BREAKING NEWS Student enrollment, aging buildings, and Chromebooks; The Vigo County School Corporation holds its State of the Schools address Full Story

A rare giant sunfish weighing more than a car washes up on a beach in Australia

A weird-looking, enormous sunfish was discovered by two fishermen on the shore at Coorong National Park in South Australia over the weekend.The...

Posted: Mar 20, 2019 8:50 AM

A weird-looking, enormous sunfish was discovered by two fishermen on the shore at Coorong National Park in South Australia over the weekend.

The ocean sunfish (Mola mola) was spotted at the mouth of the Murray River by Steven Jones, the supervisor of a cockle fishing crew, and his colleague Hunter Church.

"He thought it was a piece of driftwood as they were driving past on the work truck," Jones' partner Linette Grzelak, who posted the photos of the fish on Facebook, told CNN. "None of them had seen anything like this before."

"They find all sorts of sea life along the beaches they dig but it has been mostly sharks and seals. This was something very different," Grzelak added.

"Steven said it was extremely heavy and its skin was leathery like a rhinoceros."

National Parks South Australia said these sunfish are the world's largest bony fish and they can weigh more than a car.

The Mola mola, discovered and named only in 2017, feeds largely on jellyfish and can grow well over 2 meters (more than 6 feet) -- although this one was "only" 1.8 meters long, putting it on the smaller end of the scale, according to the South Australian Museum.

"The Mola mola is known for its large size, odd flattened body shape and fins," the museum's fish collection manager Ralph Foster told CNN via e-mail. He added that he was able to identify the fish from the markings on its tail and the shape of its head.

Foster added that the fish is also known as a sunfish because it enjoys basking in the sun. Their size and sun bathing habit mean they can be hit by boats, and some are so large they actually sink yachts, he said.

"Researchers have been putting satellite tags and data loggers on these fish and found they will come to the surface and lay on their side on the surface, hence the name the sunfish," Foster said. "Once they are warm enough they dive down several hundreds of meters and feed on jellyfish and stay down there for lengthy periods of time."

"We know very little about them. It's only in the last few years that technology has allowed us to start learning about them," Foster explained.

"The fish was thought to be a purely Southern Hemisphere species but just a couple of weeks ago one made the news when it turned up on a Californian beach, highlighting how little we know about sunfish in general."

The museum said there's no way of knowing why this specimen died.

Scroll for more content...

New York

Confirmed Cases: 399513

Reported Deaths: 32283
CountyConfirmedDeaths
New York City21805223247
Nassau421642188
Suffolk418491991
Westchester351831432
Rockland13683668
Orange10810484
Erie7624639
Dutchess4255152
Monroe4074273
Onondaga3050188
Albany2183121
Ulster185186
Oneida179198
Sullivan146048
Putnam134863
Niagara131590
Schenectady84837
Broome77060
Rensselaer58630
Saratoga58517
Columbia48237
Madison36817
Ontario29033
Orleans28654
Warren27333
Steuben27241
Fulton26324
Greene26318
Washington24814
Genesee2445
St. Lawrence2272
Oswego2113
Wayne1953
Herkimer1824
Tompkins1800
Chenango1635
Chautauqua1527
Tioga15124
Chemung1482
Livingston1408
Cattaraugus1316
Montgomery1254
Cayuga1242
Clinton1074
Wyoming995
Jefferson950
Delaware914
Otsego865
Seneca730
Allegany641
Schoharie610
Cortland550
Essex510
Yates486
Franklin340
Lewis310
Schuyler130
Hamilton60
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 302484

Reported Deaths: 6859
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1249923690
Riverside23334533
Orange21517402
San Diego18402415
San Bernardino17414304
Imperial7654127
Fresno762787
Alameda7407146
San Joaquin606567
Kern597989
Santa Clara5678166
Tulare5509148
Sacramento493278
Stanislaus436450
Contra Costa435788
San Francisco414550
Ventura409353
Santa Barbara386829
San Mateo3787111
Marin322730
Kings285539
Monterey234317
Solano198527
Merced179312
Sonoma151914
Placer99311
San Luis Obispo8774
Madera8578
Yolo80228
Santa Cruz5063
Napa4664
Sutter3374
Butte3194
San Benito3112
El Dorado2920
Lassen2690
Shasta1766
Yuba1633
Humboldt1614
Glenn1590
Nevada1591
Mendocino1070
Colusa1030
Lake1011
Tehama981
Calaveras610
Tuolumne600
Del Norte580
Mono491
Amador360
Inyo341
Siskiyou330
Mariposa311
Plumas150
Alpine20
Trinity20
Sierra10
Unassigned00

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 11188

Reported Deaths: 230
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah269472
Marion174353
Washington172020
Clackamas91427
Umatilla8867
Union3671
Lincoln3634
Lane2713
Malheur2661
Deschutes2290
Yamhill1719
Linn16810
Polk16812
Jackson1640
Jefferson1450
Morrow1321
Klamath1311
Wasco1021
Benton996
Hood River990
Douglas560
Clatsop550
Josephine541
Coos520
Columbia470
Lake240
Crook171
Tillamook150
Wallowa120
Curry90
Baker80
Sherman30
Harney20
Gilliam10
Grant10
Unassigned00
Wheeler00