18 Apr

Say hello to Mr. Big aka Mola Mola

Mola Mola: Ocean Sunfish

We would like to introduce you one of the biggest and most hilarious looking fish you can find in Bali (drum roll): The Mola Mola aka. Bali Ocean Sunfish!

Short description:

Name: Mola (Mola) is the latin name for ‘Millstone’ reflecting the colour and appearance
Size: 10 feet (3m) in length and 14 feet (4.3m) up and down across the fins
Weight: 5000 pounds (2.2t)
Colour: The colour depends on the location (grey to white, brown,..)
Diet: Jellyfish, crustaceans, small fish and microscopic plants
Estimated life expectancy: Around 10 years
Distribution: Temperate and tropic saltwater all around the world

Mola Mola

Interesting Facts:

  • Mola Molas are the heaviest bony fish in the world.
  • A female Mola Mola produces over 300 Million eggs – more than any other fish. Sadly just 1% of them survive.
  • Main predators: Sharks, Killer Whales and Sea Lions.
  • While swimming near the surface, Mola Molas are sometimes mistaken for sharks because of their large dorsal fin.
  • Parasites are often a problem, they are prone to have up to 40-50 different types on their skin. Most of the time little fish eat the parasites or they leap out of the water and try to hit the surface of the water as hard they can to knock the parasites from their skin.
  • They are unable to fully close their mouths.
  • The peak season to see Mola Mola in Bali is between July and October.
  • Mola Molas were an acceptable form of tax payment in Japan in the 17th century.
  • The best sites to see Mola Mola in Bali are Nusa Penida and Candidasa.

Useful tip:

If you’re one of the lucky ones who gets the chance to see a Mola Mola, don’t be afraid! They often approach divers just to investigate what they’re doing, but are generally very shy and certainly not dangerous at all.

Read these useful tips here on Mola Mola Conduct and how best to engage with these beautiful creatures.

Have you seen a Mola Mola in bali? Or somewhere else? Let us know in the comments below! 


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