Fishtailing between the sublime and the ridiculous



Mola mola photo © OpenCage


The ocean sunfish and the oarfish – which coexist and share the same types of food – have extremely different shapes. Of all bony fishes, the former is the most massive and the latter is the longest, with the caudal vertebral column being absent in the ocean sunfish and exceeding 11 metres in the oarfish. But the dimensionality of these fishes is even more aberrant: the ocean sunfish can swim on its side (resembling marine turtles in beating flipper-like versions of the dorsal and anal fins), whereas the oarfish can swim horizontally in a vertical position.


Robin and the Honey Badger, 22 March 2016



Mola mola swimming on its side

Mola mola massive size with human for scale

Mola mola skeletal structure

Artists impression of Regalecus glesne

Regalecus glesne

Regalecus glesne

Length of Regalecus glesne with humans for scale