# Do Flying Fish Really Fly?

November 21, 2020

When you throw a ball, is it flying? Well, not like a bird or a bumblebee. They fly for real because they work to hold themselves up. And in this great picture from our friend Matthew Peterson, creator of ST Math, the math shows that flying fish fly for real, too. If you threw a ball (or a regular fish), it would follow the red line and plop back down into the water. But we see from the shape of a flying fish’s path that they stay in the air longer than a ball would. The fish close their fins while swimming, and zoom at up to 37 miles an hour before “taking off.” Then, by holding their fins open like wings, they can glide up to 4 feet above the water. That’s how they get away from non-flying fish who try to eat them!

Wee ones: Pick up 2 things you’re allowed to throw, and toss them in the same direction. Which one hit the floor farther from you? Did either one move farther than that?

Little kids: Point to the 4th fish picture from the left in the bottom picture. Is that the highest the fish flew?  Bonus: Of the 13 fish pictures in the bottom picture, how many come after the 4th?

Big kids: If a flying fish swims 10 seconds to take off, then flies for 2, then swims for 10, flies for 2…what is it doing at 30 seconds?  Bonus: How much time does it spend flying in 1 minute, if it starts with a 10-second swim?