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I came across this video of a mola mola necropsy, but the video was not super easy to watch because the orientation changed a lot. Thank you to Ro Anderson for taking the video and Carol "Krill" Carson who performed the necropsy. Krill has recently founded a new all-volunteer organization that you can support here:

Original video here:

 (00:00) to (02:00)

Hello, hankschannel.  So here's what has happened.  I came across this video, almost an hour long, of a necropsy of an ocean sunfish or a mola mola, one of my favorite fish.  Not saying it's my favorite fish!  Sometimes it's my favorite fish.  They're a really good fish.  It's the fish that kicked off the Bizarre Beasts project and now its own YouTube channel if you don't know about that, you can go to and follow my new YouTube channel where we're talking about amazing animals.

So I see, I find this video of this necropsy and it's amazing.  It's, for clarity, warning, disgusting.  Like, they're gonna be fishing around inside of this fish.  Their intestines are coming out.  The, you know, the kidney is dissolved, like, it's bad, but it's also amazing.  But the YouTube channel it was on and like, all the credit in the world to the people who took this video, it was--they weren't paying attention to how they were holding the camera, and so it's upside down at times and it's sideways a lot of the time, so I was having a hard time watching it and sort of getting the maximum enjoyment out of it and like, understanding exactly what was going on inside of this sunfish and I decided, hey, it's 10:00 on a Tuesday, I have tons of stuff to do, why don't I edit this video so that it's the right way around most of the time, zoom in when I can, edit out the parts that, you know, there's nothing really going on, and so it's a little bit shorter, for everybody to enjoy in a different way.  

I didn't ask permission to do this.  I am just assuming that (?~1:34) Anderson, who made this video is okay with me reuploading it so that it is more viewable because it seems to me like they are the kind of person who wants more people to be interested in sunfish.  It just seems like we're aligned in that, so probably this is fine.  If it's not, let me know, I will take the video down.  This video's taken in (?~1:57) Harbor, Massachusetts, and you can find out more about the work of the people who are doing this necropsy at 

 (02:00) to (04:00)

That's for the New England Ocean Sunfish and Basking Shark Project, and it's interesting, like, it's interesting to see how science works, because they talk a lot in this video about the fact that they don't know how to age mola mola right now, so like, there's no way when one washes up, to tell how old it is, and it's crazy 'cause they're talking in this video about how this is an immature mola mola so this is a--it looks very big, of course, but they get much bigger than this, but they can tell by the ovary that it's not a mature fish, so but they don't know how old it is and they have no way of telling. 

The systems that we use for aging different fish don't work for mola mola because they don't have the same structures 'cause they're extremely weird and so they're trying to figure out different ways to age them and that's really interesting to me because it shows that like, all of the things that we know are things that we've figured out, you know? 

Ten years from now, I bet we'll have a good way to age ocean sunfish and that will be because of the hard work of people like these who are, and also the other thing that's a big takeaway from this video is just how much work like, physical work, necropsy can be, and also like, it's disgusting and it's like, nobody's like, sugarcoating this.  It's not like, well, it's not actually disgusting, it's just the inside of a--no, it's gross!  It's gross, there's parasites, the thing, it's been dead for a while so it's dissolving, there is smells that thank goodness, we cannot smell, but I just wanted you to be able to watch this video and have it available up on the internet for everybody because dang it, some days, that's what I wanna do with my time, so I--now I have some other stuff that is work work that I have to do, but this was my, this was my hobby time for the time, so I hope everybody enjoys it.  Thanks, hankschannel.  Bye.  

 (04:00) to (06:00)

(Sounds of the dissection continue throughout. The audio starts about halfway through a sentence.)

Cameraperson: -- let me know.
Scientist (who's dissecting the sunfish): Okay, thank you.
Person 2, offscreen: She's Italian, she'll make a stew out of it.

Cameraperson: (Laughs)
Scientist: I'm Italian!
Person 2, offscreen: You are?
Scientist: Hundred percent.
Person 2: Me too!
Person 2, offscreen (talk overlaps): That's why she's good with a knife.

Scientist (04:11): Okay, so here's the vent! Here's the intenstine, right, coming down. (04:20) And then, here's the gonad.
Person, offscreen: What's a gonad?
Scientist: It's an ovary, or a teste. They have one ovary, (or) one teste. -- and it looks like it's a girl.

Person 3: And why do you know it's a girl?
Scientist: It looks-- 'cause the girls have, um, the ovary looks like a big baseball, y'know. Where the teste is long.
Cameraperson: Can you show me?
Scientist (04:40): Yeah, I'm gonna pull it right out. You wanna take a picture?
Person 2, offscreen: Yeah I do.

(General sounds of awe and interest)

Scientist (04:47): See, so the gulls come up here, and they can pull the ovary out. They don't care about the teste.

Scientist (joking): Sometimes I've gone nuts, I'm like, 'where is it!?'
Person, offscreen, mimicking: How can I do it?!

(04:57) Scientist: So, I'm gonna come up... And you'll see, it's funny. This body cavity is like-- here. And then all of this is, meat. White meat. No red meat.

(05:10) Cameraperson: So it's not the collagen, up there? Just muscle?
Scientist: Oh, collagen everywhere. Collagen's everywhere. Can't get to anything unless you get through the collagen.
Cameraperson: So do sharks--?
Scientist (05:25): There's the liver.

(General sounds of awe and interest)

Person 3, offscreen: So that's their protection, because they don't have teeth-- or sharp teeth, they're not fast, they're not...

Scientist (05:35) : They also have a very, um, reduced skeleton. So I think, you don't really need a defined skeleton if you've got that stuff.
(General agreement)
Scientist: And the bones! They're classified as the heaviest bony fish, but the bones, when they try, are like balsa wood. The weirdest thing.

Person 3: Wow, yeah. Interesting-- and that's--
Scientist: Weirdest thing! Yeah.
Person 3: And still strong as hell, to support that, yeah.

Scientist (05:57): So, here's.... oh my god, it's huge.

 (06:00) to (08:00)

Person 2, offscreen: Really? The ovary?
Scientist: Yeah. It's big. (06:05) So I'm just gonna try to get the tissue loose.

(06:15) Person 2, offscreen: It looks like a-- it doesn't look round, as you described. It looks more...
Scientist: Looks more oval, don't it?
Person 2: Yeah.

(06:30) Person 2: Do they have a mating season?
Scientist: We don't know.

(06:35) Scientist: See, here it is. Oh, it's big! And here's their bladder, see the urine? I just ruptured the bladder.
(General sounds of agreement)
Scientist: Look how big that is! Wow! It's huge!

(06:46) Scientist: They're supposed to have the most eggs of any fish.
Person 2: Oh, really?
Cameraperson: She's not pregnant.
(06:55) Scientist: No, this is immature. This is an immature fish.

Someone, offscreen (overlapping): No, they don't carry... babies inside.
Scientist: All the work we've done...
Cameraperson: Oh, that's right. It's not a mammal! (Laughter) I think of it as a mammal, though.

(07:06) Everyone: Wow.
Scientist: This is, like, the second-- you see the eggs? The second largest one I've ever gotten.
Someone, offscreen: That is remarkable.

(07:15) Scientist: And you can see the eggs just kinda...
Person 2, offscreen: Look at that blood supply!
Scientist: The eggs just kinda poking out. See, right there?
(General agreement)

(07:22) Person 3: Where? -- oh.
Scientist: Right in there.
Person 3: Oh, I see.
Scientist: That's the ovary tissue, right there.

(07:28) Scientist: So I'll take this back to Bridgewater. I'll weigh it, measure it, take a sample. And that's what is-- uh, goes to, uh, Woods Hole.

(07:37) Person, offscreen: Just one?
Scientist: Well, they don't really want much tissue.
Person: No, I mean, they just have one...?
Scientist: Oh, they have one ovary--
Person: One ovary.
Scientist: Or one teste.
Person: Or one teste.
Scientist: Yeah. Isn't that weird?
Person, overlapping: Is that normal, for fish? Normally-- aren't they symmetric? Right?
(07:49) Scientist: (Makes a 'not really' noise). This fish is-- I know. This fish just breaks all the rules.

(07:52) (Scraping sounds)
Scientist: There's a researcher in, uh... New Bedford who studies the mucus.
Someone, overlapping: See, right here?
Someone: Oh, yeah!

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From 37:06

And that's how the video ends.  It just ended.  I hope that you enjoyed it.  If you don't know what KOH is, that's potassium hydroxide.  It was just a strong base that you can use to dissolve flesh and if there's any other questions you have, leave them in the comments, maybe I or somebody else will be able to answer them.  They talk for a bunch about like, T2 to T10 or something. I didn't--I  don't know what that is, but maybe somebody else does.

Alright, thank you for watching this video of an ocean sunfish necropsy and I hope that you enjoyed it as much as I did, and I mean, heck, if I'm gonna watch an hour long video, I might as well edit it so that it's right side up when it's right side up, so thank you to (?~37:43) Anderson for taking the video, thank you to the New England Ocean Sunfish and Basking Shark Project for, for providing this for everybody.  This video's from 2015 and now available, right side up, finally.