A man looking for dolphins at a California beach was in for a surprise when he paddled near a massive fish that looked like “it was bitten in half.”
Rich German, 52, came across a sunfish while paddling with his buddy Matt Wheaton on Dec. 2 at Laguna Beach.
“It looked like a mutilated shark alien,” German told USA TODAY.
Sunfish are one of the heaviest bony fish in the world and can weigh up to 2.5 tons, according to National Geographic. They are bullet-like in shape and get their name because they are often seen soaking up the sun near the surface of the water.
German said he had seen a dozen of them while hollow boarding over the last 12 years, but nothing of that size or that close to shore.
“We knew what it was immediately,” He said. ” They are normally miles off the coast and this one was huge.”
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After he went home, he found out the largest sunfish on record is 8 feet and 11 inches and realized he may have seen the biggest one yet. German said Wheaton’s board is 14-feet-long and estimated the fish was 9 to 10 feet long.
He said the sunfish has garnered international attention after his post on Instagram and hopes it spreads awareness.
“The more people understand the ocean and what’s in it, the more they might do to protect it.”
Follow reporter Asha Gilbert @Coastalasha. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: GANNETT Syndication Service