5 Bizarre Facts About Barracudas

Xcalak’s clear waters are home to countless fascinating creatures, including the mighty barracuda. They’re sleek, sharp-toothed, and fast, and they might startle the bejeezus out of you if you get followed when snorkeling. But get this! Barracuda might look intimidating, yet they’re almost certainly not interested in taking a bite out of you.

Maybe you’ve already seen a barracuda while swimming, or perhaps you’ve yet to experience the pleasure. Either way, you should know there’s more to these underwater inhabitants than meets the eye. Here are five bizarre/interesting facts we looked up, some of which we can attest to personally.

1. They Can Leap Out of Water

Yeah, we were shocked to read this one too. Like dolphins and swordfish, barracudas can jump out of the water in pursuit of prey or when they feel threatened.

This feat seems like something best left to dolphins or whales, not sharp-toothed fish like barracudas. But they can do it, which makes them fierce-looking AND multitalented!

And no, we’ve never actually seen this happen in Xcalak, yet. Maybe you will!

By the way… here are 10 helpful videos about Xcalak.

2. Their Razor Teeth Fit Together Perfectly

Are teeth the first thing that comes to mind when considering a barracuda? That’s probably not unusual, as their double row of sharp teeth is pretty intimidating. These chompers are so sharp they can slice through fish and smaller sea creatures like a hot knife through butter.

Unlike most other fish, barracudas have pointed teeth that fit together perfectly when their mouths are closed. That means they can chomp deeply into the unfortunate fish that happens to be their next lunch.

3. They Can Get REALLY Big

If you’ve ever seen a barracuda, you’ll know it’s not a small fish. The average length of an adult barracuda is around two feet, but they can grow a lot larger. The world record for the largest barracuda ever caught stands at a whopping 6.9 feet!

We’ve never seen one that big, but we have seen a family of barracudas with big ol’ Mom and Dad swimming with three little ones. Another time, when snorkeling in Puerto Morelos, not Xcalak, we saw one that looked like a huge log–we thought about it later, and we’re pretty sure it was a really old barracuda just floating around, not doing much. A granddaddy barracuda.

4. Barracudas are Faster than Usain Bolt

Olympic legend Usain Bolt is fast, but barracudas are just as fast. You can tell they’re built for speed because they kind of look like torpedoes. They swim up to 27 mph, the same speed class as Usain Bolt and underwater sprinters like dolphins and swordfish.

Being quick helps them catch a snack and avoid becoming a meal (the ocean is a brutal place). We’ve personally never witnessed a barracuda catching anything. When we see them, they’re usually pretty chill and just enjoying Xcalak’s warm Caribbean water (like us).

5. They’re Surprisingly Patient

Barracudas don’t chase after their prey like other predator fish but prefer to lie in wait and ambush unsuspecting potential meals as they swim by.

They can get away with this because their bodies camouflage well in their surroundings, and then, with an incredible burst speed, they surprise and bite into their prey before it has a chance to escape.

Come to Xcalak and Meet Some Barracuda

So there you have five bizarre facts about a fish you might meet while snorkeling or diving in Xcalak. And now you know barracudas are lightning-fast swimmers, have scary-looking teeth, can get pretty big, are patient, and can leap out of water.

Xcalak is home to many creatures, from tropical fish to hermit crabs to pelicans. If you’re near Xcalak’s National Reef Park, you’re bound to meet at least a few of these fascinating fauna.