‘Majestic’ 3-ton sunfish sets a new world record for largest bony fish ever discovered

Researchers stand next to the 6,000 pound giant sunfish after it was discovered floating lifeless on the ocean surface. (Image credit: Atlantic Naturalist Association)

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A gigantic, 3-ton sunfish recently discovered near a Portuguese island has set a new world record for the heaviest bony fish ever recorded, according to a new study.

The scale-tipping behemoth, known as a giant sunfish or bump-head sunfish (Mola alexandrini), was discovered on Dec. 9, 2021 as it floated lifelessly off the coast of Faial Island, in the Azores — a Portuguese group of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean. Local authorities scooped up the hefty carcass and took it back to port so it could be properly studied, according to a statement from the Atlantic Naturalist Association, a non-profit conservation and research organization based on Faial Island.

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