Oceanic Sunfish : Mola Mola
The Mola Mola or Oceanic Sunfish is one of the wonders of the deep, rich waters around Bali. This 1000 kg behemoth is the heaviest known bony fish. Whilst these magnificent yet mysterious creatures make their home around Bali all year round, the best time to see them is July to October when they are frequently seen by our experienced dive guides at the cleaning stations around the 3 islands that make up the Nusa Penida dive sites. Just imagine a 3.5 metre ball that has been squashed sideways and you will start to envisage this strange but wonderful creature.
This huge but harmless wonder is an incredible sight as it patiently waits to be cleaned of its parasites by schools of colourful thread fin banner fish. Newly hatched sunfish are 2.5cm in length and raised on a diet of jelly fish they achieve a body weight 60 million times larger. Our Mola Mola Dive Trips depart every day during the Sunfish Season. It is recommended that you spend at least 3 days diving around Nusa Penida area to give yourself the very best chance of interacting with these magnificent creatures
When should you to come to Bali for your best chance of getting up close to the incredible Mola Mola? We have occasional sightings of these wonderful but strange looking creatures all year around although there are very regular sightings in July through to October so we recommend this as the best time to plan your dive trip to Bali. We offer
- Some countries still consider Mola Mola a delicacy although the sale of the meat is banned in Europe.
- Mola Mola sometimes leap out of the water, as high as 3 metres. It is believed the reason they do this is to ‘slap’ parasites from their skin. These are rare sightings indeed, perhaps you will be one of the lucky one to witness this behaviour!
- Mola Mola do not have separate teeth, instead the teeth are fused together to form a beak.
- The mouth of this huge creature is very small considering the huge amount of jellyfish that they need to eat.
- Mola Mola is the heaviest bony fish in the world and can weigh over 2 tonnes (2,000 kilograms).
- Many countries call them ‘Moonfish’, after their shape and silvery grey colour.
- A common name is ‘Sunfish’, thought to come from their habit of spending time at the ocean surface to warm up or sunbathe!
- When newly hatched the fish are only 2.5 cm long, smaller than your little finger!
- The female adult can produce up to 300 million eggs at a time.
- Mola Mola can grow to over 3.5 metres tall.
- This huge fish has no scales, instead they have a tough skin that is covered in mucus.
- The Mola Mola has no real ‘tail’, instead the rear fin is adapted to act like a rudder.