National Geographic

The World’s Fastest Swimmers, Past and Present

World's fastest swimmers infographic

How does a dolphin measure up to a penguin when it comes to speed in the water? And can Michael Phelps take either of them?

What about a squid or a sailfish?

This infographic from Backyard Ocean takes a fun look at some of those comparisons, as well as great moments in water-crossing history.

Which fact surprises you the most?


  1. John
    October 24, 2013, 10:56 pm

    According to your diagram, a human can swim 1500m butterfly faster than the 1500m freestyle. That can’t be right!