If Finding Nemo taught us anything, it’s that we may as well rename the clownfish “that Nemo fish.” Beyond that, it’s a great study in marine ecology: Nemo’s rescue party casts off from the safety of the reef into the perilous open ocean, where one must be fast, inconspicuous or untouchably enormous to survive. Our heroes are none of these, and thus hijinks ensue.
Millions of years ago a small fish embarked on its own Nemo-esque voyage, abandoning reefs in favor of open ocean. Over the millennia it lost its tail and grew absolutely immense; today it can reach more than 10 feet in length and 5,000 pounds, thus putting itself beyond threat of all but the mightiest predators.
The bizarre ocean sunfish is the world’s biggest bony fish. The Germans call it “the swimming head,” the Chinese “the toppled car fish,” and taxonomists Mola mola — which, ironically enough for something that floats, is Latin for “millstone.” And unlike Nemo’s compatriots, it is beautifully adapted to the high seas.
[MORE - Absurd Creature of the Week: 'Pufferfish on Steroids' Gets as Big as a Truck]
Light (aka electromagnetic radiation) is responsible for most of what we know about the universe. By measuring photons of various frequencies in different ways — “the careful collection of ancient light” — we’ve painted a picture of our endless living space. But light isn’t perfect. It can bend,…