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Point 8 - Scary Monster Kiosk

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Point 8Some scary monster shown here are mola mola and ribbonfish. With a submarine canyon some two miles deep, Monterey Bay can host surprising sea creatures more commonly found in the deep ocean. Blue whales and basking sharks, orcas, leatherback sea turtles, and giant squid can pop up anytime.

Posted here are some articles and pictures from decades ago. This huge strange looking fish is a mola mola, or ocean sunfish. Mola molas look like they started out to be a spaceship, thought better of it, and became a fish. This was an extraordinarily large animal, but mola molas are very common to this day. They range from Alaska to Baja. One can come across them on sunny days seeming to be sunbathing at the surface on their side. They are actually curious of boats and will venture right up to the side or just watch as you watch them. They are not prized for their meat like most of the other fishes. There is only a central strip that is edible in the center, which looks like jello until it's cooked and is described as tasting like abalone.

This large strange looking animal is a ribbon fish and are not commonly seen or caught. One of our former construction crewmembers told of encountering a school of them while scuba diving. They behaved quite differently than any other fish he's ever seen. Instead of swimming leading with the head end like most fish, these stood vertically in the water like a sea horse and swam leading with their dorsal sides and keeping oriented to the diver with their narrow edge showing. However he swam after them, they would keep turning so that they appeared like the edge of a knife blade, or ribbon. He surmised this was a defense practice of the fish to keep nearly invisible in the water to predators and only affording the slimmest of targets. There is a legend of a strange sea monster sort of creature that was sighted by different people repeatedly over a span of several years.

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Last updated: 6/30/2009 4:47:55 PM