What are the fastest fish in the sea?

Not too long ago, I provided an update on the fastest fish in the sea, the Indo-Pacific sailfish (Istiophorus platypterus). I thought it would be interesting to do some research on how fast this fish is in comparison to other animals on land and in the sea and create a graphic to illustrate it.  First, some notes, there are some outliers I left off the chart. For instance, the Peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) at 325 miles per hour (mph), as well as pretty much the entire family of swifts (Apodidae) averaging a 106 mph flying speed. Also, I am certain there are many other species of terrestrial and flying animals that can be included in this list, I only added a few to compare. Please feel free to comment below or send me an email at info@beachchairscientist.com if you have something to add to the list!


Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) 200 mph
Swift (Apodidae) 106 mph
Sailfish (Istiophorus platypterus) 70 mph
Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) 70mph
Pronghorn antelope (Antilocapra americana) 61 mph
Striped marlin (Tetrapturus audax) 50 mph
Wahoo (Acanthocybium solandri) 48 mph
Southern blue fin tuna (Thunnus maccoyii) 47 mph
Yellow fin tuna (Thunnus albacares) 46 mph
Blue shark (Prionace glauca) 43 mph
Ostrich (Struthio camelus) 43 mph
Bonefish (Albula vulpes) 40 mph
Swordfish (Xiphias gladius) 40 mph
Tarpon (Megalops cyprinoides) 35 mph
Tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier) 33 mph
Hawk moth (Sphingidae) 33 mph
Human (Homo sapiens) 27 mph

For more information I recommend The Travel Almanac and The Top 10 List.


  1. Reblogged this on Ann Novek–With the Sky as the Ceiling and the Heart Outdoors and commented:
    Add your thoughts here… (optional)

  2. HI

    I love your chart. I run a site teaching people how to sea fish and my readership would find this very interesting. 70mph for the Sailfish is impressive considering the amount of water it has to displace.

    I cannot agree with the speed of the Peregrine. I have flown many in my years as a professional Falconer and consider 120 – 150 to be the absolute max a female Peregrine could reach!

    Thank you

    • Good morning, Jamie –
      I am thrilled to hear you find the chart useful. Please feel free to share with your readers on sea fishing. You’ve done a fantastic job on your site and I’ve enjoyed looking through it. Keep up the great work! – Annie

  3. The peregrine , as estimates say reaches 200 mph , however this is not its flying speed . Peregrine reaches this speed during a dive from top .

  4. Anonymous says:

    The Human (Homo sapiens) can travels upto 170mph doring free fall! is this not the same as a falcon during its dive? The faclon does not actually fly at 200mph its actualy free-falling..

  5. What about the mako shark? I’ve heard it can get up to 60 mph.

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