Video by Mike Wilson.
Relax, you’re not witnissin’ a baby whale right here dude.
Humboldt County Supervisor Mike Wilson recorded this video of a mola mola, also known as an ocean sunfish, flopping around the Samoa side of Humboldt Bay on Tuesday.
Grant Eberle, Humboldt State Marine Laboratory’s equipment technician and aquarist, told LoCO this morning that while mola molas aren’t normally found in the bay, they are native to our waters.
“Molas do sometimes wander into the bay,” Eberle said. “Normally they’re offshore eating jellyfish. I don’t think they wander in there very often, but they’re big, so when they do people notice them.”
Eberle said the fish are commonly seen sunbathing near the ocean’s surface, which may be what caused the large white spot seen on the fish’s head in the video above.
“My guess is that [the spot] is some kind of injury,” he said. “It probably got hit by a boat.”
An HSU student also reported seeing a mola mola in the bay last week. Eberle suspects that this is the same one, and that it might be struggling to find its way back out to sea.
Mola mola’s became an internet sensation after an East Coast man’s reaction to seeing one in Boston Harbor a couple of years ago. If you haven’t seen the video, LoCO highly recommends watching it below, dude.