- A massive ocean sunfish measuring 2,000 kilograms was caught on North African Coast
- It is named Mola alexandrini or known as a bump-head sunfish because of the distinctive lump on its noggin
- It set a record as the biggest sunfish ever caught in the region
Water covers a vast part of the Earth’s surface and plays a critical role in the planet’s survival. The sea helps control the planet’s climate and plays a vital part in the water cycle, carbon cycle, and nitrogen cycle.
The sea is a treasure trove of innumerable life forms. Many of which have only recently been discovered, and there are many more yet to be discovered. It also serves as a mineral storage facility. The sea is a mysterious area, and because of its vastness, it always piques the interest of those who are curious about it.
Because of the many geographical elements that surround it, the water takes on a varied character depending on where you are. In some regions, the water’s salt is so high that humans do not drown when swimming in it. And, of course, no living thing can exist under such conditions. Among the most significant ingredients in our cuisine is seaweed, which can be found in abundance in the seas and oceans—for example, salt.
A large number of fishers and coastal settlements rely on the sea for their livelihoods. The water is home to a diverse range of life forms, essential to humans due to their high demand and nutritional value. For instance, fish, shellfish, animals, and seaweed are all examples of marine life. These are obtained from both wild and agricultural sources.
Every section of the sea is teeming with some life form or another. Of course, in the deep water, there are fewer regions that receive direct sunlight. The penetration of light is also affected by the turbidity of the water, surface tides, and other factors. As a result, the marine vegetation has evolved to photosynthesize even when there is little light accessible to them. The same can be said for certain fish and other aquatic animals. The deep ocean has a low concentration of oxygen as well.
And fishes are one of the most well-known species that can be found in the sea. Nowadays, many seek to fish for their daily bread, and some even make a living off of it. There are many distinct types of fish, ranging in size from tiny to enormous and from round to oval. Some individuals keep them in their homes as a good luck charm or talisman. Fishes are the queens of water, and they cannot survive unless they have access to it.
In this story, excellent anglers off the coast of North Africa recently brought in an unexpected catch: a massive ocean sunfish measuring a great 4,400 pounds or 2,000 kilograms.
According to the report, based on its circumference and sunfish size previously captured and weighed, marine experts assessed the giant fish to be as hefty as a ton of bricks.
“We attempted to weigh it on a 1,000-kilogram (2,200-pound) scale, but it proved to be too hefty,” marine biologist Enrique Ostale said in an interview with Reuters. “It would’ve been a deal-breaker.”
In early October, fishers discovered fishing nets entangled in the animal’s fur in the Spanish province of Ceuta, which borders Morocco. They quickly summoned Ostale, the director of Seville University’s Marine Biology Lab in Ceuta, to examine the gigantic sunfish, which he did without hesitation. Once the fish had been successfully isolated in an underwater pen linked to the boat, the crew used a crane to briefly hoist it into the air and release it back into the water.
The species resembled an oblong pancake with enormous, googly eyes glued to its sides, similar to the appearance of other ocean sunfish, all of which are members of the genus Mola. Sunfish have two large, wing-like fins that extend from the top and bottom of their bodies. When swimming in the ocean, they wave these fins back and forth to drive their weighty bodies through the water.
As soon as the sunfish had been lifted on deck, the team measured it and discovered that it was 10.5 feet (3.2 meters) long and 9.5 feet (2.9 meters) wide; to put this in perspective, a king-size bed measures only 6.6 feet (2.03 meters) long and 6.3 feet (1.9 meters) wide. In addition to taking measurements of the sunfish and photographing and sampling it, the crew released it back into the ocean. And it disappeared into the depths of the sea.
Reuters conducted a video interview with Ostale, who described his initial reaction upon arriving at the site as astonishment.
“We couldn’t believe our good fortune because we’d read in books and articles about the dimensions that a sunfish may have, but we never imagined that we’d be able to observe it and touch it for real.”
In part because of the distinctive lump on its noggin and the grooves that marked the fish’s sides, Ostale and his colleagues determined that the fish belonged to a species known as Mola alexandrini. It is also known as a bump-head sunfish because of the distinctive lump on its noggin.
Even though adult sunfish are among the largest bony fish on the planet, scientists recently discovered M. alexandrini babies that were only a few millimeters in length, according to a previous report by Live Science. Smaller than their adult counterparts, the larvae grow to reach 600 times their initial size and change into the famous winged-pancake appearance for months or years.
According to Reuters, M. alexandrini caught in Ceuta set a record for being the largest sunfish ever taken in the region in terms of its overall proportions. However, the sunfish species can generally grow even more extensively and heavier than the average fish. According to previous reports from Live Science, the heaviest M. alexandrini specimen ever weighed a whopping 5,070 pounds (2,300 kg), making it the heaviest sunfish specimen ever weighed in its entirety.
Many organisms in the sea are unknown to humans. And we can only speculate on how many massive fish have yet to be discovered. That is the more critical query.