Big fish have always impressed people. The capture of a huge specimen caused a stir and was necessarily documented. Surely every angler has a photo of the biggest fish he has ever caught hanging at home in a conspicuous place. But even the most incredible trophies of domestic fishermen will not be able to compete with giants from the deep sea.
The largest fish in existence today is the whale shark, or Rhincodon typus. Standard individuals reach 10-12 meters in length, there is evidence of twenty-meter specimens that scientists have met. Despite the awe-inspiring scale, the whale shark does not pose a danger to humans and other marine life. She barely reacts to divers who touch her body.
Rhincodon typus feeds exclusively on krill and plankton, which it extracts from the water using a special strainer. The maximum speed of the ocean giant does not exceed five kilometers per hour. Sharks spend most of their time onwater surface. The decline in the numbers of these peaceful ocean monsters is a serious problem. Despite the complete ban on fishing for whale sharks, the restoration of the population is very slow, and environmental scientists fear that due to poachers, this species may completely disappear from the face of the earth.
The heaviest bone representative of the ocean is the moon-fish (lat. Mola mola). Individuals reach three meters in length and weigh about one and a half tons, which is comparable to the weight of a Toyota Camry. According to the Guinness Book of Records, the heaviest specimen of the moon-fish was caught in 1908 off the coast of Sydney. With a length of 4.26 meters, it reached 2235 kilograms in weight. The record holder lives in tropical and temperate oceanic latitudes. The geography of "residence" of fish is quite wide: from the Indian Ocean to the islands of the Great Kuril ridge. Often, moonfish are seen off the coast of Canadian Newfoundland and Iceland. Mola mola was marked by another world achievement, this time quantitative, because it was recognized as the most prolific fish. The female is capable of laying up to three hundred million eggs. Despite this, the overall fish population is not very large.
However, the ocean is not the only place where big fish are found. Of course, freshwater representatives of marine heavyweights are inferior to oceanic ones in size, but they are also able to impress a person. The largest fish caught in freshwater is the giant catfish from the Mekong, which in Cambodia is called the "king of fish". Caught catfishweighed 292 kilograms and was also listed in the Guinness Book of Records.
Able to impress anyone with the size of a giant freshwater stingray. Some specimens reach almost 600 kilograms in weight. Unfortunately, it can be seen less and less due to the reduction of habitats and uncontrolled trapping. In Thailand, it is classified as an endangered species.
Very big fish are also found in Russia. The "queen" of fresh waters is the beluga. Its three-meter dimensions are due to longevity: beluga live for 100-115 years.
Quite often messages about a new record come from different parts of the world. However, they are rarely confirmed in fact. Large fish caught by fishing vessels cause great surprise. And often, being impressed by what they see, people decide that this is the biggest fish that the world has ever seen.