I stopped by Wellfleet Harbor shortly before sunset today to take in the view. Here’s the scene, looking southwest from the seawall at Kendrick Avenue (forgive the poor quality – I took these shots with the camera in my phone, which has a blurry lens):
Wait a minute — what the hell is that thing on the beach? I climbed down for a closer look. Here’s a closeup:
What is it? It’s a mola, also known as an “ocean sunfish“: weird critters that are little more than a gigantic swimming head. (They look like this when they aren’t decomposing on the beach.) This was a small one, maybe about about four-and-a-half feet long — but they can grow to truly enormous size, as you can see here.
I’d heard that they’d been washing ashore in these parts lately, but this is the first one I’ve seen.