Saturday, 4 August 2012

Holy Mola!

Photographer Daniel Botelho posted the photograph above on Facebook this week, resulting in "Mola Mania". The mola (also called the ocean sunfish) weighs up to 5,000 lbs, grows up to fourteen feet in length and dives up to 3,600 feet below the surface. Dr Tierney Thys notes, "Their design has evolved to be more like an armored tank with a stiff body as opposed to a streamlined torpedo body like other fish. They just look like big puffer fish on steroids. They use mostly their fin for propulsion, as opposed to wagging their body. They look lazy, but they're really industrious."

They are notoriously difficult to capture on film because they are deceptively fast. Botelho explains, "There were more than five in the same spot but once I got in the water, as stealthily as I could, they all went out fast. But one specific fish stopped to check what I was, and God knows why the fish decided to follow me. People in the boat said it seemed like a dog following his owner."

Read more about the mola here and here.

Image source: (photograph by Daniel Botelho)

h/t Andrew Sullivan

1 comment:

  1. Wow great picture and an amazing creature. Last year I did some diving off the Illes Medes in North Eastern Spain and saw some Eagle Rays and like the Sunfish they are deceptively fast. Flying through the water almost like a bird in air.
    I am going back to the same place in a few weeks and hope to do some diving again and take some pictures too.


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