Visitors to Kennett River on Victoria’s south-west coast in Australia were left awestruck when a gargantuan ocean sunfish washed ashore in July 2020.
The creature, measuring about two meters in length, appeared to be an extraterrestrial, leaving onlookers stunned.
Vets Cath and Tom Rampton were among the tourists who happened upon the sea monster and were amazed by its unusual appearance.
Images of the gigantic fish were widely shared on social media, underscoring its sheer size and striking features.
The Ramptons, who are both vets, were astonished by the creature and were quick to note that they had never seen anything like it before.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Cath said, “My understanding is it’s not a very big specimen, I think they can get up to double that size.”
According to National Geographic, the mola mola, as it is also known, can grow up to 4.2 meters (14 feet) vertically and three meters (10 feet) horizontally, and can weigh almost 5,000lbs.
Tourists Tim Rothman and James Barham were equally shocked by the sight of the fish and thought it looked like an alien.
Tim spoke to the Geelong Advertiser about their chance encounter, saying, “We were walking along and saw this big lump on the sand. I’ve never seen anything like that before. It looked like an alien from a distance.”
The ocean sunfish is typically found in temperate and tropical oceans worldwide and can often be seen near the surface of the water basking in the sun.
In recent years, sightings of the creature off the coast of the UK have become more frequent.
Liz Hemsley captured a photo of an ocean sunfish swimming near Portland Harbour in Dorset in June 2020. The British Sea Fishing website noted that the sunfish is native to tropical seas around the equator, but its presence in the south of England during the summer months is due to global warming and climate change.