Dance with the moonfish

  Indonesia: Bali - July 2008

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text: 

I can not resist the pleasure of showing you on video the dance of the mola-mola (and, of course, the mola-mola), after having (finally) met this big moon fish in the waters of Nusa Penida.

Mola-mola in Nusa Penida

I mounted a small video sequence full of bubbles, so you can enjoy the style and grace of the big cosmic beast. I was lucky to admire this beautiful moon fish at the end of July 2008, in the waters of Crystal Bay, in Nusa Penida (This island is located southeast of Bali and accessible by boat from Sanur or from neighboring Nusa Lembongan, where I stayed).

As for the dance of the mola-mola, it is practiced by divers eager to share their enthusiasm for having met the beast... One hand above the head, the other under the buttocks, to imitate the fins of the moonfish. Admire my underwater choreography at the end of the video! 😂

A fabulous dive, which seems far away already ... I will not be able to do the mola-mola dance again soon.

A big danke for the final images to my buddy and benevolent accomplice Peter Modrow, who filmed my bubbles and my aquatic contortions.


Previous articles on my encounters with mola-molas:
→ I swam with a mola-mola
→ Mola-mola, the return

  Indonesia: Bali - July 2008

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  1. Mince alors; c’est énorme cette bébête!!! 😯 Suis bien contente d’avoir enfin pu me faire une idée plus juste de ce mola-mola dont tu nous a tant parlé!!!
    Thank you!!!!

  2. @ Helen:

    Oui, c’est très gros, énorme!!! 😯 😛 😮

    This is the first thing you say when you see one for the first time underwater. It's beautiful and impressive at the same time, a moon fish. One of my strongest underwater emotions, during this trip ...

    Okay, I'll stop there with the molas-molas. I turn mono-maniac, with this bug!


  3. Impressive, I heard a lot about the mola, I was promised that I will see and it's never done.
    Tu es irrésistible en l’imitant par contre 😉

  4. @ Denis:

    Yes, nothing more frustrating than not seeing the mola-mola promised ... So imagine my disappointment, during the 2nd dive there, when I was the only one of the boat to have missed the cornet! Fortunately, I caught up with the following days.

    On five dives in all at Crystal Bay, I saw the moonfish three times (nothing at the 1st outing, missed at the 2nd, seen at each of the following three). So what makes a good average anyway ... If you ever have the opportunity to go wet your palms over there in the good season (July to September, unless I'm mistaken on my part), you should still have good chances to cross one.

    And then, the "mola-mola dance" at the landing, it is the new dance of the summer which makes irresistible, it is well known !!!

  5. I hope to say hello to this mola next July, I also have a great memory of a fresh coconut on the beach of Crystal Bay!

  6. @Sonia: Ah ... there was more than one mola-mola in Crystal Bay. I wish you the chance, like me, to meet them! It's a fabulous show.

  7. May 13, 2010, 12 minutes of happiness ...

    One hour follow-up at Manta Point ...

    And Monday, I work!
    I pass the link of this great video to my new "boss" ... diver too!

  8. @ Blue shrimp: Chic! A new adorer of molas-molas !!! As I envy you have been able to rub shoulders with these charming critters recently ... Good luck for the resumption of Monday, then. If you have a slack, do not hesitate to restart the video.

  9. Hello,
    I'm back from 10 days on Gili Air after a week in Bali. What a desappointment !! all the corals are dead, it's white everywhere, I dive on real "highways" white. Even in front of the 7seas resort where apparently there was snorkeling for my wife: NOTHING in corals, by comparison to fish.
    I regret the coral fields of Apo Island near Siguiyor.

    1. @Of the garden : merci de votre témoignage ! Oui, le piètre état du corail aux îles Gili (Meno, Air et Trawangan) situées au nord-ouest de Lombok est bien connu et je ne conseille pas aux plongeurs d’y aller (je n’ai d’ailleurs jamais évoqué ces Gili-là sur ce blog). Ces îles sont accessibles depuis Bali en speed-boat (ou en avion + bateau) et attirent beaucoup de touristes, mais à mes yeux de plongeuse photographe subaquatique, elles n’ont guère d’intérêt… 😉

      I set foot there once, a long time ago, in 2002, before they knew the current tourist development and before I started this blog (in 2006). At the time, already, only dead coral everywhere (result of dynamite fishing, which has long been practiced in the area), but as a consolation, there were many turtles. What you say confirms what I knew from other testimonies: it has unfortunately not improved at all in fifteen years ...

      In Bali and nearby, it is better to dive elsewhere: Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida (islands located south-east of Bali and accessible by boat from Sanur) which I speak in the article above are much more interesting under water, and in July, I had the chance to cross the islands. famous mola-molas, of which I speak here, then. Otherwise, the other really interesting dive spots in Bali, which I can recommend: Amed and Tulamben (northeast, at the foot of Mount Agung) and Pemuteran and Menjengan (North West).