As the waters surrounding the UK have been getting increasingly warmer, unusual and unexpected visitors have been frequenting the country much more. The latest to be captured on camera was an ocean sunfish that was seen in Ramsgate Harbour in Kent.
On Sunday (9 January) resident Jon Gosman took a video of a rare ocean sunfish that seemed to be ‘lost’ in the waters of Ramsgate Harbour. Gosman uploaded the video on Facebook and the story was picked up by local media company The Isle of Thanet. According to the publication, the creature usually only visits UK waters during the summer as the warmer temperatures play host to their favourite food—jellyfish.
This year, however, one sunfish decided to pay an early visit. We’re not sure whether it was there in search of food, but Gosman seems to believe that it was lost. He wrote in his caption:
Something you don't see every day. One very lost, cold, Sunfish in Ramsgate Harbour. Poor thing.
What is an ocean sunfish?
The ocean sunfish, also known as the mola mola, is the world’s heaviest bony fish.
These fish are exceptionally particular because of their circular shape. National Geographic states that it can grow up to '14 feet vertically and 10 feet horizontally' and can 'weigh nearly 5,000 pounds!' They added:
They are frequently seen basking in the sun near the surface and are often mistaken for sharks when their huge dorsal fins emerge above the water.
While these unusual-looking creatures are no stranger to British waters, seeing them during the winter season is definitely out of the ordinary. They mostly swim in tropical and temperate locations, and hence come around the UK only during the summer.