• The Woola-Woola Recreated At Monterey Bay Aquarium

    MONTEREY BAY AQUARIUM HATCHES “EXTINCT” WOOLY SUNFISH IN WORLD-FIRST


    A young wooly sunfish Woola woola in the Aquarium’s Open Sea exhibition.
    © Monterey Bay Aquarium

    Monterey, CA — In a hair-raising breakthrough, scientists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium have successfully hatched the previously extinct wooly sunfish, or Woola woola.

    “We’re so excited to finally let our hair down about this research,” said Harriett Topay, the lead scientist on the project. “After numerous breakthroughs in raising comb jellies, we knew we were groomed for success with the wooly sunfish.”

    “The science was patchy to say the least,” said Will Koife, one of the aquarists on the project. “But after brushing up on the few trimmings of data we could find, everything sorta gelled.”

    Woola woola, the only known member of its genus, once swam in the frigid waters of an ancient ocean far chillier than it is today. Subsisting on a diet of mullet and ctenophores, its shaggy, rugged pelt provided extra insulation on deeper dives.

    According to a thin fossil record, the wooly sunfish went extinct sometime after the last Ice Age. But a recent discovery of some permafrosted tips of Woola fur with viable DNA gave the wooly sunfish a chance at recovery.





    Three juvenile wooly sunfish ready to greet Aquarium visitors at their April 1st unveiling. © Monterey Bay Aquarium

    “It was a close shave for the Woola, for sure, but we’ll see if they can make the cut this time,” said Will.

    The resurrection of the Woola has caused a few vocal critics to curl. “This research is really fringe, and not in a good way,” said Dr. E.N. Malcomb, a notable de-extinction buzzkill. “I don’t want to split hairs on ethics, but with the Woola, there’s been a lotta coulda, and not a lotta shoulda.”

    Dr. Malcomb continued: “But then again, the return of the wooly sunfish could just be a bald-faced lie—and based on today’s date, I think that’s a safe bet.”

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