Sharing the tank with the great white shark was the world’s heaviest bony fish the mola mola or sun fish if you can call it a fish. The mola mola is seemingly incomplete. It’s thick body abruptly ends, no tapering and no tail to speak of. It’s as if the body has been severed off. It doesn’t swim but floats errily like a disembodied head soaked in formaldehyde with two large paddle like fins. Huge bulging eyes swivel and pivot like a chameleon’s and a mouth that seems to be smiling as it drifts along. I’m wasn’t sure if it was grotesque or if it was cute.
Like a ghost the Mola Mola never changes direction but floats deliberately where it goes. Walls of sardine part allowing the behemoth to pass through. Like some kind of aquatic Buddha the slow-moving Mola Mola seems zen like as he drifts smiling across the aquarium. Next to the shark the Mola Mola was our favorite fish. My daughter, Samea proved that the mola mola was cute not grotesque by buying a plush of itself.
So if you ever come across a giant dismembered head in the ocean with fins, pivoting eyes and a beguiling smile don’t worry it’s not grotesque, it’s cute.
In the gift store with the mola mola we found an old friend: Sid the Squid.