Tuesday, February 12th 2013 - 17:02 UTC

Japanese scientists explain how flying squid jet out of sea and glide for over 30 meters

Looks like Olympic Gold medalist Usain Bolt may finally have some competition. Japanese researchers published a study in German magazine ‘Marine Biology’ about the ocean squid that can fly more than 30 meters through the air at a speed of 11.2 meters per second.

Flying at an air speed of 11.2 meters per second

That’s .89 meters per second faster than the two-time 100m champion adjudged to be the “fastest man in the world”. Jun Yamamoto, lead researcher from Hokkaido University says that the squid can fly that fast especially if it wants to escape predators. The cephalopod bursts out of the ocean by shooting a jet of water at high pressure and then opens its fins to glide.

Witnesses have already seen the flying squid and now this study will help people understand them more. Back in July 2011, Yamamoto and his team were tracking a shoal of 100 oceanic squid in the northwest Pacific 600 kilometers east of Tokyo when they came across the 20 centimeter long oceanic squids that suddenly launched themselves in the air.

The squid remains in the air for three seconds and travels upwards for about 30 meters. They believe it is a defense mechanism to avoid being eaten. But being out of the water leaves them vulnerable to other creatures that will look at them as food, like sea birds. Still, this finding shows that not all squids can be considered just creatures that live in water.

“Once they finish shooting out the water, they glide by spreading out their fins and arms. As they land back in the water, the fins are all folded back into place to minimize the impact,” they said in the report.

Yamamoto and his colleagues reveal that the squids swim backward with its fins in water and use the same fins as wings while flying and glides with them over the water body.

The study comes as the first scientific confirmation of the perception that the squids, Todarodes pacificus, are seen flying above the ocean. The Japanese researchers also claim the description of the flight mechanism to be the first one for Neon Flying Squids.

Yamamoto was quoted saying, “There were always witnesses and rumors that said squid were seen flying, but no one had clarified how they actually do it. We have proved that it really is true”.


11 comments Feed

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1 golfcronie (#) Feb 12th, 2013 - 08:13 pm Report abuse
Argentinas secret weapon? Apparently they have been trained to search for our sub surface vessels.
2 HB_BB (#) Feb 12th, 2013 - 11:06 pm
Comment removed by the editor.
3 HH_Bb (#) Feb 12th, 2013 - 11:37 pm
Comment removed by the editor.
4 golfcronie (#) Feb 12th, 2013 - 11:57 pm Report abuse
Hello darling Sussie
Luv u
5 Elenaeleainb (#) Feb 13th, 2013 - 03:22 am
Comment removed by the editor.
6 Anglotino (#) Feb 13th, 2013 - 05:04 am Report abuse
@4 Golfcronie

Reply and commenting feeds the trolls so they keep posting. I've come to the point of ignoring them except for clicking on the Report Abuse button.

They do it to drive everyone out of the forum. It nearly worked with me. I was about to give up on this site but now just scroll past them. Continually commenting on Suzie's antics just make Suzie realise she is having an impact.
7 Rufus (#) Feb 13th, 2013 - 09:59 am Report abuse
@6 Anglotino

I'm always a bit dissapointed when I get to a story too late and the editors have beaten me to it and all I get is “Comment removed by the editor.”, makes me wonder what pearls of wisdom I'm missing out on from our resident trolls.

It must be tempting for the editors to start changing their blocking messages to things like “I share an IP address with six other commenters, so please ignore me” or the like.

Anyway, flying squid... I always thought that squid were the boring cousins of octopi, but flying? That's got to add some street cred to them...
8 Anglotino (#) Feb 13th, 2013 - 12:09 pm Report abuse
@7 Rufus

I wish they were funny enough for me to remember but they are all posted by Suzie and I think the word “arse” appeared probably more than once.

As the the squid, I see synchronised swimming at the Olympics for them!

But for which country?
9 Rufus (#) Feb 13th, 2013 - 03:33 pm Report abuse
So pearls as in small irritating particles that molluscs deposit stuff on then. Ah well, there was me thinking I was missing out...

I'd say that given the squid were 600 km east of Tokyo, and there's nothing else remotely close, I'd say Japan would be the logical country for the synchronised squid swimming. The only problem is that they'd have to train them to jump in a controlled way, otherwise with a flight radius of 30m they could probably be landing on the spectators...
10 row82 (#) Feb 14th, 2013 - 03:32 pm Report abuse
Do you wish the Falkland Islands to retain their current political status as an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom? YES or NO


Join the debate on www.facebook.com/Britain1592

Falkland Islands Desire the Right!
11 Anglotino (#) Feb 14th, 2013 - 07:27 pm Report abuse

Piss off. Trolls everywhere.

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