A boulder-sized fish that has been known to “sink yachts” has recently washed up on a Australian beach.
The six-feet creature is believed to be a Mola Mola.
They are considered to be ocean sunfish.
This particular one came to shore near the mouth of the Murray River in South Australia.
The massive fish is known for both its size as well as odd shape, featuring a flat body as well as fins.
The photo making its rounds on social media showed two people on a beach standing over the huge specimen — which had passed away.
“The amount of news and media from all over the world wanting to report it has been on another level,” said Linette Grzelak, who posted the image to Facebook.
“Never expected this.”
Ralph Foster, South Australian fish collection manager, said the fish was actually at the smaller end of the scale for the species.
According to experts, this huge specimen was actually just average size and the species can grow up to 2.5 tons.
It earned its name for basking near the ocean’s surface in the sun but it is also known to dive several hundred feet into the ocean’s depths.
“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 shared with 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 continued.
Foster also said how the Mola Mola have been known to damage vessels.
“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.”
You may be surprised to know that the Mola Mola’s closest relatives are the puffer and triggerfishes.
The weight of a Mola Mola is comparable to an SUV and is also considered the heaviest of the world’s bony fishes.
They usually sunbathe to regulate body temperature after making deep dives in the cold water.
Additionally, the Mola Mola does not have a bladder but a layer of subcutaneous jelly — a buoyancy compensatory of sorts.
Oh the things humans could accomplish if we were lucky enough to have one!
The Mola Mola has only 16 vertebrae, which the fewest of any fish.
The ocean sunfish has just 16 vertebrae, the fewest of any fish. Humans, in comparison, have 33.8.
The Mola Mola are threatened to infestation by parasites as they carry with them around 54 species, sometimes even breaching it self to help rid of the these pests.
They are also considered vulnerable to extinction — much like polar bears, cheetah and giant pandas.
And the most amazing feat of the ocean sunfish you ask?
It can dive up to 1,600 feet deep.
One particular tagged Mola Mola was recorded traveling 1,1000 miles in just three months.
Talk about “just keep swimming!”
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