TIME animals

Watch the World’s Fastest Whale Leap From the Ocean

It's the "greyhound of the sea"

The world’s fastest whale can swim at speeds of up to 23 miles per hour, which means it can jump pretty high as well, as we can see above. A video from CIRCE, a Spanish conservation agency, gives a glimpse at what American naturalist Roy Chapman Andrew called the “greyhound of the sea”—the fin whale.

Much like greyhounds, fin whales are skinny, long creatures. They grow to over 60 feet. As this video, shot in the Straits of Gibraltar, shows, this means a streamlined body that’s perfect for zipping through the ocean and leaping above it. Seeing a fin whale surface, as the creature in the video does three times, is exceedingly rare, given that there are only around 100,000 left in the wild.

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