Oh my god, what the @#$% is that bro?

I can’t help it. I’m in love with a new viral video.  Is it the fact that features the largest species of fish?  Is nostalgia for the Boston accent that reminds me of my days in graduate school?  Is there sheer excitement of this man for ocean life?  Maybe it’s the profanity.  Below the fold is probably NSFW because of the profanity.  Proceed with caution.

The narrator, so to speak, is Michael Bergin from Malden, Massachusetts.  His video with over 3 million views captures an ocean sunfish, Mola mola (Jay, I don’t know what this is.  Oh my god, what the @#$% is that bro?). The animal is not a baby whale, sea turtle, or flounder. However, I do share in Michael’s excitement (Look at this @#$%’n thing)  The Ocean Biogeographic Information System contains nearly 10,000 sightings of the large fish and as you can see in the map below New England is bit of hotspot for sightings.  The map clearly shows Mola mola is a globally distributed species.

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The largest recorded size for M. mola is 3.3 m in length, 3.2 m in height, and 2,300 kg from an individual that washed ashore at Whangarei Heads in New Zealand (10.8 ft, 10.5 ft, 5070 lbs).  However the video below posted in early 2014 shows an individual that may be largest ever seen.  Just eyeballing, the size of this individual (Dat thing is big Jay. What is that thing?) makes it a juvenile.

Contrary to Michael’s assertion (It look hurt. That thing looks hurt Jay. Jay that thing is hurtin’ bro. Oh my god that thing looks dead bro), the individual is not hurt.  Sunfish often bask in the sun at the surface.  The fish are deep divers and lay in the sun at the surface to warm themselves after these excursions.


Dr. M (1801 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Executive Director of the Lousiana University Marine Consortium. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Additionally, Craig is obsessed with the size of things. Sometimes this translated into actually scientific research. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (http://deepseanews.com/), a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.

4 Replies to “Oh my god, what the @#$% is that bro?”

  1. That the video is so wildly popular speaks very sadly of a public that finds such ignorance and disrespect of a wondrous fish so entertaining, especially considering that the two people in the video then tried to kill that sentient being.

    We should encourage respect and appreciation of other life forms, not gratuitous, harmful exploitation of them.

  2. Love it! Great little write-up on a fascinating fish species. The video off Massachusetts with spontaneous narration is just hilarious. A nice mix of entertainment and information in this article.

  3. I can’t help thinking the mola mola looks like the Creator got halfway through with it and then lost interest. Very strange creature: it doesn’t even have close living relatives, do it? Only species in its genus, only genus in its family.

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