Rare footage of a gigantic sunfish shot in September of 2013 has gone viral – again. I can see why! This crazy video shows a huge sunfish slowly emerging from the deep, surrounded by divers that look tiny in comparison. 🐟
Sunfish, or Mola, are the heaviest of all the bony fish, with large specimens reaching 14 feet (4.2 meters) vertically and 10 feet (3.1 meters) horizontally and weighing nearly 5,000 pounds (2,268 kilograms). But don’t worry, they are harmless to humans despite their impressive size. They’d rather snack on jellyfish.
This amazing video was captured on film by photographer Miguel Pereira off the coast of Portugal. He was left in awe by his experience. “When diving with a GoPro I saw the giant sunfish almost at surface level and practically static. The sunfish seemed not to be bothered by our presence at all and followed us for 15 minutes,” Pereira explained.
The original Facebook post already has more than 4.5 million views. I have to admit, it is pretty hard to look away from. Share this crazy video with your friends!
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I was taught to not bury the lead, so here goes. This is a ninja lanternshark. That’s right – NINJA + SHARK. This new species of lanternshark is black, stealthy, lives in the deep sea, and oh yeah… it glows.
Researchers named the new species Etmopterus benchleyi, after Jaws author Peter Benchley. They are roughly 18 inches long and have patches of photophores on their snout, sides, and belly. These tiny light-omitting organs are what gives them the ability to glow.
But, ninja lanternsharks have less photophores than their cousins, so they don’t glow as bright. They are also distinguished by their dark black color – hence the name.
These masters of the deep were originally discovered in 2010, by the Spanish research vessel Miguel Oliver. They collected eight specimens off the Pacific coast of Central America at depths ranging between 2,700 and 4,700 feet.
With the help of the Pacific Shark Resource Center and the California Academy of Sciences, they determined that the ninja shark was indeed a new species. They published their findings in a journal this week.
Credit: Ocean Science Foundation
Collection locations along Pacific Ocean coastline of Central America. Credit: Ocean Science Foundation
Immature male Etmopterus benchleyi. Credit: Ocean Science Foundation
Researchers have captured three different giant squid babies off the coasts of western and south-western Japan. This is the first time this has EVER happened in the whole world! 🐙 I’m absolutely terrified of giant squid (thanks to this exhibit at the AMNH), but I’m also obsessed with these fascinating creatures of the deep.
According to National Geographic, giant squid are thought to reach sizes up to 60 feet (18 meters), but because they live at such great ocean depths adults have never been studied in the wild – let alone babies.
The Museum of Nature and Human Activities in Hyogo prefecture said researchers caught three individuals of small, young giant squid (Architeuthis due) in or near Japanese coastal waters from April–June 2013. The discovery was published last week in the journal Marine Biodiversity Records.
The first baby giant squid was recorded on the coast off Kyushu Island, southern Japan. The remaining two were caught dead in fishing nets off the coast of Shimane, south-western Japan. Giant squid are the world’s largest invertebrates but each baby weighed in at under a pound and ranged from 5-13 inches in length.
I guess they aren’t so scary when they are just one foot long! Needless to say the scientific community is excited by this discovery. Researcher Toshifumi Wada told The Wall Street Journal, “This is the first time in the world that such young giant squid were found, and it has helped us understand what they are like this early in their life stage.”
Beads of sweat formed on my face the second I stepped out of the airport in Puerto Vallarta. It was 95 degrees and unbearably humid in Mexico, but my boyfriend and I were too excited to care. Our Airbnb host kindly set us up with a friend of hers – an English gentleman named Colin – to drive us through the jungle into Sayulita. The sleepy surfer town was smaller than I expected, nestled between lush green and bright blue water. Its charm was instantly undeniable. 🌴🌊
Our Airbnb was gorgeous. Sitting proudly atop Gringo Hill (yes, that’s the proper name), Casa Caracol consists of three casitas – each with an ocean view and access to a beautiful pool. We began our stay in the bottom unit, but due to some unexpected flooding during a surprise nighttime thunderstorm we ended up moving to the top unit to finish out our trip. We were the only people staying at Casa Caracol at the time so we felt like we had the whole property to ourselves!
So, speaking of being the only visitors at our Airbnb, and the intense heat, and the rain storms… my boyfriend and I decided to visit Sayulita during the off-season. Not by choice really, our vacation just fell during the end of August. Turns out, the city shuts down a bit from August-October due to extreme weather and lack of tourist cash flow. This ultimately worked in our favor. While a lot of restaurants and shops were closed, the ones that were open weren’t packed and we ended up receiving excellent service. That is most likely due to the fact that the locals are fairly kind – and also because we were clearly visiting with pesos to burn and a thirst for tequila.
Our apartment was a quick 5 minute walk to the city center and just a 10 minute walk to the beach. Once I saw the main beach in Sayulita I understood why it draws such huge crowds during the year. The water is warm, the surf is good, and the sand is full of shimmering gold flecks. There are roughly 4,000 people living in Sayulita, but during the peak-season (around December) the number of occupants in the city swells to roughly 40,000!
To wrap it up, we had the most relaxing vacation. We spent most days lounging on the beach eating Mexican fare and downing Pacificos. We went hiking, swam at the pool, and cooked meals at Casa Caracol – enjoying our ocean views at the top of Gringo Hill. We came across funny little land crabs, geckos, and a bunch of colorful butterflies. Because our cell phones were in airplane mode for the week we ended up reading a lot. My boyfriend read The Drifters for the third time. I went for the more macabre, reading a collection of short stories by Stephen King and Devil in the White City. We made friends, played cards, worked on our Spanish, and took time to appreciate the city’s laid back lifestyle.
Click here to see my favorite spots to eat and drink in Sayulita! 🍻🍴
I can’t decide if this footage of what is believed to be the biggest great white shark ever caught on film is terrifying or eerily soothing. Her name is ‘Deep Blue’ and not only is she over 20-FEET long – she may also be pregnant.
The footage was captured by shark researcher Mauricio Hoyos Padilla off Mexico’s Guadalupe Island in 2013, but wasn’t released until now.
When Padilla first spotted ‘Deep Blue’ he wasn’t afraid, he was excited. “When I saw Deep Blue for the first time, there was just one thought on my mind: HOPE. A shark of that size is at least 50 years old and that tells me protection and conservation efforts are working. Deep Blue has been spared from long lines and the inherent dangers of living in the wild,” he wrote.
Padilla wants to raise awareness and help protect these magnificent creatures. New born baby great whites and pregnant females run the risk of getting caught in lines and nets in shallow waters and the illegal trade of shark teeth, jaws, and fins is sadly very lucrative.
This isn’t the first time the world has seen Deep Blue. Discovery featured the large great white in a Shark Week documentary last year.
The news of Deep Blue comes just days after the corpse of an 18-FOOT tiger shark was pulled onto a fishing boat off the coast of Australia. According to reports, Geoff Brooks posted two images of the huge predator to Facebook on Tuesday, claiming that the tiger shark was caught near Lennox Head, on the northern New South Wales coast. But, there is much debate as to exactly when and how the shark was killed.
Great white sharks are only cool when they are gnawing on someone else’s boat. This week, tourists on a South African shark-diving tour got the shock of their lives when they watched one great white take the bait next to their boat – just as a second great white leapt out of the water behind it! I knew sharks couldn’t take selfies, but apparently photo-bombing isn’t out of the question.
RemoSabatini posted the video below to YouTube on July 6, 2015.
In honor of this weeks gnarly shark footage I’d like to post a few amazing pics from Chris and Monique Fallows – who spend 200 days a year at sea.
Photographing great white sharks for 20 years gives Chris and Monique Fallows front row seats on the amazing behavior and secrets of formidable predators few people see. In this post they share ten of their favorite images of great whites.
I have to admit, I’m a bit terrified of deep sea creatures. I mean, 95% of the ocean floor remains unexplored. That is A LOT of room for giant squid to roam. Lucky for me, NOAA decided to explore the waters off of Puerto Rico in search of the deep sea life that haunts my dreams.
From April 9 to April 30, 2015, NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer explored largely uncharted deep-sea ecosystems and seafloor in the vicinity of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. What they found – using state of the art technology – will amaze you!
Quartz posted this incredible video to their Facebook page, using footage gathered from NOAA. Some of these creatures are so new – they don’t even have names.
Océano Profundo 2015
Legs 1 and 2 of the mission focused on mapping the seafloor where primarily only low-resolution satellite or topographic data existed previously. Leg 3 of the expedition featured some of the deepest remotely operated vehicle (ROV) dives ever conducted in the region and collected critical deep-water environmental data that will improve ecosystem understanding and inform federal and local resource managers.
Why Puerto Rico?
According to NOAA, a diversity of seafloor features lie just offshore Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands that include trenches, seamounts, numerous submarine canyons, valleys, and troughs. These features likely contain valuable and vulnerable ocean resources, but very little is known about them, making this an important area to survey.
It is crucial to explore this area for several reasons:
It is tectonically active, with seismic hazards
It includes a large section of U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone
One of the major fisheries in the area is deepwater snapper, but little is known about snapper populations there
It is of potential interest for marine protected area managers, those creating ocean usage planning maps, and sanctuary managers
NOAA did a fantastic job of documenting their journey, allowing scientists and the public access to mission logs, daily reports, photos, video, and live underwater video feeds.
During the dives, Okeanos Explorer’s two-body ROV system continuously captured high-definition video, which the ship transmitted to the Office of Ocean Exploration and Research’s website, www.oceanexplorer.noaa.gov, where anyone could follow along in near-real time!
NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer, “America’s Ship for Ocean Exploration,” is the only federally funded U.S. ship assigned to systematically explore our largely unknown ocean for the purpose of discovery and the advancement of knowledge. Telepresence, using real-time broadband satellite communications, connects the ship and its discoveries live with audiences ashore. Visit the NOAA Marine Operations Center Okeanos Explorer page for operations and crew information 🙂