Sunfish Sensation: Massive Record-Breaking Fish Washes Up on Oregon Beach, Draws Huge Crowds

Gearhart, Oregon – A massive rare fish has washed up on Oregon’s northern coast, sparking the curiosity of beachgoers who were amazed by the unusual sight. The 7.3-foot hoodwinker sunfish, believed to be the largest on record, made its appearance on the beach in Gearhart, drawing attention from locals and visitors alike.

This unique creature is typically found in temperate waters in the southern hemisphere, making its presence on the Oregon coast even more remarkable. The hoodwinker sunfish is distinguishable by its large size and sleek appearance, weighing up to 2,000kg. It has the ability to grow rapidly, gaining up to 800 pounds in just 15 months.

Photographs provided by the Seaside Aquarium showcased the massive fish lying on the beach, providing a scale of its size and scale. The images prompted a researcher from New Zealand, Marianne Nyegaard, who specializes in studying sunfish, to contact the aquarium. After analyzing the photos, Nyegaard confirmed that the fish was indeed a rare hoodwinker sunfish, a species even rarer than the more common ocean sunfish.

In a study conducted in 2017, Nyegaard’s research revealed that the hoodwinker sunfish, or Mola tecta, was genetically and visually distinct from the ocean sunfish, Mola mola. The name “tecta” in Latin implies hidden or disguised, alluding to a newly discovered species that had long gone unnoticed. Interestingly, the hoodwinker sunfish has been documented washing ashore on the California coast in the past.

Despite its usual habitat in the southern hemisphere, the hoodwinker sunfish has now been spotted on the Oregon coast, challenging previous assumptions about its range. The aquarium also suggested that the fish may have been mistaken for the more common ocean sunfish in other instances when it washed ashore in the Pacific Northwest. With its remarkable size and unique characteristics, the hoodwinker sunfish continues to captivate and intrigue beach visitors in Oregon.