Sailfish is the Answer
It can be pretty difficult for the land-dwelling humans to measure precisely the speed of sea creatures moving in the water. However, as per most scientific studies, most experts opine that the sailfish is the fastest swimming creature.
The Special Power to Swim the Fastest
Sailfish are blessed with a special characteristic: they have the ability to leap in the air for some significant distances. Thanks to these mind-blowing jumps, they are quicker in movement as air is less dense than the waters and the leaps help them travel through air. Their weight is around 750 kilos!
They have Interesting Sails too
Usually swimming in warm ocean water, sailfish can easily be spotted by their protracted bills and huge dorsal fins, called sails. Making the lengths of the backs stretched, the sails generally fold down while swimming. When the sailfish want to appear bigger, they raise these sails. This happens mostly when they feel threatened or are feeding.
They aren’t the Fastest without the Leaps
If the sailfish’s leaping is excluded, the killer whales will replace them with the speediest swimmer. They move at a speed of 15.4m per second which is 34.5 miles per hour. They can cover 200 meters in just 13 seconds.
Comparing them to Humans
The swimming speeds can reach up to 109.4km per hour (68 miles an hour). Michael Phelps, an Olympic gold medalist, can swim 200m freestyle in around 1.42 minutes. This is equal to the speed of 4.7 miles per hour or 7.6km per hour. A sailfish, on the other hand, can swim approximately 200 meters in just 10 seconds! (See How Do Fish Sleep with Their Eyes Open?)
Other Competitors in the Aqua World
Sailfish’s close competition in the marine world is the black marlins. Although there haven’t been enough studies about this, a black marlin’s pulling line was measured by the fishermen. From the fishing reel, it covered 120ft per second. This equates to a whopping swimming speed of around 132 kilometers per hour or 82 mph!
Other fast swimmers include killer whales at 55.5 kilometers per hour, Shortfin Mako sharks at 72.4 kilometers per hour, dolphins at 37.9 kilometers per hour, and leatherback turtles at 35.4 kilometers per hour. The dolphin is the fastest aquatic mammal. It can cover up to 60 kilometers per hour or 37 mph. They can swim fast enough to cut through the water surface, leaping for taking a breath and building up speed. If we talk of the greatest aquatic migration, humpback whales will be the king.
They are known to swim for long distances in the oceans. During autumn as well as winters, these creatures move towards the Pacific’s warmer waters. They further swim to icy Antarctica when seasons change. With 5000 km as the average distance, it is among the longest migrations in the world.