close
Tuesday June 18, 2024

Rare 7-foot fish washed ashore on Oregon's coast garners worldwide attention

The fish is still on the shore as it is difficult for scavengers to pierce through its impenetrable skin

By Web Desk
June 08, 2024
the hoodwinker sunfish was also seen recently in Alaska and California. — Phys.org via Seaside Aquarium/File
the hoodwinker sunfish was also seen recently in Alaska and California. — Phys.org via Seaside Aquarium/File

Thousands of spectators were captivated by the unexpected sight of a gigantic and rare fish that washed ashore on Oregon's northern coast. 

The fish is believed to only exist in temperate waters in the southern hemisphere, Phys.org reported.

The 7.3-foot (2.2-metre) hoodwinker sunfish made its public debut on Gearhart's beach on Monday, according to a press release from Seaside Aquarium.

As per reports, the fish is still on the shore, as it is difficult for scavengers to pierce through its impenetrable skin.

Photos provided by the aquarium showed a flat, round, grey fish lying on its side in the sand.

The stir it has created on social media prompted a New Zealand-based researcher, who has studied sunfish, to contact the aquarium. After looking at photographs of the fish, Marianne Nyegaard confirmed that it was indeed a hoodwinker sunfish.

Nyegaard discovered that the hoodwinker sunfish, or Mola tecta, was a separate species from the ocean sunfish, Mola mola, by DNA sampling and observation in a 2017 paper.

According to the aquarium, the hoodwinker sunfish was also seen recently in Alaska and California, disproving the notion that it is limited to the southern hemisphere.