A slender sunfish in Hout Bay

Video (TED): Tierney Thys on ocean sunfish

I have only seen a giant sunfish once, from a distance, as it breached out of the water near Justin’s Caves on the Atlantic seaboard of the Cape Peninsula. (Their smaller relatives, slender sunfish, are also sometimes seen here.) In photographs, they have wise, structured faces. Their size is breathtaking. They are the largest bony fish.

Tierney Thys is a marine biologist who researches ocean sunfish (Mola mola). In this TED talk she spills all the secrets of this magnificent fish, including the fact that they carry (and seem largely unaffected by) a breathtaking parasite load.

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Lapsed mathematician, creator of order, formulator of hypotheses. Lover of the ocean, being outdoors, the bush, reading, photography, travelling (especially in Africa) and road trips.

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