Yes, you’ve read that right – not one, but two Mola Molas breached Bunaken waters this week to keep our divers company during their surface interval, breaching the surface three times!
Normally more of a mainstay at our dive centre in Lembongan, it appears this year a few Mola Molas have ventured north, giving us a chance to see them around Bunaken. Also known as ‘Ocean Sunfish’, they are the heaviest bony fish, weighing between 250 and 1000kg!
A true creature of the deep, Mola Molas have the ability to dive to 600 meters – by comparison, the depth record for a human scuba diver currently stands at just below 330 meters – and spend much of their time around 200 meters.
So how come our divers were lucky enough to see them on the surface? Most likely, the Mola was looking for a bit of a spring clean: its skin can harbour more than 40 species of parasites and in tropical waters, Molas come shallow to allow reef fish to feed on those parasites. In addition, they’ve been known to float on their side on the surface allowing seabirds to help with the clean up effort.
But breaching the surface? Again all in the interest of cleanliness: some sunfish breach as high as three meters in an effort to literally shake off some of those parasites.