FLYING FISH: Flying fish can leap out of the water and take short flights over the surface, typically for 160 feet or for as long as 45 seconds. Some can travel as fast as 43 miles per hour.The fish has unusual pectoral fins that it spreads and tilts slightly upward to liftoff out of the water. If there are updrafts from waves, some flying fish can fly 1,200 feet. The fish's ability to fly out of the water and glide over the surface has allowed it to escape and hide from predators. Here, a flying fish glides over the Timor Sea near Australia.