Ocean sunfish
Members of the fisheries bureau transport a dead giant ocean sunfish, scientifically known as a rare Tetraodontiformes, at a fish port near Zamboanga City, southern Philippines, Feb. 18, 2007. Reuters

A monstrous ocean sunfish, weighing more than 2,000 pounds, was caught over the weekend by a group of Sakhalin fishermen near Russia's Iturup island, local media reports said Thursday. The bizarre-looking creature, which is treated as a delicacy in Japan and Taiwan, was also photographed by the fisherman. It is the heaviest known bony fish on Earth.

“There has been no such specimen that I can remember; there is the dolphin fish, also known for its size and reaching 1.5 meters, but I have never seen a sunfish weighing more than a ton here before,” one of the fishermen, Artur Balkarov, said.

The freakishly large fish got caught in the nets. But by the time fishermen brought the creature ashore, three days had passed due to which it began rotting. The fishermen decided to dump the fish at a site where locals usually bring fishing waste for wild animals, including bears.

Here are some interesting facts about the ocean sunfish.

1. Ocean sunfish are also called "Mola Mola," which in Latin means a "millstone." The name has been given due to the creature's gray color, round body, and rough texture.

2. The German name for the ocean sunfish is "schwimmender kopf, "which literally means “swimming head.” The Polish name for sunfish is "samogłów," that translates to “head alone,” as the body of the fish resembles a large fish head.

3. Ocean sunfish spend about half a day basking in the Sun near the surface of the water as it helps them in keeping their bodies warm.

4. An average ocean sunfish is 10 feet long and weighs 2,200 pounds, but the biggest one can weigh up to 5,000 pounds.

5. Sunfish typically live in open waters.

6. Sunfish can lay up to 300,000,000 eggs at one time, more than any other vertebrate.

7. The sunfish family includes other creatures like largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, rock bass, and black bass.

8. Polynesians, who called the ocean sunfish “King of Mackerel,” considered it bad luck to kill the sunfish, according to marine biologist Tierney Thys’ website OceanSunfish.org.

9. The mouth of the ocean sunfish is small, and its teeth are fused together in two plates that look like a beak.

10. Sunfish can dive more than 2,600 feet below the surface but it is usually found at depths of 160 to 650 feet.

11. It was earlier believed that sunfish were relatively inactive but later scientists found that these are active predators who travel several miles per day in search of food.

12. Sunfish mostly feed on jellyfish.

13. Sunfish have a popular mobile game named after them called "Survive! Mola Mola!"