Sep 18 2016

Board Question #60499

#marlin travel

So, how far did Marlin travel in order to find Nemo — like, shown on a map? They’re very small fish, so what THEY consider an “entire ocean” could be different than what we’d call it.

Can you answer this question seriously? I’ve actually wondered about it all these years.

-If I was any one character. I’d say I was the whaaaaaaaaaaaale.

Dear the whaaaaaaaaaaaale,

I can most definitely answer this question seriously. As we all know, Nemo and Marlin and all their fishy friends lived in the Great Barrier Reef. which is off the northeast coast of Australia. The Great Barrier Reef is over 1,600 miles (or 2,600 kilometers) long, so already we have a problem because we do not know where exactly along the reef they lived. All we know is that they lived along the edge, because (1) Nemo swam out into the ocean against his father’s will, and (2) scuba divers probably keep their boats along the edges.

So, we know they started somewhere along the Great Barrier Reef; for the sake of accuracy, I’ll give you three estimates, one where the journey starts at the most southern point of the reef, in the middle, and one at the most northern point. Their swim then went through the East Australian Current. and ultimately they were dropped off, quite conveniently, in Sydney. (Did you know that every year tropical fish are actually taken from the Great Barrier Reef to Sydney, and further south, via the East Australian Current? True fact !) Here is a visual of what we know, assuming they started their trip in the middle of the reef:

As you can see, if during their travels Marlin and Dory hugged the coast very tightly the trip would have been 1,568 miles (or 2,524 kilometers). That is quite a ways for a little fish. If they started at the northern-most tip of the reef (not shown on the map above) then the trip would have been 2,630 miles (or 4,233 kilometers). If their trip began at the southern-most tip of the reef the trip would have been 1,014 miles (or 1,633 kilometers).

Whew! Clearly, Marlin cared a great deal about his son. Awww. While he didn’t travel an ocean, he did travel the length of a continent, most of the Coral Sea, etc. through many perils. Hey, I’m impressed!

-Mico, who would probably be Nigel the brown pelican (even though brown pelicans don’t even live in Australia!)

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