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Massive, with rare ocean sunfish washes ashore on the beach in South Australia

(Credit: Linette Grzelak)

A rare sunfish that weigh more than a car when an adult washed up on the Coorong National Park in South Australia.

Two fishermen discovered the giant ocean sunfish on the shore and in the weekends. Linette Grzelak posted pictures of their find and told The Guardian Australia that her partner thought that the dead fish “was a piece of a shipwreck in the first place.”

Ralph Foster, South Australia Museum fish collection manager, said this particular type of sunfish was rare.

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“I’ve actually had a good look at it, we get three species here and this is the rarest in South Australian waters,” Foster told the Australian Broadcasting corporation.

“It is the oceanic sunfish, which in other parts of the world, it is customary, but here it is more unusual, it is a known as “Mola mola,” he continued.

There is not much known about the new species of the sunfish.
(Linette Grzelak)

Foster said the beached sunfish was medium-sized, and that the particular species “can get almost twice as big as that.”

He said angelfish are not fished because they can do damage to yachts.

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“They are generally not fished except in parts of Asia,” he said.

Foster said photos from the fish are useful so scientists can learn more about the new species.

“We get to actually watch them so rarely, so we never know quite who we have,” he said.

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