Faster Than a Speeding Sailfish
The cheetah is the fastest animal on earth, right? Well, it’s true that the quick cat is the fastest animal on land, but in the water, the sailfish takes the prize. Scientists estimate it can leap out of the water at 68 miles per hour, as fast as a cheetah can run! The secret to the sailfish’s speed is probably its shape. Just like a plane is aerodynamic, the sailfish is hydrodynamic, with a giant dorsal fin that stretches the length of its 6-foot-long body. It also has a long, pointy nose.
Because of its speed and its strength, the sailfish is considered a big prize for fisherman. Some fishing contests offer up to $75,000 for the man or woman who reels in the biggest catch! Florida is a popular place to try to catch one. In fact, sailfish are the official saltwater fish of the Sunshine State.