monterey haul: here comes the sunfish


An alternative title for this post could be “PLUSH MOLA, PLUSH MOLA, PLUSH MOLA.” In fact, I don’t know why I’m even bothering to write any content when I could just type look at this mola ad infinitum. Who is the genius responsible for mass-producing a cuddly version of the world’s heaviest bony fish?

My soft little sunfish, however, wasn’t the only treasure I picked up at the Monterey Bay gift shop! Hey, if people can blog about what they’ve hauled back from Disneyland or Sephora or whatever, why can’t I share the ridiculous souvenirs I picked up from my favorite tourist attraction? As one might say in a sea shanty–haul away boys, away!


My pen pals have already benefited from my Monterey mission! In fact, by the time I had a chance to unpack and photograph my haul, I’d already sent most of these postcards to various destinations around the world.

(I hung on the otter-card in particular for so long because that wee baby is painfully cute! How is she even real?)


If 2016 was Year of the Enamel Pins for me, 2017 might just turn out to be Year of the Patches! This beautiful jellyfish patch shows off my Cnidaria pride while also providing a nice blue accent for a denim jacket.


But you know it’s all about the mola! 


There’s a good chance that you’ve been reading this post and wondering what my deal is. For you, dear reader, I’ve assembled some fun facts about the coolest sea creature ever!

  • Mola mola, commonly known as the ocean sunfish, are bony fish (by which I mean they’re not cartilaginous like sharks and other big ocean dudes) that may weird you out when you first see them (Wikipedia describes them as resembling “a fish head with a tail”): but I promise, they’re beautiful and graceful in their own way!
  • At their absolute largest, ocean sunfish can grow to weigh over two thousand pounds!
  • They’re best known for their “sunning” behavior, in which they approach the surface and bask while floating at a horizontal angle.


Plush molas, on the other hand, are perfectly happy to lay fins-up on a sunny pillow once you take them home!

4 thoughts on “monterey haul: here comes the sunfish

  1. IdleEmma January 27, 2017 / 10:14 am

    All your posts are making me really want to visit an aquarium! xD I’m sure there must be one in Ireland somewhere, I just have no idea where. Something to go look up!

    • Mailbox Mermaid January 30, 2017 / 8:39 am

      Ooo, I’m sure there must be! Alas, my knowledge of international aquariums is limited only to the U.K. and France 😀

  2. thesnailmail January 27, 2017 / 2:46 pm

    You’re doing it again, making me want to hop in my car & drive to Monterey. Look at that material, the softest kind of stuffed animal. By the way, mola lover, next time you’re in Monterey, you may want to take a walk to the end of Fisherman’s Wharf & hop on one of those whale-watching charter boats (actually, go online & reserve a slot in advance). In doing so, I have observed this sunfish behavior of which you write!

    • Mailbox Mermaid January 30, 2017 / 8:40 am

      I can confirm, it is THE SOFTEST. Eternal praise to the marketing genius who decided to add weird plush molas to the otter-dominated gift shop shelves.

      I would LOVE to do that someday! We had a very limited time in Monterey, but I know I’ll be back! (I mean, preferably with an educator’s job at the aquarium…a girl can dream!)

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