Ocean Sunfish Photographs

Mola mola Photos, Ocean Sunfish Pictures

Photographs of ocean sunfish (Mola mola), topside and underwater.

Ocean sunfish recruiting fish near drift kelp to clean parasites, open ocean, Baja California, Mola mola
Ocean sunfish recruiting fish near drift kelp to clean parasites, open ocean, Baja California.
Ocean sunfish and freediving photographer, open ocean, Mola mola, San Diego, California
Ocean sunfish and freediving photographer, open ocean.
Ocean sunfish schooling, open ocean near San Diego, Mola mola
Ocean sunfish schooling, open ocean near San Diego.
The ocean sunfish (Mola mola) is the world's largest known bony fish (sharks and rays are cartilaginous, not bony). At least one estimate over 3000 lb. has been recorded and individuals reaching 11 ft. (3 m.) from fin tip to fin tip have been seen. It is found in all oceans in tropical and temperate climes, and is known to eat gelatinous zooplankton (jellyfish) and probably small fishes and algae. In the eastern Pacific, Mola mola is normally found from British Columbia to South America, although in El Nino events it has been recorded as far north as Alaska.
Ocean sunfish schooling near drift kelp, soliciting cleaner fishes, open ocean, Baja California, Mola mola
Ocean sunfish schooling near drift kelp, soliciting cleaner fishes, open ocean, Baja California.
Enormous Ocean sunfish and freediving photographer, open ocean, Mola mola, San Diego, California
Enormous Ocean sunfish and freediving photographer, open ocean.
Ocean sunfish referencing drift kelp, open ocean near San Diego, Mola mola
Ocean sunfish referencing drift kelp, open ocean near San Diego.
Molas are often seen basking flat on the ocean surface, nearly motionless. This may be a thermoregulation behavior.
Ocean sunfish, open ocean, Mola mola, San Diego, California
Ocean sunfish, open ocean.
Ocean sunfish with mouth for slurping zooplankton, open ocean, Mola mola, San Diego, California
Ocean sunfish with mouth for slurping zooplankton, open ocean.
Ocean sunfish, open ocean, Mola mola, San Diego, California
Ocean sunfish, open ocean.
Mola molas are sometimes observed breaching the ocean surface and landing with a splash, perhaps attempting to dislodge parasites. Ocean sunfish are occasionally mauled by California sea lions, especially near the Monterey Peninsula, reportedly because the sea lions eat the mola's internal organs and perhaps just for sport. The nearest relative to Mola mola is Ranzania laevis, the slender mola. Found in the tropical and subtropical Pacific, Ranzania is rarely seen north of Mexico. Up to 2 feet (.6m) in size, its aspect ratio is longer than is the nearly circular Mola mola. Neither species of Mola is to be confused with the tiny, freshwater sunfish, a completely different animal.
Ocean sunfish and photographer, open ocean, Mola mola, San Diego, California
Ocean sunfish and photographer, open ocean.
Ocean sunfish and videographer, open ocean, Mola mola, San Diego, California
Ocean sunfish and videographer, open ocean.
Ocean sunfish schooling, referencing drift kelp, open ocean near San Diego, Mola mola
Ocean sunfish schooling, referencing drift kelp, open ocean near San Diego.
Ocean sunfish, open ocean near San Diego, Mola mola
Ocean sunfish, open ocean near San Diego.
Ocean sunfish schooling near drift kelp, soliciting cleaner fishes, open ocean, Baja California, Mola mola
Ocean sunfish schooling near drift kelp, soliciting cleaner fishes, open ocean, Baja California.
Ocean sunfish schooling near drift kelp, soliciting cleaner fishes, open ocean, Baja California, Mola mola
Ocean sunfish schooling near drift kelp, soliciting cleaner fishes, open ocean, Baja California.
Ocean sunfish schooling near drift kelp, soliciting cleaner fishes, open ocean, Baja California, Mola mola
Ocean sunfish schooling near drift kelp, soliciting cleaner fishes, open ocean, Baja California.
Ocean sunfish schooling near drift kelp, soliciting cleaner fishes, open ocean, Baja California, Mola mola
Ocean sunfish schooling near drift kelp, soliciting cleaner fishes, open ocean, Baja California.
Ocean sunfish schooling near drift kelp, soliciting cleaner fishes, open ocean, Baja California, Mola mola
Ocean sunfish schooling near drift kelp, soliciting cleaner fishes, open ocean, Baja California.
Ocean sunfish injured by boat prop with cleaner fishes, open ocean, Baja California, Mola mola
Ocean sunfish injured by boat prop with cleaner fishes, open ocean, Baja California.
Ocean sunfish, Mola mola, San Diego, California
Ocean sunfish.
Ocean sunfish, open ocean, Mola mola, San Diego, California
Ocean sunfish, open ocean.
Ocean sunfish and photographer, open ocean, Mola mola, San Diego, California
Ocean sunfish and photographer, open ocean.
Ocean sunfish hovers near drift kelp to recruite juvenile fish to remove parasites, open ocean, Mola mola, San Diego, California
Ocean sunfish hovers near drift kelp to recruite juvenile fish to remove parasites, open ocean.
Ocean sunfish hovers near drift kelp to recruite juvenile fish to remove parasites, open ocean, Mola mola, San Diego, California
Ocean sunfish hovers near drift kelp to recruite juvenile fish to remove parasites, open ocean.
Ocean sunfish, juvenile and adult showing distinct differences in appearance, open ocean, Mola mola, San Diego, California
Ocean sunfish, juvenile and adult showing distinct differences in appearance, open ocean.
Ocean sunfish, Mola mola, San Diego, California
Ocean sunfish.
Ocean sunfish, dorsal fin at water surface, open ocean, Mola mola, San Diego, California
Ocean sunfish, dorsal fin at water surface, open ocean.
Ocean sunfish, open ocean, Mola mola, San Diego, California
Ocean sunfish, open ocean.
Ocean sunfish, open ocean, Mola mola, San Diego, California
Ocean sunfish, open ocean.
Ocean sunfish schooling near drift kelp, soliciting cleaner fishes, open ocean, Baja California, Mola mola
Ocean sunfish schooling near drift kelp, soliciting cleaner fishes, open ocean, Baja California.
Ocean sunfish schooling near drift kelp, soliciting cleaner fishes, open ocean, Baja California, Mola mola
Ocean sunfish schooling near drift kelp, soliciting cleaner fishes, open ocean, Baja California.
Ocean sunfish, open ocean, southern California, Mola mola, San Diego
Ocean sunfish, open ocean, southern California.
Ocean sunfish, halfmoon perch removing its parasites, open ocean, Medialuna californiensis, Mola mola, San Diego, California
Ocean sunfish, halfmoon perch removing its parasites, open ocean.
Ocean sunfish sunning at surface, viewed from below, open ocean, Baja California, Mola mola
Ocean sunfish sunning at surface, viewed from below, open ocean, Baja California.
Ocean sunfish, open ocean, Mola mola, San Diego, California
Ocean sunfish, open ocean.