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A Rare Giant Sunfish Washed Up On An Australian Beach

“I didn’t think it was real until I Googled sunfish.”
March 22, 2019, 10:14am
sun fish
Photo from Facebook.

It looked kind of like a wooden replica of the moon—or, we guess, the sun. A large balloon-shaped fish with a paper-mache texture. It almost looked fake, but it wasn't. It’s just rarely seen.

Two men were on a fishing trip near South Australia’s Coorgon National Park when they spotted the dead 1.8m (6ft) long sunfish beached in the shallows. At first, they thought it was a large piece of wood, but they went closer to have a look. Linette Grzelak, who took the pictures, told the BBC: “I didn’t think it was real until I Googled sunfish.”

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She added that after years of fishing, her partner “knew what it was but had never seen one in real life” and that “he said it was extremely heavy and the skin was rough and leathery like a rhinoceros."

Ralph Foster, fish collection manager at the South Australian Museum told the ABC that “I’ve actually had a good look at it, we get three species here and this is actually the rarest one in South Australian waters.”

And while this one might look massive, it wasn’t even big for its species. According to Ralph, “they can get nearly twice as big as that.”

National Parks South Australia posted about the sighting on their Facebook page, sharing that “these huge beauties are the world’s largest bony fish and can weigh more than a car.”

Most alarmingly Ralph told the ABC that “we get a lot of them hit by boats and some of them are so large they actually sink yachts.”

It is unsure how this sunfish washed up on shore.

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