VIDEO: Sunfish discovers paddleboarders at Laguna Beach

Don’t rock the boat! Moment huge sunfish checks on paddleboarders near Southern California beach

  • Rich German and his friend Matthew Wheaton were paddleboarding together
  • The couple were off Laguna Beach in California on December 2
  • They believe the sunfish was around 9 feet long, although they can’t be sure.
  • Experts said it was one of the biggest sunfish ever seen in Southern California










This is when a giant sunfish greeted two paddleboarders off Laguna Beach in California.

Rich German and his friend Matthew Wheaton were on their boards when the sunfish, also known as the mola mola, approached.

During the short video, German tells Wheaton, “It might be the biggest sunfish I’ve ever seen. It’s as big as your board.

German, 52, later posted the footage to his Instagram page which shows his friend kneeling on his 14ft long board to take a closer look at the fish.

Rich German and his friend Matthew Wheaton, pictured, were paddleboarding off Laguna Beach in Southern California when they saw the giant sunfish

The sunfish, pictured, has a top speed of two miles per hour and can travel 16 hours a day

The sunfish, pictured, has a top speed of two miles per hour and can travel 16 hours a day

The couple believe the giant fish could be a world beater, although experts said they would have to weigh it to judge its true size.

The couple believe the giant fish could be a world beater, although experts said they would have to weigh it to judge its true size.

German believes the fish, which they encountered on December 2, was at least nine feet tall.

Sharing the footage, he wrote: ‘Matthew Weaton and I came across this massive sunfish just a few hundred yards offshore yesterday.

‘According to the internet, the tallest ever recorded is 8’11’.

“We didn’t have a tape measure, but Matt’s board is 14ft long and the fish looked solid over 9ft.

“Always fun to witness one of these interesting creatures. Damn mola mola!

Then he added: “My buddy, Matt, and I were out paddling and we came across this – it was hard to miss!”

“It’s hard to compare a sunfish to other creatures because they look so weird – they look like a mangled shark that’s been bitten in half.

“I’ve seen a lot over the years, but this was definitely the biggest.”

The giant fish floated slowly towards the couple who were paddleboarding on December 2.  (Photo, Matthew Wheaton)

The giant fish floated slowly towards the couple who were paddleboarding on December 2. (Photo, Matthew Wheaton)

The German said:

The German said: ‘Most of my encounters are with dolphins and whales, but you never know what you’re going to see’

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the world’s largest bony fish by weight was another sunfish caught in 1996 off Kamogawa, a city in Chiba, Japan.

This specimen weighed 2,300 kg and was 8 feet 11 inches long.

Julianne Steers of the Beach Ecology Coalition said the fish spotted by German and Wharton were larger than normal-sized fish seen off Laguna Beach.

She told the OC Register: ‘The only real way to know is if he was weighed and officially measured.

Initially, the sunfish was thought to float on ocean currents, but now researchers believe it can travel two miles per hour swimming up to 16 miles a day.

Researchers believe a sunfish is capable of traveling up to 16 miles a day

Researchers believe a sunfish is capable of traveling up to 16 miles a day

The pair estimate the fish was around nine feet long comparing it to the size of their boards

The pair estimate the fish was around nine feet long comparing it to the size of their boards

The scientific name for the sunfish is a mola mola. They are omnivorous and can live up to ten years and weigh up to two and a half tons.

Sunfish are the heaviest of all bony fish and can be infested with parasites.

Bluegills are harmless to humans but are incredibly vulnerable. They have been known to die after eating plastic bags which they mistake for jellyfish.

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