Imagine smacking into more than 1000 kgs of buoyant flesh whilst cruising along the top of the ocean at the equivalent of 30-50kms per hour.
That’s exactly what happened to Adelaide’s Sydney to Hobart Yacht race entrant Secret Mens Business, hitting a sunfish whilst sailing at pace down the coast of Australia on Thursday. The boat lost a third of its rudder as a result of the impact; luckily, no crew members were injured. The fate of the sunfish remains unknown but I suspect the worst.
Sunfish are enormous – up to 4 metres long – disc-like fish found in temperate waters around the world, including along the eastern and southern coast of Australia. They are often observed at the waters’ surface, with their prominent dorsal fin projecting into the air like that of a shark.
The Australian Museum has put together more information on the sunfish, also known as the Mola mola, including links to a specimen dissection.
[image thanks to JoshBerglund19 on flickr]