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HomeBreaking NewsGigantic sunfish washes up on Norfolk beach

Gigantic sunfish washes up on Norfolk beach

'Quick read' news summary

A gigantic sunfish has washed up on a beach in Norfolk, becoming the most recent of several arrivals in a phenomenon which experts have attributed to the warming up of the seas.

The rare fish, which is more commonly found in tropical waters, was spotted by a wildlife photographer on New Year’s Day.

The baby sunfish measured about 1.5m from the top to bottom fin and washed up on North Beach in Great Yarmouth.

The imposing specimen can, as an adult, grow up to 4m tall and is the largest bony fish in the world.

Dr Ben Garrod, from the University of East Anglia, said it was the fourth sunfish which had washed up on Norfolk’s beaches in the last 12 months.

“We don’t know why they died and this is an ongoing research project, but it’s incredibly important as we know so little about them,” he told the BBC.

“I know they have washed up on the Norfolk coast – maybe once every 10 years – but to have four in the last 12 months is really interesting.

“We don’t have the evidence to say it’s related to climate change but no-one’s denying the oceans are changing.”

Katherine Hawkes was on a New Year’s Day walk with her family when she spotted the creature in the sand.

“At first we thought it could be a seal pup until we got closer,” said the 39-year-old.

“It is really odd-looking and while it is sad it had died, it was exciting to see as they are so unusual to find in this area.”

It is likely to have died from a lack of food and the cold temperatures of the North Sea, according to a local marine expert.

Rob Spray, joint co-ordinator of

A gigantic sunfish has washed up on a beach in Norfolk, becoming the most recent of several arrivals in a phenomenon which experts have attributed to the warming up of the seas. The rare fish, which is more commonly found in tropical waters, was spotted by a wildlife photographer on New Year’s Day. The baby sunfish measured about 1.5m from the top to bottom fin and washed up on North Beach in Great Yarmouth.

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