Albino dolphins, sunfish off coast in Dana Point

Photos copyright Dana Wharf Sportfishing. Used with permission.

Naturalists would have had a couple of A+ field days down in Orange County this past weekend because folks aboard a Dana Wharf Sportfishing and Whale Watching vessel got a taste of nature at her most unusual – two, possibly rare albino dolphins and an estimated 2,200 pound sunfish (better known as a mola mola).

Brittany Levin of the Orange County Register quotes Donna Kalez, general manager of Dana Wharf:

 …sunfish are usually seen in the summer and are not typical sights on whale-watching trips… “You will not see it every day,” Kalez said.

While 2,200 pounds is pretty much average weight for a common mola mola, they have been known to reach 3,500 pounds. Considered the heaviest known bony fish in the world, mola molas feed on copious amounts of jellyfish to reach their massive Sumo-size bulk.

On the other hand, white dolphins are indeed rare; a few years back the Internet was a-buzz with photos of a “pink” bottlenose dolphin photographed in the Northern Gulf of Mexico. Not a hoax, these photos depicted a “pink” (really an albino) calf with reddish eyes cavorting with his gray mom and other dolphin friends.