Why we love diving with the giant ocean sunfish of Bali - Mola Alexandi

Scuba Diving Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida with Mola alexandirini

There are so many choices when it comes to deciding where to dive in the world. There are multiple destinations which offer excellent coral reef diving, but there are very few areas which offer “extra special sightings”. We are extremely fortunate to have several special sighting opportunities which is why our beautiful islands of Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida are on so many divers’ wish lists!

The coral reefs surrounding our islands offer world class dive sites, vibrant and healthy corals and an abundance of diverse marine life but that’s not all. Around Nusa Penida we have year round manta ray sightings; we have frequent sightings of green turtles and hawksbill turtles; marble rays; bamboo sharks, reef sharks and even wobbegong sharks but what really sets us aside is our seasonal Mola alexandirini sightings!

The “mighty mola” is rarely seen in other areas of the world, particularly the alexandirini species which frequents our dive sites from late July through to November.

What’s in the Name?

Mola alexandirini is also known as the Southern Sunfish, Ramsay’s Sunfish, Southern Oceanic Sunfish, Mola ramsayi, Short Sunfish and the bunphead Sunfish.

Where Are Mola alexandirini Found?

This strange looking fish is found in the Southern Hemisphere where is spends much of it’s time in deep water and is therefore rarely seen by divers. Around our islands these amazing fish come up to the shallows to re-warm and to be cleaned of parasites by the abundance of reef fish (and even sea birds) which can be found here.

What’s so special about Mola alexandirini?

Like any marine species which is rarely seen there is a thrill in seeing this elusive fish. The mola is also the heaviest of all bony fish on the planet; one of the strangest looking and one of the biggest! For Big Fish aficionado’s no logbook will ever be complete without a mola sighting! These huge fish can reach a massive 4 – 5 meters from fin tip to fin tip, which definitely makes them part of the marine BIG 5 along with whales sharks, hammerheads, dugongs and of course manta rays!

Where is the Best Place to Spot Mola alexandirini when diving in Bali?

When you are diving in Bali, there is no question that you’ll need to dive Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida if you want the best possible chance of a sighting. Mola sightings occur all around the islands at various depths. We’ve even had PADI Open Water Course students who have seen both manta rays and mola during their courses! To increase your chances of a sighting it’s a good idea to take your PADI Advanced Open Water Course if you aren’t yet advanced certified. Whilst we do see mola in shallow water, by being certified to dive to 30 meters you’ll be able to access more of the reef and therefore increase your chances of seeing this deep water fish.

Meaningful Mola Encounters

At Blue Corner Dive, marine conservation and protection is one of our key priorities. When you dive Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida with us we’ll give you detailed dive site briefings before entering the water so you know what to expect. We aim to ensure that every diver has a positive encounter with the mola which means passively observing this very special species. We do not chase, touch or interfere with the mola’s natural pattern of behavior which usually means we have longer and more engaging mola encounters. It also helps that our incredible team of PADI Divemasters and Instructors have years of experience diving in these waters and are experts at spotting mola from a distance!

What Our Guests Have to Say….

Reviewed November 3, 2018

Really nice spot for diving courses! (5 Star Review on TripAdvisor)

Just did my Open Water Diver Course and it was amazing! Beautiful reefs, plenty of fish and the best instructor ever. I decided to add the Advanced Course and I saw Mola!!!!!! 🐠Stayed 11 Days for diving, really nice spot! 🙌

Reviewed by: Seaside33439483527 from Munich, Germany

Reviewed September 24, 2018

good vibes and great dives (5 Star Review on TripAdvisor)

Gorgeous little resort, cozy and good food. Staff were professional and really nice. super eco friendly! No plastic water bottles (hire a glass jug and refill at the bar or buy a branded water bottle and refill for free). The staff spoke really good English too! Sunsets are on beanbags right on the beach and it feels very secluded (in a good way!). We did 4 dives and the staff were professional and efficient, and WE SAW A MOLA which is of course the dream!!!!! I would definitely recommend this place!

Reviewed by: saphne from Busselton, Australia

So are you ready to dive into Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida with us? For more information about fun diving, PADI Courses or spotting Mola, contact us on: info@bluecornerdive.com or fill in our online contact form and we’ll get right back to you.

We look forward to diving Bali’s best dive sites with you soon!