10 Fastest Fish in the World

There are several practical survival techniques found in the animal realm. However, speed seems to be a trait that has evolved across all forms of transportation, including land, air, and even water.

It is beneficial to outrun or outswim your predator or prey if you cannot surprise, outlast, or outwit them. Nevertheless, given the amount of resistance and drag they must overcome, it is incredible that some fish species can travel at great speeds through the water.

The ocean’s speediest fish have an additional adaptation that reduces drag and enhances their ability to slice through the water. While all fish take advantage of speed and agility, some fish stand out from the group due to their unrelenting movement. Here are 10 of the fastest fish in the world.

10. Four-winged Flying Fish

Top Speed: 35 miles per hour
 Family: Exocoetidae
Size: 15 to 51 centimeters
 Weight: Up to 2 pounds
 Life Span: approx. 5 years

Four-winged Flying Fishphoto source: whalebonemag.com

The flying fish is possibly unique in the animal kingdom. To escape its predators, it can build up speed, leap out of the water, and glide through the air, sometimes over a thousand feet with the right tailwind.

The wing-like pectoral fins that protrude from the side of the body, along with all the skeletal and muscular adjustments to make room for them, are the key to its success.

As the name suggests, the four-wing flying fish has additional modified pelvic fins for four “wings,” whereas the typical flying fish only has two wing-shaped fins.

Did You Know:

Potanichthys Xingyiensis is the oldest flying fish fossil dating back to the middle Triassic, 235-242 million years ago. But the flying fish we know today independently evolved about 65 million years ago.


9. Bonefish

Top Speed: 40 miles per hour
 Family: Albulidae
Size: 43.18 to 76 centimeters
 Weight: Up to 15 pounds
 Life Span: approx. 20 years

Bonefish photo source: images.squarespace-cdn.com

Bonefish is a medium-sized fish that moves in small schools of several fish from tropical inshore waters to shallow mud or sand flats to feed.

It is distinguished by its shiny silver body and black stripes. One of the ocean’s fastest fish, this species is thought to be capable of reaching speeds of up to 40 miles per hour.

Did You Know:

Instead of traditional teeth, Bonefish have unique sets of pharyngeal teeth. Granular teeth are located over the tongue, throat, and upper jaw. After food has been grabbed, they are used to grind and crush it.


8. Blue Shark

Top Speed: 20 to 40 miles per hour
 Family: Carcharhinidae
Size: 365.76 centimeters
 Weight: Up to 400 pounds
 Life Span: approx. 20 years

Blue Sharkphoto source: ctfassets.net

One of the top predators in the world’s oceans, the blue shark moves covertly across deep seas. They can grow up to 12 feet long and occasionally weigh more than 400 pounds. They have a long, sleek body with an elongated snout, and their upper half is distinctively colored vivid blue.

They have denticles covering the sides of their bodies, significantly lessening drag and turbulence in the water. According to reports, its typical speed is between 20 and 40 miles per hour.

Did You Know:

Although it is called a blue shark, it might surprise you to learn that it is not entirely blue. Its undersides are visible from below and are white. In addition, you’ll be interested to know that their bodies have many lovely hues.

They have a white belly, a brilliant blue coloring on the sides, and a dark blue upper body when you see them up close. The shark can hide from its attackers and sneak up on its prey thanks to this streak of various hues.


7. Mako Shark

Top Speed: 40 miles per hour
 Family: Lamnidae
Size: 10 to 15 feet
 Weight: 132 to 198 pounds
 Life Span: approx. 20 years

Mako Sharkphoto source: science.org

The mako genus includes large, ferocious sharks. The fairly common shortfin mako shark and the more elusive longfin mako are the two separate species that make up this genus.

The presence of flexible, teeth-like features on the sides of the body, known as denticles, is the key to the mako’s extraordinary speed.

Did You Know:

The mako shark is regarded as harmful to humans because of its speed; it is capable of making a swift and aggressive assault and even jumping onto fishing boats on occasion.


6. Bonito

Top Speed: 40 miles per hour
 Family: Scombridae
Size: 45 to 230 centimeters
 Weight: 5 to 250 pounds
 Life Span: 8 to 12 years

Bonitophoto source: hola.com

Bonito refers to a family of medium-sized predatory fish, including tuna and mackerel. Bonito is divided into four genera, with a total of eight species.

They are, first and foremost, robust, lean fish with broad muscle bands extending down each flank. They are propelled by a sizable caudal or tail fin as well.

They can quickly transform that effort into quick acceleration and exceptional top speeds thanks to their strong muscles, which maintain the body tight while their tail goes side to side. Naturally, these characteristics are advantageous for both pursuing prey and avoiding predators.

Did You Know:

Both species of bonito are broadcast spawning, releasing their gametes (eggs and sperm) into the water column in synchrony, where external fertilization occurs.

Afterward, the egg will float with the plankton population for several days before maturing into a larval fish and, finally, a juvenile bonito capable of pursuing its prey.


5. Tuna

Top Speed: 43 miles per hour
 Family: Scombridae
Size: up to 15 feet
 Weight: up to 1,500 pounds
 Life Span: 8 to 12 years

Tunaphoto source: i0.wp.com

Tuna is well-known as a popular and delicious dish worldwide, but it’s also fast enough to reach the list of the fastest fish. Although they appear to move slowly at times, tuna is an active and agile predator.

Its slender and streamlined form allows it to travel at tremendous speeds in search of its prey. As a result, the yellowfin tuna is the fastest-reported fish, reaching roughly 46 miles per hour.

Did You Know:

Omega-3 fatty acids, which are abundant in tuna, are thought to be healthy for cholesterol levels and heart health. Long-lived oceanic fish, however, can accumulate mercury levels that eventually reach humans.

For this reason, numerous health groups advise against overeating this fish. Skipjack tuna typically has the lowest mercury levels, whereas bigeye tuna often has the highest. You should keep your intake to at least one to three servings per week.


4. Wahoo

Top Speed: 50 miles per hour
 Family: Scombridae
Size: 3.3 to 5.4 feet
 Weight: up to 150 pounds
 Life Span: 5 to 6 years

Wahoophoto source: marlinmag.com

The wahoo is a thin tropical fish with a beautiful blue sheen and a sail-like dorsal fin that may grow up to 8 feet long and weigh about 200 pounds. Sports fishermen prize it as a high-quality game fish with exceptional strength and speed.

They are highly prized in the culinary world for their delicate flavor. According to some sources, the wahoo can reach high speeds of about 50 miles per hour in brief spurts, but its average cruising speed is likely far lower.

Did You Know:

One of the wahoo’s other names, ono, means “delicious” in Hawaiian, and the wahoo is prized for the wonderful taste of its meat. Other names for this fish are “hoo,” “Kingfish,” “Queenfish,” “Jack Mackerel,” and “Barracuda.”


3. Swordfish

Top Speed: 60 miles per hour
 Family: Xiphiidae
Size: up to 15 feet
 Weight: approx. 1,400 pounds
 Life Span: approx. 9 years

Swordfishphoto source: hawkscay.com

The swordfish is an enormous, scaleless fish with a large dorsal fin and a long sword that extends from its snout to swipe at target fish.

Another characteristic that sets the swordfish apart is the absence of teeth and pelvic fins. Instead, it has a purple or bluish top and a silvery bottom.

Did You Know:

Swordfish can hunt in colder waters because of a special organ located next to their eyes that warms their brains and eyes.


2. Sailfish

Top Speed: approx. 70 miles per hour
 Family: Istiophoridae
Size: up to 10 feet
 Weight: 200 pounds
 Life Span: 4 to 5 years

Sailfishphoto source: sportfishingmag.com

Sailfish are believed to be the fastest fish in the world. The Atlantic sailfish and the Indo-Pacific sailfish are the two known species in the sailfish genus, a member of the marlin family.

Contrary to common belief, they do not spear victims with their sword-like bills. Instead, they may stun larger food, such as crustaceans and squids, frequently in groups of two or more.

But the most striking aspect of this fish is its enormous dorsal fin, which stands at least a foot tall. It may be folded against the body when not in use, just like a real boat sail.

Did You Know:

The record-breaking sailfish measured 11.2 feet (340 cm) in length and weighed 220.5 pounds (100 kg).


1. Black Marlin

Top Speed: 80 miles per hour
 Family: Istiophoridae
Size: up to 15 feet
 Weight: approx. 1,600 pounds
 Life Span: 5 to 11 years

Black Marlinphoto source: marlinmag.com

The fastest fish in the world is Black Marlin. According to claims from a BBC story, a black marlin captured on a fishing line is believed to have stripped line from a reel at 120 feet per second, implying that the fish was swimming at about 82 miles per hour.

Due to their rigid pectoral fins, which cannot be folded against the sides, and the large skin flap protecting their throat, black marlin may be identified from other billfish.

Although the dorsal color of these fish is often very dark, lighter grey variations sometimes exist, and they were once believed to be the property of a different species known as the Silver Marlin.

Did You Know:

The largest Black Marlin ever captured was a massive 15.3 feet in length and weighed 1,650 pounds. Juvenile schools of 50 to 100 lbs. fish are typical, as are individuals of 125 to 300 lbs. during prime season. Fish weighing 500 lbs. are not unheard of either.

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