Featured Image for Meet the Hoodwinker Sunfish, a new species that looks like a giant pancake

Meet the Hoodwinker Sunfish, a new species that looks like a giant pancake

The internet has always had a fascination with the Sunfish, which is possibly the ocean’s goofiest fish. And now, there’s a new species of Sunfish to laugh at.

It was discovered by researchers from Australia’s own Murdoch University, starting with some DNA samples that didn’t quite match any of the three known Sunfish species.

The fourth species – which has now been confirmed with actual specimens from the wild – has been dubbed ‘The Hoodwinker’ by scientists, presumably because it hoodwinked researchers by evading detection for so long (it’s been 130 years since the last Sunfish species was discovered).

True to the Sunfish reputation, the Hoodwinker is just as goofy as its better-known relations, looking something like a monster from a Miyazaki film that got squashed into a pancake:

Growing to enormous sizes, Sunfish are renowned for their cute and peaceful demeanour, and for just generally being huge goofballs who act like they have no idea what’s going on around them.

This has resulted in some pretty hilarious interactions between them and humans, such as this classic encounter off the coast of Boston a few years ago. It features a bunch of confused guys with thick Boston accents, trying to decide what the hell it is they’re looking at:

And in case you’re wondering what’s going on in that video, the Sunfish spends part of its day enjoying the sun by lazing about near the surface. It then spends the rest of its time at deeper depths.

But for all their seeming silliness, Sunfish can also be truly majestic animals in the wild, as can be seen in their interactions with divers. Somehow they exude an otherworldly calm that makes Sunfish videos very soothing to watch:

Well, welcome to the world of human knowledge, Hoodwinker Sunfish. You sure are cute. May your adorableness save you from humanity’s seemingly unstoppable drive to destroy the oceans.

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