A 7-foot hoodwinker sunfish, rare in the North, was found at Southern California’s Sands Beach by a UCSB intern. Initially mistaken for a regular sunfish, photos shared on social media caught the attention of Professor Thomas Turner, who consulted iNaturalist. Expert Marianne Nyegaard confirmed the species after detailed images and tissue samples were provided. This discovery highlights the unusual appearance of hoodwinker sunfish in Northern waters. The discovery of a large sea creature, identified as a hoodwinker sunfish, in Southern California has caught the attention of scientists. Found by an intern from the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), the fish’s identification process involved detailed instructions from experts. Despite initial doubts, clearer images confirmed the rare appearance of this species in the Northern Hemisphere. The find was made by an intern at Sands Beach, within the UCSB’s Coal Oil Point Natural Reserve, who then alerted a conservation specialist. With guidance from experts like Marianne Nyegaard, the creature’s identity was confirmed, marking a significant event in marine biology research.