Japanese researchers confirm squid can fly as fast as Usain Bolt


Marine biologists in Japan have discovered how squid are able to move across the oceans so quickly.

For years, fishermen and sailors have reported seeing squid “flying” across the surface of the sea, and every now and again someone gets lucky and manages to nab a few photographs of cephalopods in action. It’s only now, though, that marine biologists from Hokkaido University have discovered exactly how these squids squirt water out fast enough to propel themselves through the air at up to 11.2 metres per second — faster than Usain Bolt’s top speed of 10.31 metres per second.

Jun Yamamoto and his team had been sailing around the northwest Pacific Ocean, 600km off the coast of Japan, looking for schools of squid. They spotted about 100 20cm squid swimming just below the surface of the ocean, but as they approached around 20 of the squid launched themselves into the air, gliding around 30m in ten seconds. That the squid took flight as the researchers’ boat approached has led Yamamoto to speculate that flying is a safety mechanism, to help them espace predators.

Written By: Ian Steadman
continue to source article at wired.co.uk


  1. wow, this justin bolt charachter can fly now. I thought being able to run just a bit quicker than someone else was a pretty dull event, someone has got to be the fastest after all, but flying impresses me big style.

  2. Is it still called a “school” when they are airborne? I’d call it a flock of squid.

    As an aerospace engineer, it is fascinating to see the evolution of a tandem wing flying arrangement. Dragonflies and a lot of insects are tandem wing (four wing panels) but flying birds, reptiles and mammals have all gone to a wing and tail arrangement. Even more interesting for the squid is the adaptation of the multiple tentacles into a lifting surface to balance out the lift of the fins on the other end of the body – very unlike the other flying invertebrates.

Leave a Reply