See the Incredible Fish That Can Fly… Yes, Fly!

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Written by Hannah Crawford

Published: December 8, 2023

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Flying Fish
© AGAMI stock from Getty Images/ via

The flying fish makes us think of that cartoon song that is sung in the movie “Dumbo.” I saw a peanut stand, heard a rubber band, and seen a needle wink its eye, but I be done seen about everything when I see an elephant fly. We here at A-Z Animals feel like we have seen just about everything nature offers. And then, once we came across a flying fish, we were just floored! Let’s fly right into this and learn more about this fish in the video above. 

Flying Fish Sighting 

The YouTube video at the top of this blog post takes us underwater, where we learn about flying fish. The BBC Earth YouTube page filmed and shared this video. In just a few weeks, it has received more than 489,000 views. They share their description of this amazing fish below.  

“Flying fish can make powerful, self-propelled leaps out of the water into air, where their long, wing-like fins enable gliding flight for considerable distances. It appears these Flying Fish are in a no win situation, picked off above the surface by Frigatebird’s and devoured underwater by the Dorado.” 

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Think You Can?

The Amazing Fish That Can Fly

At the start of the video above, we see these flying fish in the water. They are swimming away from a predator determined to capture one of them. The narrator says, “Escape seems impossible.” It is inevitable that once a predator has locked its sight on a prey, it is incredibly difficult, if not impossible, for the majority to escape. 

At 16 seconds, we see these fish reach the surface and fly into the air…yes, fly! Their fins are wings, and we see them gliding through the air. As they fly, we see the predator looking at them from below, knowing they are now out of his grasp. But not before birds overhead take advantage in one fell swoop.

How Far Can the Flying Fish Fly?

Flying Fish in Action

Flying fish weigh up to two pounds.

©Brent Barnes/

As amazing as the flying fish can be, they just got a little more interesting when we learn that they have 40 different species. These species of fish can be found all over the world in our oceans. However, their fascinating ability to fly doesn’t last forever. 

The National Library of Medicine shares that their “results show that the flying fish can achieve a distance up to 45.4 m and reach a height of 13.2 m, indicating an extraordinary gliding performance.” 

It is a short-lived flight that allows them to get away from various predators. Predators that hunt them sometimes include marlins, tuna, squid, porpoises, birds, and even humans. As we can see from the video posted at the top, they attempted to get away but could not escape the grasp of the Frigatebird’s overhead. 

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About the Author

Hannah Crawford is a writer at A-Z Animals where she focuses on reptiles, mammals, and locations in Africa. Hannah has been researching and writing about animals and various countries for over eight years. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Communication\Performance Studies from Pensacola Christian College, which she earned in 2015. Hannah is a resident in Florida, and enjoys theatre, poetry, and growing her fish tank.

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