The five-minute video above, uploaded by Earth Touch News, is sure to take your breath away. It shows a rare encounter between a group of human divers and a giant sunfish off the coast of Portugal, recorded by photographer Miguel Pereira. It’s not often that a human is privileged enough to spend a long period of time swimming directly alongside a wild marine animal … so the incredible close-up shots of the sunfish in this footage must be seen to be believed.
The clarity of the water and the fish’s slow, languid movements allow the animal to be clearly viewed from a variety of angles. And the fact that the human divers are dwarfed by the fish will give you an idea of just how big these animals are! They are the heaviest known bony fish in the world, with an adult weight ranging from 545 pounds, all the way up to 2,000 pounds.
Sadly, like many other marine animal species, sunfish are under threat because of plastic pollution in our oceans. Plastic bags – which resemble the sunfish’s natural prey of jellyfish – can choke or suffocate them, or fill up their stomachs to such an extent that they end up dying of starvation. For tips on how to reduce your plastic footprint – an action that will assist sunfish and many other marine animals – check out the articles below:
- 5 Simple Go-To Tips to Shrink Your Plastic Footprint
- Why We Need to Wake Up and Do Something to Tackle Plastic Pollution in the Oceans
- How to Ditch Single-Use Items and Reduce Your Impact on the Planet