Elizabeth told me today about something that happened in a Jessica Fletcher "Murder, She Wrote" book she'd been reading, The Maine Mutiny. Jessica was stranded out in the ocean (long story as to how she got there), and a shark started circling, even brushing her legs. Turns out the shark was actually a Mola Mola, or Ocean Sunfish, which are often around the same size as sharks and have similar dorsal fins. We couldn't believe a Sunfish could be so large (I've caught Freshwater Sunfish before that were about 4 inches long...), so spent quite some time researching and being grossed out/amazed by the Ocean Sunfish. (Some time was also spent chuckling about a blog we'd found about the Ocean Sunfish. "Bimbles..." Good times.)
Who knew these monstrosities existed?! Quite frankly, they are just one more reason for me to never swim in the ocean, go on an ocean cruise, or fly over the ocean ever again. (Well, I've never been on an ocean cruise, so they're one more reason not to go on one in the first place, along with sea sickness and all of the shenanigans/murders that inevitably happen. I may be reading too many mystery novels.)
Some quick facts about the Sunfish:
- They weigh on average about 2,200 pounds (that's 1,000 kg for you Metric Systemers) (the fish in the black and white photo here weighted about 3,500 lbs)
- They are the heaviest of the boney fish in the world
- The females can produce more eggs than any other vertebrate in the world
- They eat mostly jellyfish, lots and lots of jellyfish
- Elizabeth thinks that the midget in the photo above (on the right) was planted to exaggerate the size of the Sunfish. She also doesn't believe midgets existed in 1910 (when the photo was taken). I'm pretty sure she was kidding.