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Giant sunfish weighing more than 6,000 lbs

Giant sunfish

A giant sunfish weighing more than 6,000 lbs is the heaviest bony fish ever found, researchers say. Scientists in Portugal got word that fishermen and boaters had spotted an enormous dead sunfish floating in the central North Atlantic. Researchers initially had doubts about the fish’s reported size, but when they finally reached the carcass near Faial Island in the Azores archipelago, they almost couldn’t believe their eyes.

The scale-tipping behemoth, known as a giant sunfish or bump-head sunfish (Mola alexandrini), was discovered on Dec. 9, 2021, as it floated lifelessly off the coast of Faial Island, in the Azores — a Portuguese group of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean. Local authorities scooped up the hefty carcass and took it back to port so it could be properly studied, according to a statement from the Atlantic Naturalist Association, a non-profit conservation and research organization based on Faial Island.

Giant sunfish
The giant sunfish was carefully lifted by a forklift so that it could be weighed and measured. (Photo Credit: )

The previous world record for the heaviest bony fish was held by another giant sunfish caught in Japan in 1996, which weighed around 5,070 pounds (2,300 kg), according to the Guinness world record.

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