NORTH TOPSAIL BEACH, N.C. (WNCN) — A massive, rare sunfish washed ashore on the North Carolina coast this week.
The 450-pound fish is more than 6 feet long and washed ashore on North Topsail Beach near the Seaview Pier on Wednesday, according to officials with the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.
The fish is called a sharptail mola sunfish — one of just five species of sunfish in the world.
The fish was almost fully intact, which is quite rare for a sharptail mola sunfish, officials said.
Researchers picked up the fish Thursday and brought it back to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh.
The fish is being preserved and will eventually be put on display. It will be the heaviest fish specimen at the museum.
The fish is 74 inches (6.1 feet) from nose to tail. When measured fin to fin, the fish is 82 inches, or 6.8 feet.