Top 10: Fastest Sea Animals In The World

The idea that life exists in various forms in water, land, and air is astounding. They vary in size, speed, and possess peculiar characteristics. The fastest aquatic animals are described below, ranked according to how quickly they move through the water.

However, moving through water is far more difficult than it is in the air. This is due to the fact that water has a higher density than air, which implies that more water molecules can fit into a given space while maintaining the same pressure.

When an object tries to move through these molecules, friction occurs and slows the movement down. Additionally, because saltwater is denser than freshwater and is numerous in the oceans, it is considerably more difficult to move through. Hence, marine species that must move swiftly often have bodies that are streamlined or have cylinder- or torpedo-shaped shapes. These species prefer to move quickly because of their form, which lowers the amount of friction brought on by swimming through salt water. Here are 10 of the fastest sea animals:

Fastest Animals In Water

10. Killer Whale

Killer Whale

Speed: 55 kph/34 mph
Interesting Fact: Hunts together as a group

The Killer Whale is known as Orca (scientific name: Orcinus orca) is a toothed whale category in the family of oceanic dolphins. It is the largest member of that group. They travel and hunt together in ‘pods’ consisting of 5-20 individuals. They used to consume marine animals like seals, dolphins, and fishes in their specialized way.

The Killer Whale is in the top of the food chain with no threat for life from other animals. They are mostly residing in all types of submarine conditions like in the Arctic, Antarctic and tropical regions except Baltic and Black seas.

The orcas have black colored body mixed with white color in the chest and side parts of the body. The male killer whales can weigh around 6.5 tons and the length is of 6 to 8 meters. Comparatively smaller females have a length of 5 to 7 meter and weight around 3.3 to 4.4 tons.

These mammals have a lifespan of nearly 80 years if they are healthy enough. According to various reports, they can reach up to 34 mph (55 km/h), which can vary depending on the prey and conditions. Even though they are not man-killers, there are several reports from marine theme parks, where their handlers got injured.

International Union for Conservation of Nature has identified a number of causes threatening the Killer Whales life including; pollution, low salmon population, increased boat traffic and high underground noises. With a top speed of 34 miles per hour, they reserve a place in the top ten fastest animals in water.

9. Barracuda

Speed: 58 kph/36 mph
Interesting Fact: Very shiny scales make them easily distinguished


With a long and thin body that is made for traversing fast through the waters, Barracudas can swim at a speed of 58 kph. Due to their speed and size, reaching up to 5 feet, predators are not so lucky when it comes to catching them. This missile-like fish is also very distinct because of its very shiny silver scales. Barracudas are predators themselves with great eyesight and precise hunting skills.

8. Mako Shark

Mako Shark

Speed: 64 kph/40 mph
Interesting Fact: They belong to the tuna family

The mako shark is another fast, powerful, warm-blooded fish that makes good eating and is endangered. There are two species of this shark, which is related to the great white but is a bit smaller, being 8.2 to about 15 feet long and weighing as much as 1400 pounds. Both mako shark species are torpedo-shaped, metallic blue on top and white on the bottom. The longfin gets its name because it has longer pectoral fins than the shortfin and has much larger eyes. Both have mouths full of sharp, haphazard-looking teeth.

The shortfin mako shark can be found around the world in seas that are both temperate or tropical, while the longfin mako prefers the warmer waters in the Gulf Stream. Both can be found offshore, swimming at the surface or to depths of around 490 feet. It can swim as fast as 40 miles per hour.

7. Flying Fish

Flying Fish

Speed: 70 kph/43.5 mph
Interesting Fact: They can fly out of the water

A fish that fascinates both the average man and scientists alike is the Flying Fish. True to its name, this fish can actually fly. Using its forked tails as a whip, it shoots out of the water in a frenzy. Then it spreads its wing-like pectoral fins (similar to how a bird starts flight from land). As the wind passes under and over the wings, it helps them fly above the water. Flying fishes can race up to 70 kph maximum speed allowing them to effectively escape predators.

6. Atlantic Bluefin Tuna

Speed: 69 kph/42.8 mph
Interesting Fact: Is an endangered species on the margin of extinction

The bluefin tuna is an unusual fish, for it is warm-blooded. All tuna species are warm-blooded but the bluefin’s warm-bloodedness is exceptionally efficient. This is certainly one of the reasons why the fish is as fast as it is. The bluefin has been clocked at 43 miles per hour.

It is a powerful fish, can put up a fight for days, and can live to be 50 years old. A female bluefin tuna can produce 30 million eggs at a time. Still, this fecundity hasn’t made up for the fact that the bluefin has been overfished and is now endangered globally. Because they are one of the main tuna species caught in commercial fishing, Bluefin Tunas are now at the margin of extinction. They are mostly found in the North Atlantic Ocean. Since international regulators refuse to bring in fishing restrictions to protect this fish, it’s up to consumers and the general public to raise awareness and stop their population decline.

5. Pilot Whale

Pilot Whale

Speed: 76 kph/47 mph
Interesting Fact: Intelligent and sociable creatures that travel in pods

Another mammal with “whale” on the name is in fact a dolphin. Pilot Whales are intelligent and sociable creatures that are also fast swimmers. They can leap to speeds reaching 76 kph. Pilot whales got the name because it was believed that each pod had a ‘pilot’ that navigated for them. There are two species of Pilot Whale, one with long fins and the short-finned Pilot Whale. These whales, unfortunately, get washed up on beaches in large groups. This could be because of their herding instincts that make the entire pod stick together even if one gets sick or stranded. Short-Finned Pilot Whale females are on of the small number of mammals that go through menopause.

4. Mahi Mahi

Mahi Mahi

Speed: 93 kph/57.8 mph
Interesting Fact: Has a prominent forehead and contrasting colored body

Identified by their prominent forehead and what may look like a constant scowl on their fish face, Mahi Mahi lives in both tropical and subtropical waters around the globe, such as the Indian oceans. They are easily recognized by their shining metallic blue-green color that contrasts with the ocean around them. Their sleek bodies and forked tails allow them to swim as fast as 93 kph.

3. Swordfish

Speed: 96 kph/59.6 mph
Interesting Fact: Their sword is used to swipe at prey

Looking like an elegant sword (perhaps not quite) floating around the ocean, swordfishes are one of the most popular swimmers in the waters. They are found around depths of 550m and can swim at an incredible speed of 96 kph. They are one of the most valuable fish species in the Mediterranean Sea. Another intriguing fact that scientists have discovered is that swordfishes get their speed because of the gland that helps them coat their heads in oil.

2. Black Marlin Fish

Black Marlin

Speed: 105 kph/65 mph
Interesting Fact: Marlin are closely related to the swordfish

While Sailfishes are the fastest fish in the sea, the only ones that can probably keep up with them are the Marlin fish. Although both a part of the istiophoridae family, Marlins can be easily differentiated because of the two different colors in one body (dark color above and silver below), and their long thin snouts. These fishes live in the tropical waters of the Indian, Atlantic, and Pacific oceans. There are many different types of Marlin, including Black Marlin and the Atlantic Blue Marlin. Marlins are known to swim at blinding speeds of 105 kph making them almost impossible to catch.

1. Sailfish


Speed: 110 kph/68 mph
Interesting Fact: Has large sail-like dorsal fin

The fastest fish to swim the seas, Sailfish sprints at an incredible speed of 110 kph. They get their name from their huge dorsal fin that looks like a sail. This fin helps them to cut through the water as they move. Scientists estimate that these fishes can leap at 68 miles per hour out of the water which is as fast as a cheetah! Sailfishes are feisty and can fight vigorously if they are hooked. They can grow up to 10 feet long as well.  They are found in the Atlantic and Indo-pacific oceans in warm temperatures.

Summary of the Top 10 Fastest Sea Animals

1Sailfish110 kph/68 mph
2Black Marlin 105 kph/65 mph
3Swordfish96 kph/59.6 mph
4Mahi Mahi93 kph/57.8 mph
5Pilot Whale76 kph/47 mph
6Atlantic Bluefin Tuna69 kph/42.8 mph
7Flying Fish70 kph/43.5 mph
8Mako Shark64 kph/40 mph
9Barracuda58 kph/36 mph
10Killer Whale55 kph/34 mph

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