The most common of the ocean sunfishes is the Mola mola. These fish, like all sunfishes, appear as if their bodies have been somehow truncated leaving them little more than a large head equipped with long sweeping fins atop and below. The body is less than twice as long as it is deep.
Mola mola have a rounded tail, gritty sandpapery skin covered with copious amounts of mucus. Typically silvery in color with a slight opalescent sheen, they can exhibit strikingly changeable spotty patterns. They presently hold the record for the world’s heaviest bony fish–a 3.1 meter (10 ft) long specimen weighed in at 2235 kg (4927 lbs) (Carwardine, 1995).
The common sunfish, Mola mola, are infamous for their impressive parasite load. Some 40 different genera of parasites have been recorded on this species alone. In fact, even their parasites have parasites.
Bali has a special allure for divers, with its clear tropical waters and rich marine life. It offers the added plus of reliable locations for encounters with the elusive mola mola or ocean sunfish. Local currents and the well-defined water temperature gradients create an environment suited to the mola mola, ensuring they return to Bali year after year.
Although the mola mola might be seen almost anywhere in Balinese waters, the conditions are most favorable only a few select areas. Best known among these are Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan.
TO SEE THE MOLA MOLA:
The Mola Mola is around the area during four months of the year.
The best time to see the Mola Mola is between the beginning of July and the end of October. There are sightings on either side of these months, but generally these are less frequent. Mola Mola can be seen at most of our dive sites, but Crystal Bay and Blue Corner are where they like to chill !