Carcass of massive fish washes up along Southern Australia river
The carcass of a rarely seen species of fish was discovered washed up along a Southern Australia river over the weekend.
A large Mola mola, or ocean sunfish, was spotted by two fishermen, Steven Jones and Hunter Church, at the mouth of the Murray River in Coorong National Park, CNN reports.
According to Jones' partner, Linette Grzelak, the two initially believed the massive creature was a piece of driftwood until they came closer and noticed its unique leathery skin.
"None of them had seen anything like this before," Grzelak told CNN.
Photos of the fish:
Not much is known about the evasive Mola mola, which was discovered and named only in 2017.
According to the South Australian Museum, the Mola mola is one of three large species of Mola sunfish which are all believed to be native to the Southern hemisphere. They tend to be very mobile creatures and can grow well over 6 feet long.
"We know very little about them," Ralph Foster, the museum's fish collection manager, told CNN. "It's only in the last few years that technology has allowed us to start learning about them."
Just last month, another species of sunfish called a Mola tecta, or hoodwinker sunfish, was discovered on a beach in Santa Barbara, California, marking the first time one had been observed in the Northern Hemisphere.
The discovery left scientists scratching their heads as to how the massive creature ended up so far away from its known home.