Animals / Fishes - All Types of Fish Species / Ocean Sunfish - Mola Mola, Head with Fins

Ocean Sunfish - Mola Mola, Head with Fins

ocean sunfish


The ocean sunfish, also known as the mola mola is the heaviest bony fish on the planet. The average adult weight of this fish is approximately 2,200 lb (1000 kg). The species lives in tropical and warm waters around the globe.

Appearance-wise the ocean sunfish looks literally like just a fish's head with a tail, its body is completely flattened and they can appear extremely tall or long as they have long dorsal and ventral fins.



mola mola bali spots


The sunfish’s diet consists mainly of jellyfish. Jellyfish is in fact a really poor nutritional choice so the sunfish has to consume huge amounts to be filled. They have such huge bulk that you can hardly imagine how much jellyfish they must eat to survive!

The female sunfish can produce more eggs than any other known vertebrate on the planet. The offspring of the sunfish, known as fry, resemble tiny puffer fish with large pectoral fins, a tail fin and many other features uncharacteristic of the adult sunfish.


ocean sunfish mola mola


The oceanic sunfish’s average length is around 5.9 feet (1.8 m) although there are rumors that specimens of up to 10.8 feet (3.3 m) have been found. Huge and bulky, the sunfish is an impressive sight to behold.


sunfish mola diver bali


Despite the fact that the oceanic sunfish live all over the planet, they genetically seem to remain very similar to each other. They inhabit very deep waters, often living up to 660 ft (200m) below the water’s surface. They swim mainly in open waters but can be found around kelp rich areas taking advantage of smaller fish who latch onto them and remove the parasites from their skin.


sunfish mola mola


The ocean sunfish is essentially a solitary animal. Usually they swim and live alone but occasionally choose to live in pairs. You will only find them in large groups when they’re being cleaned by each other or smaller fish.

Although the species in huge in size, it is very docile and poses no threat to human divers or fishermen. The only risk is a sunfish leaping at your boat and you potentially falling out! There have been reports of collisions with sunfish causing serious damage to the hulls of boats and ships!




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