A group of Spanish fishermen caught a sunfish 3.2 meters long, 2.9 meters wide and weighing two tons in early October on 4 October. The giant animal was caught in a tuna fishing net off the Mediterranean coast of Ceuta, Spain.
The size of the sunfish is considered a record for the region. A biologist evaluated the fish, which is found only in the depths of the ocean, and returned it to the ocean.
The mammoth sunfish is a species that is classified as endangered and is not consumed in Europe. The head of the Marine Biology Laboratory at the University of Seville in Ceuta explained that the fish was too heavy for a one-ton scale, which nearly broke under the weight.
Although uncommon, the species is not rare. To be released, the fish was separated into an underwater chamber attached to the boat and hoisted by a winch, where it remained out of the water for a few minutes. Meanwhile, a team of biologists took measurements, photographs and DNA samples.
Biologists say the fish is probably Alexandria molla, a subspecies of the mole sunfish genus. It has gray skin, rounded edges and a large prehistoric looking head.