creature is distinct for both its size and peculiar shape featuring a flattened body and fins.

The fish can weigh up to 2.5 tons (2,200 kilogrammes), according to National Geographic.

A photo circulating on social media showed two people on a beach standing over the giant specimen, which had died.

"The amount of news and media from all over the world wanting to report it has been on another level," Linette Grzelak, who posted the image to Facebook, told AFP.

"Never expected this."

South Australian Museum fish collection manager Ralph Foster said the fish was actually at the smaller end of the scale for the species.

It earned its name for basking in the sun near the ocean's surface, but is also known to dive several hundred metres (feet) into the depths, he said.

"I've actually had a good look at it, we get three species here and this is actually the rarest one in South Australian waters," Foster told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

"They can get a lot bigger... it's probably an average-sized one, they can get nearly twice as big as that," he added.

Mola Mola have also been known to damage vessels, Foster added.

"We get a lot of them hit by boats and some of them are so large they actually sink yachts," he said.

"We know very little about them, it's only in the last few years that technology has allowed us to start learning about them.

"They are amazing things, they really are."



Terms of Service & Privacy Policy

We have updated our privacy policy to comply with the latest laws and regulations. The updated policy explains the mechanism of how we collect and treat your personal data. You can learn more about the rights you have by reading our terms of service. Please read them carefully. By clicking AGREE, you indicate that you have read and agreed to our privacy policies

Agree and continue