Scientists Found Largest Bony Fish In The World, A Dead 6,000-Pound Sunfish

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In December of 2021, José Nuno Gomes-Pereira working with the Atlantic Naturalist Association in Portugal and his colleagues found an extremely large, dead sunfish floating off the coast of Faial Island.

Gomes-Pereira and his team managed to pull the dead carcass of the sunfish to shore where they weighed, measured, and took DNA samples of it.

Using a crane, they picked to see how heavy it was and it weighed 6,049 pounds, which is 881 pounds heavier than the previous heaviest sunfish that’s on record.

The sunfish also stretched 10 feet, six inches in length. Scientists say they do not know what killed the fish, however, they found a large semi-cylindrical depression near its head marked with red paint.

This indicated that the sunfish could have been hit by the keel of a boat, which is typically painted red. Though it’s not clear if the depression happened BEFORE or AFTER it died.

Scientists noted that there have been heavier fish without bones recorded in the record books. Like the cartilage-filled whale shark which can grow as heavy as 20 tons. This dead sunfish found is certainly the heaviest fish with bones in the world that’s on record.

The previous sunfish was also a southern sunfish that weighed 5,070 pounds and was found in Kamogawa in Japan in 1996. That fish stretched 8 feet 9 inches long.