Mainers Are Seeing A Lot More Giant Ocean Sunfish This Summer
Maybe you've been out on a whale watch. Maybe you're a lobsterman/woman. Maybe you just own a sweet boat, and can cruise all you want out on the open ocean. Whatever the case may be, if you spend a lot of time on the water, you've likely seen an ocean sunfish.
They're big, bizarre, prehistoric looking things, that spend most of their time at the surface, feeding. Maybe they haven't seen that many in Massachusetts... I bet you've seen this video this summer, where a guy was losing his mind over the sight of one. Beware... the language is a bit dicey. Totally NSFW.
In a normal year, someone might see a handful. One fisherman told the BDN that he saw 30 in one day this summer! The reason we're seeing so many according to Robert Steneck of the University of Maine, is because of changes in the gulf stream, and it's simply dumping more of them into our waters.
Since sunfish, by in large, are surface dwellers, it’s entirely possible that they could be coming in at higher numbers just simply because of being delivered to Georges Bank and the Gulf of Maine at higher numbers.
They look nothing like the little blue-gilled sunfish that the kids catch at camp. But rather an 11-foot long by 3-foot wide beast. Though I wouldn't necessarily go jumping into the water with one, they are essentially harmless. But still freakish to look at.
At any rate, enjoy the video, and kill a few minutes at your desk. At least you know if you see one out and about in your oceanic travels, you'll know exactly what the heck you're looking at.