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A strange fish more than two meters in size washed up in the ocean

A strange fish more than two meters in size washed up in the ocean

On June 3, a 221-centimetre-long fish washed up on Gearhart Beach in Oregon, USA. The large, strange-looking fish sparked a lot of interest on social media, which is why crowds of people flocked to the beach to see the unusual-looking fish, according to the SeasideAquarium Facebook page.

It did not take long for the news to reach New Zealand researcher Marianne Nygaard. Based on the images, he came to the conclusion that it could not be a copy of the ocean sunfish (Mola mola), but rather another species of ocean sunfish (Mola tecta) discovered through his own research, which he published in 2017.

These fish were originally thought to live only in temperate waters in the Southern Hemisphere, but that theory has been called into question because he recently dredged up some specimens in California and one as far north as Alaska.

Source: Seaside Aquarium/Facebook

Marianne Nygard contacted Seaside Aquarium to see if they would be willing to take a sample for genetic testing. The staff was quick to respond, taking many pictures, measurements, and fabric samples.

Through photographs, Marianne confirmed that this was the largest specimen she had ever discovered.

This fish is still resting on Gearhart Beach, and will likely remain there for a few more days, perhaps weeks, because its tough skin makes it difficult for predators to eat. It's a fascinating fish, and the aquarium encourages people to see it for themselves.

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