22:54 EST, 1 August 2012
15:59 EST, 2 August 2012
You never know what you’re going to find in an old folder: a long-forgotten Polaroid snapshot, a yellowed love letter, or in the case of a Brazilian underwater photographer, a rare image of a moon-shaped giant fish taken two years prior.
The image depicting the slow-moving, otherworldly Mola mola, or sunfish, was captured off San Diego by Daniel Botelho, and it became an instant hit after being posted last week on his Facebook page.
‘It got 1,000 ‘likes’ in 36 hours,’ Botelho, an award-winning photojournalist who specializes in underwater photography, told GrindTV.
Close encounter: Photojournalist Daniel Botelho came across the moon-shaped Mola mola while snapping pictures of blue whales off San Diego
By Wednesday, the number of ‘likes’ and shares had grown to 3,068 and 2,387, respectively.
Botelho explained that he stumbled upon the mola in July of 2010 while on a mission to photograph blue whales. But the rare shot was somehow misplaced in a folder of non-used images, and he forgot all about it.
Botelho rediscovered the picture only recently while planning another blue whale photo-shoot.
‘It is so funny, I wasted that image and after two years I found it, posted it, and it becomes viral,’ Botelho said.
Odd creatures: The bullet-shaped sunfish can measure