A 2013 video featuring a giant Mola mola, the world’s largest bony fish swimming next to a bunch of divers, has gone viral again. A part of the original video, which already had over 3 million views on YouTube, was recently embedded on a Facebook page after which it went viral once again, reports the Daily Mail. The Facebook video has itself managed to garner over 4 million views of its own. As already revealed, the video dates back to October 2013 and features a 14-foot-long Mola mola, which is also known as the Sunfish.
In the video embedded above, you can clearly see how large the fish is and how it easily dwarfs the normal-sized human divers swimming alongside it. The video was originally captured by photographer Miguel Pereira off the coast of Portugal. In the YouTube description, Miguel is quoted saying the following.
“A few days before, my camera was damaged when the underwater housing flooded. The bad luck was compensated when diving with a GoPro I saw the giant Sunfish almost at surface level and practically static. The Sunfish (Mola mola) seemed not to be bothered by our presence at all and followed us for 15 minutes.”
In the video, you can see how calmly the divers approach the Mola mola and even touch it occasionally. They are also seen capturing multiple images of the giant fish. The Mola mola itself looks quite okay with all the attention it is receiving and continues to go about its business.
According to the Wikipedia description of the Mola mola, this species is the largest among the category of bony fish and is known to grow up to 1,000 kg in weight (2,205 lb) on average. However, the largest specimens could grow even more and weigh twice as much, with the largest specimen ever weighing in at a colossal 5100 pounds! In terms of length, Mola mola fish can grow to more than 10 feet in length and be as tall as 14 feet high. The Mola mola is also usually found in tropical and temperate waters and is widely spread out across the world’s oceans. Even though they are quite huge, the Mola mola faces significant danger from large predators like sea lions, Orca, and sharks. Sea lions are known to injure these fishes for “sport” and leave them after tearing their fins off. The injured sunfish is then left to die a slow, painful death on the ocean floor.
The thing that makes the Mola mola stand out and easily distinguishable, apart from its size, is its shape, which resembles a fish head with a tail attached to it. The body of this fish is also flattened and it looks “incomplete” with the body ending almost abruptly. The quirky look of the Mola mola and its rather creepy-looking mouth has earned this fish a sizable number of fans.
The Mola mola is known to consume jellyfish, zooplankton, algae, and some small fish as its primary diet and are also known to host different types of parasites. While they are slow swimmers, they do occasionally propel themselves out of the water to shake off the parasites. Thanks to its tall dorsal fins which often jut out of the surface of water, many Mola mola sightings are mistook for shark sightings.
Have you seen a Mola mola in real life? What do you think about this fish?
[Image By U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons]