6 Fun Facts about Mola Mola (Ocean Sunfish)

The ocean sunfish or Mola Mola is one of the most massive known bony fishes in the world. Adults typically weigh between 545–2,205 lb. The species is native to temperate and tropical waters around the world. Ocean Sunfish resembles a prehistoric shark that has lost its tail. It is unquestionably one of the most bewildering fish swimming in ocean waters. They are a creature of mysteries and extremes.

Mola Mola
Mola Mola

Here are six fun facts about Ocean Sunfish

  1. Sunbathe: After diving the darkest parts of the sea to hunt, Mola Mola spends around twelve hours lounging in the sun near the surface of the water to aid digestion and re-heat their bodies. They may look like they’re playing dead if you’re lucky enough to spot them by the ocean. That’s because ocean sunfish are often seen lying on their sides at the surface, at times waving their dorsal fin.
  2. Fat: The mola is the heaviest of all the bony fish, with general specimens reaching 14 feet vertically and 10 feet horizontally and measuring nearly 5,000 pounds. Sharks and rays can be more massive, but they’re cartilaginous fish.
  3. Teeth: Ocean Sunfish teeth are fused in two plates that resemble a parrot’s beak. Their teeth are combined into a beak-like structure, and they are unable to close their comparatively small mouths entirely. Sad.
  4. Name: The name Mola mola comes from the Latin word for “millstone.” It’s named for its round body, grey color, and rugged texture. The Polish term for sunfish is samogłów, or “head alone.” The German name for a sunfish is Schwimmender Kopf, which means “swimming head,” a rather fitting representation of their appearance.
  5. Hunting: Although they seem relatively inactive, spending half their days sunbathing and feeding on jellyfish, they hunt for the kill. Despite their goofy face, sunfish are potent predators with discerning tastes who travel several measures daily.
  6. Parasites: Ocean sunfish can become infested with skin parasites. However, they’re smart enough to use nature intelligently. They will invite small birds and fishes to feast on the annoying critters. They will even breach the surface up to 8 feet in the air and land with a splash to move and remove the parasites.

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