Mola mola

Ocean Sunfish
Mola mola

A Mola (also known as an Ocean Sunfish)
cruises the blue water
a dozen miles west of San Diego.

These truly strange-looking fish live in the open ocean, where they can often be found basking at the surface.  Growing to lengths of 10 feet tip-to-tip,
they have a very small mouth suited only for
soft prey such as salps and jellyfish.

The object just above his pectoral (lower) fin
is a parasite.  These fish will often lay flat
at the surface, allowing seagulls
to rid them of pests such as this.

Larger molas often let divers and snorkelers
swim alongside -- which makes for
some interesting close-ups,
such as Featured Photo #63...

Lens: 20mm
Film: Kodak E-100 VS
Location: Nine Mile Bank, CA
©1999 Garry McCarthy