How High Can Penguins Jump

When someone asks you an amazing question regarding a spectacular species on the earth, there will be a kind of smile filling the silence of the answer unknown. It is always exciting to know about the most popular species especially the penguins.

There will be a lot of questions arising in our mind when we gaze at the marvelous bird penguin. You might have ever thought whether penguins jump and if so how high this bulky gorgeous creature can jump. Here is the answer to the question, how high can penguins jump?

First, let us answer one common question.

Yes, penguins can jump.

They can jump about 9 feet. Feel astounding? Yes, the same sense of surprise when everyone hears for the first time.

Also, the high jumping point depends upon the species. Though, the general measure of height that a penguin jump is 9 feet. They jump from the water to the land and are triggered mainly to avoid getting trapped by the sea predator like leopard seals.

Penguin Jumping Technique:

Emperor Penguin Jumping From the Water
Emperor Penguin Jumping From the Water

The technique engaged while jumping is found to be a great technique that is also used by marine engineers to move the ships through the water. The penguins pack their bodies in the coat of air bubbles and swim at speed to the surface.

They torrent through in a short time to get airborne to clear the rocks or ice and land on their front. They develop a biomechanical model in the water to develop the burst to leap up into the air.

By nature, the pores in the feathers are very tiny and thus the air bubbles are tiny in the beginning and cover the outer surface of the feather.

Significantly these air bubbles serve as a lube, hence helps the penguins reduce the drag to reach the place. This air insulation effect is followed by the engineers to reduce the drag and accelerate the ship through the water. For this process, they place a sheet of air around the ship’s exterior.

Penguins have great control over their plumage (tiny soft kind of feathers) whenever they swim and also when they jump.

Adelie penguins: Adelie penguins are smaller species of penguins and it can jump up to 2-3 meters.

This species lives throughout the Antarctic and found largely in the Ross Sea.

Emperor penguins: Emperor penguins are larger species of penguins and it can jump up to approximately 45 cm or sometimes a little more.

Chinstrap penguins: Most dives of Chinstrap penguins last to 20 to 30 seconds. And it is similar to the Gentoo penguins. They use their feet and paddles to thrust their bodies alongside their stomach on land.

Gentoo penguins: Gentoo penguins are one of the fastest propelling seabirds. It is similar to the Chinstrap and Adelie penguins.

In general, penguins elevate their feathers to fill their plumage with air and then make themselves ready to plunge in the underwater. The driving down results in the rise in water pressure and waning in the volume of air trapped.

During this process, the penguins tend to lower their feathers and lock around the dropped air volume. Now the penguins rapidly swim steep while the air in the plumage releases through the feathers.

Causes of penguins being airborne:

  • One reason is that of the threat caused by sea predators.
  • The other one is the inability of the penguin’s physiology to climb the shore. It is quite difficult for a penguin to drag itself out from the ocean onto the sea

The air bubbles slash down the drag and multiply the penguin’s swimming ability to reach the air.

Penguins jump in the water
jumping penguins

Penguins Jump from Water to Air:

Penguins Jump from Water to Air
Penguins Jump from Water to Air

Penguins use the air bubbles in the plumage for propelling from the water to the surface. When they jump from the water their body gets the propulsion due to their air bubbles covered feathers. And this makes the jump higher when compared to that from the land.

Penguins Jump on Land to Air:

When it comes to jumping on the land, we can speak about jumping on the rock shelves or cliffs to get itself saved from the heavy wave. The height which they jump from the underwater differs from the jumping on land.

They can jump comparatively to less height when they are on land that is because they have weak feet to bear the heaviness of the body to give the thrust.

Also the same applies when they jump from one ice sheet to another.

Penguins Jump from Cliffs to Water:

As obvious jumping from the cliffs or land to the water is the easiest of all jumps for the beautiful and modest penguins. They need not attempt with a lot of effort, just with a plunge they can jump by giving a push to their flippers.

Even though there are many species of penguins live in a place where it is uninhabited by humans, they are endangered by other sea predators and giant waves.

It is well-thought-of to know that the humble bird species the penguins take turns to jump into the water in search of prey to feed their chicks. And the hard thing is that many penguins get trapped as prey during this attempt.


Climate change could decrease the quality of many penguin nesting places by occasioning changes in weather. Antarctica’s climate is usually cold, dry, and severe, but warming could harvest exceptional rain, or impulsively melt snowfall. Also causing changes in food will lead to misery.

Correspondingly, the size of the species and their age depends on how long they can jump. The phenomenal penguins should be saved for their beauty to be admired by everyone.

The difficulties that they experience along with the grace that they offer to the Antarctic’s should not end up in the extinct of the whole species. Hope, this write-up answered the question on the fact of, the bird of its kind- Penguins!


Image source:

  1. Emperor Penguin Jumping From the Water by Christopher Michel / CC BY
  2. jumping penguins by McKay Savage / CC BY
  3. Penguins Jump from Water to Air by dahorsburgh / CC BY

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