Move Over Superman -- Here Comes the Flying Squid

Scientists Have Discovered How Squid Fly Above the Ocean Surface

Japanese Flying Squid

Japanese Flying Squid

The Japanese flying squid can glide for several yards, albeit backwards, using tail flaps and webbed tentacles.Courtesy Hokkaido University

We've all heard of flying fish, but there's also a squid species that can fly over the ocean surface. Scientist recently discovered how this cephalopod gets airborne, according to a report in the England's The Independent.

Over the past few years, a number of anecdotal accounts have emerged of squid streaking through the air above the sea for several meters, and now a team of Japanese marine biologists have photographed them doing it en masse, according to the report.

Japanese researchers were following a school of about 100 members of the Japanese flying squid family in the northwest Pacific Ocean, about 370 miles from Tokyo, when they started photographing them shooting out of the water and gliding for several meters with their fins extended, the report states.

From the photos of the flying school of squid, it appears that the squid use both their tail flaps and tentacles as wings. The tentacles look like they are spread flat in a horizontal air foil, which scentists have confirmed.

“Once they finish shooting out the water, they glide by spreading out their fins and tentacles. The fins and the web between the tentacles create aerodynamic lift and keep the squid stable on its flight arc,” Professor Jun Yamamoto of of Hokkaido University was quoted as saying in the report. “We have discovered that squid do not just jump out of the water, but have a highly developed flying posture. This finding means that we should no longer consider squid as things that live only in the water."