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What are the trade winds?

​a clipper ship

Known to sailors around the world, the trade winds and associated ocean currents helped early sailing ships from European and African ports make their journeys to the Americas. Likewise, the trade winds also drive sailing vessels from the Americas toward Asia. Even now, commercial ships use “the trades” and the currents the winds produce to hasten their oceanic voyages.

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What is the fastest fish in the ocean?

​Sailfish hunting sardines in the open ocean off the coast of Mexico. Image courtesy of Rodrigo Friscione

Clocked at speeds in excess of 68 mph, some experts consider the sailfish the fastest fish in the world ocean. Easily recognized, sailfish are named for the spectacular sail-like dorsal fin that extends for nearly the entire length of their silver-blue body. Additionally, the sailfish’s upper jaw is far longer than its lower jaw, forming a distinctive bill that looks like—and sometimes acts like—a spear.

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