How High Can a Killer Whale Jump Out of the Water?

Ian D. Keating/Flickr/CC-BY-2.0

A killer whale, or orca, can jump between 10 and 15 feet out of the water. One of the highest whale jumps caught on film is that of an orca jumping 15 feet while chasing a dolphin.

When whales jump completely out of the water; it is called breaching. It is difficult to determine just how high a killer whale can jump because they avoid humans in the wild. Orcas at marine parks are not asked to breach more than once or twice because breaching more than once in a short span of time exhausts the whale’s level of energy.