Divers left in awe of giant sunfish

Holy mola, that’s a big fish!

While diving off the coast of Santa Maria Island in Portugal, a group of divers encountered an extraordinarily giant sunfish, or Mola mola. Photographer Miguel Pereira managed to capture some amazing footage of the creature, who didn’t seem to mind the company.

‘[W]hen diving with a GoPro I saw the giant Sunfish almost at surface level and practically static,’ recalled Miguel of the encounter. ‘The Sunfish seemed not to be bothered by our presence at all and followed us for 15 minutes.’

As you can see from the video, sunfish are huge. With an average length of 1.8m (5.9ft) and an average weight ranging between 247-1000kg (545-2,205lb), sunfish are the world’s heaviest bony fish. In fact, some of the biggest sunfish have weighed up to 2300kg (5100lb).

Sunfish are also very gentle in nature, and pose little to no threat to humans. On one rare occasion, a young boy was knocked down by a sunfish that had leapt aboard his family’s boat. Fortunately, the boy only suffered minor scratches, and the heavy fish was lifted back into the water.