How Fast Can a Shark Swim?
How fast can a shark swim? This question may also pop into your mind as you watch a shark video, or more urgently if you are swimming or shark diving and think you may have spotted a fin circling you. The general rule of thumb is that sharks can cruise at about 5 mph (8 kph)—roughly the same speed as the fastest Olympic swimmer. If you’re just a good swimmer, they have you beat. But often they are swimming around at a slower speed of about 1.5 mph (2.4 kph).
These fish are predators. Sharks can swim much faster over short bursts when they are attacking prey. At these times, they can reach about 12 mph (20 kph), the speed of a running human on land. A person in the water facing a shark in serious attack mode has little chance of swimming fast enough to escape.
Can a Human Swim Faster than a Shark
Sharks and people are not comparable swimmers. Not even close. Humans, even superhumans like Michael Phelps, swim no faster than 6 miles an hour. Great white sharks hit 25 m.p.h.
Phelps was given a monofin, which let him swim faster than his world-record times. But he still wasn’t going to come anywhere near the shark’s top speed. This certainly seemed like a stumbling block for an interspecies race.
What is the Fastest Shark in the Ocean
Here is a rundown of the three fastest sharks in the world and why they are able to move so quickly.
The Mako Shark is the fastest shark in the world. It can clock in at speeds of 60 mph (96 mph). The Mako Shark has an extremely streamlined body that is shaped like a torpedo that helps minimize drag as it cruises through the water.
Salmon Sharks are the second-fastest sharks on the planet. They have been observed by naval ships swimming as fast as 50 mph (80.5 kph). Like the Mako Shark, the Salmon Shark has a streamlined body that is taper and the head and the tail, reducing the drag as it cruises through the water.
Great White Shark
The Great White Shark is not only the largest and most impressive hunter in the water, but it is also the third-fastest swimming shark. The Great White Shark can swim at 25 mph (60 kph) which is extremely impressive considering its massive body size.
The clear winner of the ocean’s fastest shark award goes to the Mako shark – for now. There’s a lot we still don’t know about all the sharks in the ocean.