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You know what fish are — those scaly finned things with the big fin for a tail that live in various bodies of water... except for these things, which forget that last part.

For some reason, in fiction — especially Video Games — one can encounter fish that float in the air. Given sufficient animation, in fact, they will clearly be swimming through the air. These creatures are typically found on beaches and around waist-deep water — but not always. The next most common habitat for the Flying Seafood Special is the desert.

Rays seem particularly popular, probably due to already having wings. But it doesn't have to be fish; you can have Flying Electric Jellyfish, Flying Giant Squid, Air Whales...

As for what the reasons might be for such beings to exist, two stand out as primary — it allows the characters to interact with them (typically by fighting them) by the path of least Willing Suspension of Disbelief, or alternately it works as a touch of surreality.

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This also happens in nearly every Mons series ever. OK, now since there are more aquatic creatures than any other kind on Earth, obviously you're going to have to throw in some Mons based on fish somewhere. Except the problem is, 90% of your game takes place on the land (because Atlantis Is Boring). Hrm. Well, just have them act like they're swimming through the air. Not Quite Flight, just hovering ever so slightly over the ground at all times. Problem solved! Nobody would question that!

Related to If It Swims, It Flies and The Sky Is an Ocean. Compare Space Whale and Living Gasbag. Not to be confused with Shamu Fu. Can be a type of Airborne Mook. Fish People are similarly air-dwelling sea-creatures (and if their culture has a Horse of a Different Color, expect it to be something like this — most likely a seahorse).

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Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Angel's Egg: The flying coelacanth shadows.
  • Bleach:
    • In the Bount arc, the Bount Sawatari's doll is the giant rock-like fish Baura that can fly through the air, as well as under the ground (by phasing through another dimension).
    • The released form of Unohana's zanpakutou, will it's got only one eye and it's green, is shaped like a manta ray and has baleen in its mouth.

    Art 

    Asian Animation 
  • In Happy Heroes Season 2 episode 50, villains Big M. and Little M. get a shark that floats around in the air.

    Comic Books 
  • Hellboy: The Communist Airborne Mollusk Militia from The Goon crossover consists of octopi who actually use hot air balloons to fly.
  • Further Notes On My Unfortunate Condition: In "Tell Me Again Why I Can't Be A Manta Ray", the protagonist-as-manta ray soars through the sky, "drifting from town to town, from house to house."
    "And I am Undulating Away Through the Night Air"
  • The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck: A throwaway gag has Scrooge witnessing trout swimming by at shoulder level during extremely heavy rainfall.
  • Marvel Universe:
    • The Acanti are space whale often used by the Brood as spaceships.
    • The Mighty Thor: As Thors from the past, present, and future sail through the heavens in a Viking longboat in Jason Aaron's Thor: God of Thunder, they encounter — and yes, fight — space sharks. Past Thor, having not yet become Worthy of Mjolnir and thus being unable to fly, at one point actually rides one, coming out with the immortal line "Arrgh! Faster, you stupid shark!" The space sharks appear intermittently throughout Aaron's other works, as well.
    • Sub-Mariner: Some writers have attempt to explain Namor's flight power along these lines — he doesn't fly so much as he condenses the moisture around him so he can swim through the air.
  • The Sandman: Delirium's fish, which are usually used to symbolise madness, are always seen swimming through the air (or rough equivalent, in areas where there's no clear sense of place, such as her story in Endless Nights).

    Films — Animated 
  • Disney Animated Canon:
    • Atlantis: The Lost Empire: The ancient Atlanteans got around through flying vehicles shapes like fish and hammerhead sharks. The Leviathans likewise flew, as seen in the prologue. After Atlantis is destroyed, the remaining one moves underwater instead.
    • Fantasia 2000: One numbers features flying whales that swim through the atmosphere and breach into space like regular whales breaching into the air.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Sky Sharks has the creatures carrying AA Ms and being used as mounts by Nazi zombies to attack air traffic.
  • Star Wars: The Aiwha Attack of the Clones are whale-like creatures capable of leaping out of the sea and flying through immense, wing-like fins. Their name is itself a contraction of "air whale".

    Literature 
  • Leviathan: The titular creature is a living biotech airship ultimately derived from a sperm whale. It still generally resembles its original stock, albeit the size of the Graf Zeppelin and loaded with hydrogen-filled gas bladders. There are also huxleys, flying and hydrogen-filled jellyfish derivatives used as hot air balloons.
  • A Meeting With Medusa features a Jupiter inhabited by peaceful, cloud-grazing manta rays. Except that they're not — peaceful or cloud-grazing, that is. The "clouds" they feed on turn out to be enormous jellyfish which may actually be sapient.
  • Natural Selection: The Demonray, a flying, air-breathing, implausibly intelligent, tree-climbing carnivorous manta relative from the abyss. For extra amusement, they actually try explaining (poorly) how it flies...
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude: During the long rain, fish swim through the incredibly water-saturated air in the house.
  • Sewer, Gas & Electric: Played for laughs when the mutant great white Meisterbrau pursues a victim onto dry land, then spreads its oversized pectoral fins and swoops onto the unfortunate schmuck.
  • Star Wars Legends adores these, mostly vast and in the form of flying whales.
    • Alderaan was the homeworld of a huge variety of thrantas, giant, flying whale-like creatures.
    • In the gas giant Bespin there are the more rayfish-like velkers with 300 meter wingspans, which hunted the much, much bigger flying jellyfish called beldons, while on a much smaller scale rawks hunted tiny winged fish, and a species of thranta was introduced there before their homeworld exploded.
  • The Stormlight Archive has "skyeels", which are basically Exactly What It Says on the Tin and fly using gas sacs. Later installments mention in passing that they use spren-assisted flight (possibly the Surge of Gravitation, but never mentioned as such), and that the spren in question perform a similar function to every Giant Enemy Crab on the planet that would otherwise collapse under their own weight.
  • In Xandri Corelel, Psittaca is inhabited by giant flying rays. The Psittacans strap baskets under them and use them as transportation.

    Live-Action TV 
  • * Alien Worlds: Blue Moon: Skywhales.
  • Doctor Who:
  • In Encantadia, among the wildlife that inhabits the kingdom of Sapiro are flying manta rays.
  • The Future Is Wild: The flish are fishes that, 200 million years from now, evolved into the role of by then-extinct birds, developing lungs and flying with powerful pectoral fins. Sea-dwelling fish are entirely extinct by that point, leaving the flying ones as the only kind left. There's also a forest variant that even hangs upside down like a bat.
  • Hero Corp has flying rays living in the forest. Not seen because of the low special-effects budget, but the protagonists mention that they taste weird.
  • Ultraman Leo: Many of the Flying Saucer Beasts. Silver Bloome and Absorba are jellyfish, Black Dome is a crab, Deemos is a brittle star, Black Terrina is a clam, and Hangler is an anglerfish.
  • The Young Ones: Subverted for Vyvyan, who once looked out the window, saw a shark passing by the glass, and declared it this trope and the most completely brilliant thing he'd ever seen. Then Mike spoiled it by explaining that London had flooded, meaning that the shark was only swimming, not flying.

    Music 
  • Asia's Aqua album has a winged dolphin flying in space.
  • Driftless Pony Club: A flying whale appears in the music video for "Inspectors of Inspectors".
  • Linkin Park's "In The End" music video had a whale flying in the newly greened desert.
  • Steam Powered Giraffe take on Sky Sharks in their album Vice Quadrant: A Space Opera. Also contains a song regarding Space Whales.
  • Yes's Concept Album Tales from Topographic Oceans has a school of fish lazing through some kind of misty air-stream emanating from a distant pyramid on a starry night on the cover. Because Roger Dean, that's why.

    Podcasts 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Arduin: Air sharks and air squid are precisely what they sound like — otherwise normal versions of usually marine creatures that happen to swim around in midair. They do this by means of stores of lighter-than-air gasses stored in their bodies, which tend to have... explosive... reactions to lightning. There are also skyrays, which look like flying mantas but are actually flying fungus creatures.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Cloud rays, named so not because they flies in the clouds but because you might mistake them for such.
    • Uobilyth is a variant of aboleth that flies in the sky, aboleths being immensely ancient fish-like horrors.
    • 3.5 and 4th Editions have the Astral Kraken. In 3.5, it's a mindless giant vermin that prowls the Astral Plane for life forces to consume; in 4e, it's an evil super-genius psychic horror from beyond the stars that exists to spread madness.
    • Dark Sun has Floater, a species of sapient (if somewhat dumb) hydrogen jellyfish.
  • Eclipse Phase has whales, known as Suryas, that live in the corona of the sun. Since there is no material on the sun that isn't gaseous or plasmatic, it's safe to call this flight. Said whales also happen to be humans (well, mostly, there's some uplifted whales and AIs who've sleeved in Suryas). Eclipse Phase is that kind of game.
  • Exalted: Noresores are a type of demon resembling ethereal, translucent moray eels the float through the air.
  • Fantasy Fliers has a wide variety of mounts, from technological and magical constructs (some of which are water-based themselves, like a sky boat or submersible) through the usual suspects such as dragons, things you might expect to fly, such as birds and bugs, all the way up to this trope, featuring rays, sharks, cephalopods, and nautilus.
  • Magic: The Gathering: It's not uncommon for cards based sea life to show up as sky-dwelling creatures note . Virtually all of them use blue mana, which is associated with both water and the Flying ability.
    • Flying fish actually have existed for quite some time in the game, although the creature type Fish (creature type being the relative equivalent of species) was only officially created in 1997. Case in point: as early as the year 2000, we have Cloudskate, a flying manta ray, and Amugaba, a flying eel, but both have the creature type of Illusion instead (perhaps as a Lampshade Hanging). Then there is also Mulldrifter, an Elemental (in Lorwyn, Elementals are amalgamations of many animals, and this one just happens to be part fish and part bird). Actual flying fish would be introduced later in the form of Windrider Eel and Sky-Eel School, in addition to erratas which give other sea-creature types to those that don't have them when they are printed.
    • Aside from fish, other creature types traditionally associated with the sea have appeared as sky-based creatures. Leviathans have appeared as flying creatures often enough that nearly a third of all Leviathan creatures have had Flying, beginning with Eater of Days (in actuality a flying construct based on a leviathan) and Sky Swallower (the first actual flying leviathan). Later, the 2016/17 expansions based on the plane of Kaladesh introduced flying whales, while a flying elemental whale debuted in the 2020 Commander set.
  • Pathfinder: Ekekehs are a type of dolphin-like fey that can levitate themselves at will, and their gills can process both air and water. They're often found floating their way through the streets of coastal cities in order to interact with terrestrial sapients, although they can only move through the air at a very slow and limited pace.
  • Rifts contains the odd sea creature-shaped airborne monster.
    • Underseas details a sapient ray that can use hooks on the end of its wings to type with; they often learn to use tech items which are mostly controlled by buttons and other panel controls, even though they obviously don't have the ability to make them.
    • Some marine magic has incantations like Air Swim, which can allow sea creatures to swim in air, if they also have the ability to breathe without water; usually used by dolphins, orca and some sentient alien whales, eg. the rhino whales.
    • The air fish of Wormwood resemble nothing so much as monstrous piranhas swimming through the air.
  • Warhammer, Warhammer: Age of Sigmar, and Warhammer 40,000 all feature Screamers of Tzeentch that are sometimes referred to as sky-sharks in-universe and resemble flying stingrays.

    Toys 
  • The Airshark, a remotely-guided toy airship shaped like a shark or clownfish.
  • Mixels has the Flexers. While they can't fly, they're elasticity-based, letting them propel themselves to great heights and made their home in a city made of building suspended in midair. They include Kraw (a crab), Tentro (a squid), and Balk (a hammerhead shark). Their Max form also resembles a lobster or shell-less hermit crab.

    Video Games 
  • Animal Kaiser has floating sharks, among other things.
  • Asura's Wrath: Many of the giant flying Gohma look like fish. Gohma Stingers look like rays, Gohma Gliders resemble lionfish, and Gohma Crushers look like giant flying squid mixed with shellfish. Gohma Carriers are barnacles.
  • In Beyond Good & Evil, there's a giant, flying manta-ray that you can take a picture of.
  • Bio-Hazard Battle has you fight flying squid at the very start of the opening stage. Then again, pretty much all the animals in that game have been mutated and such by a virus.
  • Castlevania has Forneus, flying jellyfish. They're actually modeled after the Solomonic demon of the same name, who is said to appear as a sea monster; the same demon appears in Shin Megami Tensei and spin-offs as a manta ray.
  • Cave Story has jellyfish that can float in air. They later reappear in a water level, more appropriately.
  • City of Heroes: Nova-form Kheldians resemble flying squids.
  • Civilization: Beyond Earth has the Rocktopus, a bio-engineered monster used by the Harmony affinity which actually looks more like a jellyfish than an octopus. Due to incorporating Floatstone into its body the creature can levitate all the way into orbit and serves as a Kill Sat weapon emplacement.
  • Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun gives us the Tiberian Floater in the expansion, a freakish jellyfish-like creature that floats through the air and attacks your units.
  • Darius:
    • Every enemy in the series is some form of giant mechanical sealife, with the occasional dinosaur, chameleon, or fetus thrown in for good measure. They don't just stick with the obvious like squids, barracudas, and sharks; there are half a dozen different coelacanth bosses, not to mention a cuttlefish, a tripod fish, a blue whale, and weirdest of all, a sea angel (look it up—they're pretty, harmless, and pretty harmless.) and even a Barreleye fish.
    • Parodied to hell and back by "Space Invaders '95" in the food level; among other things, before the boss fight, the screen flashes with Darius' trademark siren and "Warning! Dangerous warship SUSHI PLATTER is approaching!" Then you fight a giant sushi combo platter.
  • Digimon: All aquatic Digimon, regardless of how fishlike they are, can move comfortably in the air. Unlike the other examples, they're shown doing this in some episodes of the anime, too. Seadramon and Submarimon achieved flight in some minor appearances.
  • The Drop: Some of the enemies are fish, even though the battle takes place on land. Naturally, they No-Sell all water-based attacks.
  • Dungeon Fighter Online has a number of flying fish, most especially sharks. This does get explained; a feature of the main world in this game is the Sky Tower (currently destroyed), which connects a pair of upper and lower continents and converts the upper oceans into lower sky, managing the resulting complex weather systems. The "vertical rivers" produced where the charged water can support air-breathers and the thickened air can buoy and support aquatic life are so ancient that evolution and magic have resulted in a number of truly amphibious species.
  • Dwarf Fortress:
    • Undead creatures don't need to breathe, and the game makes no distinction between land creatures and water creatures besides what they breathe. This can result in undead whales or carp moving across land to attack your fortress. The undead carp in particular are infamous for being Demonic Spiders.
    • The Good Bad Bug with the flying lungfish also qualifies for this trope, as many players are dazzled by finding lungfish soaring high in the air. It also led to community jokes about them being The Determinator who conquered water, land and air, and are ready to do the same for magma.
  • Earthworm Jim featured fish enemies which flew by means of attached rotor blades. Said fish could be found in a level set in the intestines.
  • Ecco the Dolphin: The Tides Of Time has future dolphins who evolved to be capable of flight. There is also a giant flying jellyfish.
  • The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind has the netch, giant leathery floating jellyfish. Females ("Betty Netch") are smaller but with a potent physical attack. Males ("Bull Netch") are larger and can launch a ranged poison attack.
  • Eternal Sonata has enemies that resemble swordfish. They're just as much at home hovering over the sand as hovering over the water as hovering over a spiral ramp that plays music when you walk on it. It's all the same. In fact, there are several hovering enemies that resemble aquatic life in this game.
  • Etrian Odyssey has quite some examples. Cotrangl in the first game (which also return as a Bonus Boss in the third game), as well as Narmer and Ketos among others in the third game.
  • Final Fantasy games do this a lot.
    • Final Fantasy IV: Many Underground Monkey variations of this exist — often literally underground, as there are many caves lined with water.
    • Final Fantasy VI had crabs and stingrays, in the desert. There was also The Veldt, where all the creatures the player had encountered so far in the game (except for most bosses note )had a chance to show up in Random Encounters. That included things like jellyfish sitting out in the savanna while suffering no ill effect.
      • It had a subversion, though — many of the aquatic creatures that could be found in the desert actually lost health every round. Considering that at least two of them have practically no health at all, and have some great items to steal, it turns them into a Metal Slime battle.
      • And of course, Ultros. The first time everyone's favorite Octopus Royalty shows up, it's in a river. Odd for a saltwater creature, but believable. Then, in the rafters (and the main stage) of an Opera House. Then the bone-dry caves of a mountain. Then in a mid-air battle (the party is standing on the deck of an airship. Ultros is, uh, floating.)
    • Final Fantasy VIII also has them in the form of Fastitocalons, which swim through both the air and the ground.
    • Whale Zombies and probably more things from Final Fantasy IX. To be more specific, there are the stingray-like Feather Circles (including their friendlier counterpart,) Gigan Octopuses and the two colors of Vepals.
    • Final Fantasy XI: Pugils, and the much rarer Orobon. Also in XI, in the area Al'Taieu (commonly nicknamed as "sea" by the playerbase) there are various types of enemies that somewhat resemble aquatic life (which in turn are also nicknamed as sharks, goldfish, etc.) All of them are capable of floating in the air. "Phuabo" enemies, which resemble blue manta rays, actually "hide" underneath the water until you walk over them, at which point they surface, glide into the air, and start to attack.
    • Final Fantasy XII: The various types of sandfish in the sandsea, as well as the floating fish you encounter in the sewers.
    • Final Fantasy X: Averted. The various seafood only appear in specific underwater battles, in which only three out of the seven PCs can participate, and on one occasion, a previously flying snake creature ends up being an underwater boss for a second beatdown. Played straight in its direct sequel, however.
    • In Final Fantasy XIV, skyfishing, sandfishing, and lavafishing is a thing for the Fisher Job. Also, fishing in toxic atheriochemical waste.
    • In Final Fantasy I, once you get the ship, you can get into random battles while sailing. One of the first enemies you can encounter while sailing is sharks. The sprite doesn't seem to show anything special about them, other than their willingness to jump on your boat to eat you. They actually are one of the toughest, if not the toughest, enemies you'll first encounter sailing, so they must have some sort of advantage fighting on the boat.
  • Gears of War: The Reavers and Nemacysts have a decidedly squid-like appearance, and no visible methods of flight. Yet they do. Fast.
  • In Gotcha Force, this is played with in a very weird way — the Diver set of Borgs "swim" through the air via a bubble of water constantly around them that slows down any other Borgs who hop into it.
  • In Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, sharks, dolphins and whatever else is underwater can become this due to a rocket glitch.
  • Guild Wars: Some Jade Sea creatures do this, mainly the irukandji and scuttle fish. This is necessary for them, as the entirety of their home sea was converted to solid jade.
  • Infinite Undiscovery has one of these — with several different Palette Swap versions. Generally encountered on the beach, and in the desert (where they seem to swim through the sand as easily as the air).
  • Journey: Not exactly seafood, but the red cloth creatures flying through the air are all modeled after sea life: the smallest tatters gather in shoals like tiny fish, the slightly larger ones resemble dolphins, while the largest in the game are pretty much whales.
  • Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance: The Fin Fatale and Tatsu Steed dream eaters both swim through the air (Though they can't fly, hovering a few feet above the ground at most), and the former can even dive into solid ground for surprise attacks. Appropriately, they're the only dream eaters who don't end up Floating in a Bubble while playing the Water Barrel minigame.
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel have Thunder Loaches. There's also one quest boss in the same chapter called the Thunder Quaker, which is a flying loach. A later chapter then introduces a new enemy, the sharkodile, which are half shark, half crocodile, and floats around in the landed spaces in the Absurdly Spacious Sewers of Heimdallr.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening: The Wind Fish is a giant, flying and winged whale.
    • ''The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask':
      • The Zora mask offers the ability to glide power, albeit through a bug.
      • The third boss, Gyorg, "Mechanical Masked Fish", starts off the fight with a creepy first-person view as it sneaks up on you, followed with it jumping out of the water and stopping midair to pose for the camera. Whether it's a good thing or not that it doesn't have levitation powers like this after the introductory cutscene is debatable.
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap has a boss which is two variants of the Gyorg species, which are flying manta rays. Which fly at about air craft level and whom Link must fight by standing on them and attacking. There's also the sand swimming variants in Spirit Tracks.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time has flying jellyfish. Electrified flying jellyfish.
  • Mass Effect:
    • The Reapers were built in the image of immense squid-like sea creatures referred to only as "the Leviathans". There's also the hanar which are sentient jellyfish-like creatures that use technology to allow them to hover slightly above the ground.
    • Shepard's fish tank is an unintentional example, thanks to a bug where the fish are not in fact restrained in any way by the tank and can actually be found several feet outside it, floating in midair.
  • Mega Man X4 has Jet Stingray. Like his name suggests, he can fly around via jets.
  • Minecraft has Phantoms, Airborne Mooks that are undead flying manta rays, travel in packs, and appear at night to swoop down on the player — but only appear when the player hasn't slept for three days, since they're attracted to insomnia. They drop a Phantom Membrane when killed, which is used to repair the player's Elytra wings.
  • Monster Rancher: The Ogyo are floating pink dolphins.
  • New Super Marisa Land has Scuba Fairies that act similarly to the Cheep Cheeps from Super Mario Bros.. They are much more dangerous, however, owing to the random intervals at which they leap from the water, and their arc.
  • Obduction has giant fish/cetacean creatures that once swam in the skies of Kaptar.
  • Pajama Sam: In No Need to Hide When it's Dark Outside, Pajama Sam makes his way into a Mad Scientist Laboratory and find a potion book with a lot of colorful chemicals. One of the spells he can cast is Fish From The Air. They swim around him for a few seconds, and then disappear as quickly as they came.
  • Parodius: Every game lets you play as a flying octopus, with later games adding mambo fish to the cast. This is one of the less weird things about the series.
  • Perfect World has the new-ish mob Orbfish, appearing in the Tideborn Islands. They're basically orb-shaped fish with huge bulbous eyes that, if you tame it as a pet, can actually fly several hundred feet above the ground with no problem whatsoever.
  • Pikmin features Jellyfloats, which are essentially hovering jellyfish that suck up their prey rather than sting it. ''Pikmin 3 introduced similar floating jellyfishes named the Slurkers.
  • Pokémon: All of the 3D games, particularly Stadium, Colosseum, XD, and Battle Revolution. Goldeen gracefully floats in the air then turns bottom-up when it's knocked out. Er, except for Magikarp. The poor bastard doesn't even get this power. In the core series games, you can pull out your anglerfish Pokémon and use it to battle armadillos in the middle of the desert, and it will have the advantage. Somehow.
    • Gyarados, Mantine and Mantyke justify this, being Water/Flying types.
    • This is especially bizarre in the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon sub series, since your characters follow behind you instead of being kept in balls. Let's go into a volcano and bring a goldfish with a horn on it with us. It'll do great! In an inversion, Pokémon that shouldn't have been able to breathe underwater could be taken on adventures in dungeons filled with saltwater at the bottom of the sea.
    • Most of the above largely fall under Gameplay and Story Segregation and Acceptable Breaks from Reality; being unable to use the most populous type of Pokémon in an Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors game would violate Rule of Fun. What falls under this trope from an In-Universe perspective is the Float Whale Pokémon. Wailord is the largest Pokémon by volume (tallest listed height, and proportionately long for a Pokémon based on a freaking blue whale), but surprisingly light for its size; at 14.5 meters tall, at least twice as long, and only 390 kg heavy, it's less dense than air. A Wailord flying around in Pokétopia is actually more realistic than than a Wailord swimming in the Almian sea.
    • The Super Smash Bros. series has Poké Balls that can be used to summon random Pokémon; one of the random summons is Goldeen, which will Splash uselessly on the ground when summoned (a role usually reserved for Magikarp). However, all other aquatic Pokémon will proceed to float about and contribute to the battle on behalf of the Ball's thrower.
    • Pokémon Black and White gives us the pure Electric-type lampreys Tynamo, Eelektrik and Eelektross, whose Levitate ability literally makes them float. As such, this negates their only weakness to Ground and hence making them have no weaknesses at all (apart from Gravity/Mold Breaker).
    • Stunfisk double subverts the trope-it appears to be a fish, and can be found in water, but it's Ground/Electric type, which is likely why Cilan's is seen more often in the anime than Misty's Goldeen. However, it just so happens to be capable of flight. How that works aerodynamically, we may never know.
    • Pokémon X and Y gives us the squid Inkay. It's not a Water type (it's Dark/Psychic) and floats in its animation. Even more bizarre is that they are found in tall grass instead of water.
    • Inverted with Lugia. It's a Flying/Psychic bird, but it's also known as the 'Guardian of the Seas'. It can be seen swimming on Soulsilver's title screen, and can learn some water moves, like Hydro Pump, Rain Dance, Surf, Waterfall and Dive.
    • Pokémon GO takes things Up to Eleven: With AR mode on, you can actually have a flying Seaking on Earth, sorta. Even with AR mode off, this trope is still played straight, many water pokémons appear floating above ground, sometimes far away from the nearest body of water!
  • Quest 64's lack of being able to be in water is the only reason why the monsters appear as they do. The Magma Fish are made of lava, while the Winged Sunfish could justify it by their name in general. The other Water-aligned monsters don't have this problem, even the other two fish themself.(Fishman and Granagach)
  • Quest for Glory I had Mantrays, which are pretty much flying mantas. That cast spells. And live in a forest. In the game world's equivalent of the Alps.
  • Rise of Legends: Flying mantas live in the deserts of Aio. The Alin use them for their mounted archers, the Heartseekers.
  • Rule of Rose. Justified since... well... Hoo boy...
  • Rune Factory Frontier: There's an enemy that resembles a flying lamprey.
  • Skies of Arcadia: All fish in the overworld. There are a few water fish in the Far East, but that's it. To further cement this trope's effect, if you fly your ship through a school of flying fish, you capture them with nets, and can then sell them for profit at the larger markets.
  • Something Else has floating electric jellyfish. They are the main obstacle of Electricave and dodging them can be very tricky,
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • In Sonic Heroes, the Egg Fleet combines this with Airborne Aircraft Carrier. The Egg Fleet consists of flying battleships that resemble sharks, sawfish, and manta rays. The (huge) flagship, Final Fortress, resembles a whale shark.
      Big: Look at all the fishy ships!
    • Sonic the Hedgehog 2: The Sky Chase zone features airborne missiles shaped like sharks.
  • Star Fox: Sector Y is an ocean in space, featuring giant space schools of fish, stingrays both small and large, squid and even amoebas. There's also a Space Whale but it's friendly and only appears when certain conditions are met. Oddly enough, the boss for the level isn't anything like that, instead a hydrogen harvester spaceship. To be fair, it does resemble a tentacled creature (and its name includes "Hydra", a very small relative of the anemone).
  • Star Wars:
  • Stinkoman 20X6: Level 9 takes place in the sky, with Stinkoman in the Stinkowing (a ship that resembled Strong Bad's mask). The enemies include: shrimps, jellyfish, mantas, sharks, fish, clams, octopuses, anemones, and CORAL. To top off the weirdness, the boss (allegedly an octopus or squid) is a gangster with a tommy gun!
  • Super Mario Bros.:
  • Terraria has flying fish that appear during the rain. A similar-looking fish called the Zephyr Fish can be equipped as a pet. Duke Fishron, whom a player must fish from the ocean using a particular kind of bait, also qualifies, and is considered by most to be a difficult late-game boss - though he is entirely optional.
  • World of Warcraft:
    • Nether Rays are flying creatures that bear a resemblance to stingrays. They aren't actually fish, though — apparently they're more closely related to insects than anything else.
    • There are more traditional-looking stringrays in Nazjatar, which presumably swam when it was underwater but somehow learned to fly in the open air when the ocean was drained away from it.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles X has nearly every Piscinoid enemy type fly. Many are even shown leaping out of the water when the player approaches, even though in most cases the water wasn't nearly deep enough to submerge in.

    Web Animation 

    Webcomics 
  • The Fourth has the Flish, which are a sapient form of this.
  • in Gunnerkrigg Court: Parodied with a floating octopus that is quite relieved to find water.
    Smith: I think you should really be in the ocean...
    Octopus: So that's what I've been doing wrong!
  • Homestuck: Eridan's introduction features him riding a giant flying seahorse and hunting an even larger flying whale.
  • Tower of God, forgive the pun, swims in this trope: Giant eels float through the sky. A partial justification is the fact that the surrogate for air in the Tower is Shinsu, something that can concentrate in certain areas, especially on higher levels of the Tower, giving everything some buoyancy.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • Contrary to the name, neither flying fish nor flying squids count as this trope. Technically they both glide. The freshwater hatchetfish of South America, however, arguably does. It has winglike fins and powerful chest muscles, and they will flap their fins at high speed to power their leaps out of the water. Whether this counts as true flight in the sense that birds and bats do is debatable.
  • And then there's this.
  • Fortean Times loves this sort of story. In fact, one of the Ur-Example Fortean phenomena was a mysterious shower of fish and shellfish over Cromer, Norfolk, in 1887. Explained away as a mysterious, unwitnessed and never-found Mad Fishmonger who went around town in the early hours of the morning flinging buckets of produce everywhere, the mystery may have been solved. East Anglia gets tornadoes (yes, we have them in Britain too, but not to Mid-Western standards of severity or destruction). A waterspout originating at sea might have travelled inland, depositing marine life it picked up as it ebbed and died. Similar rains of fish have been reported world-wide and have happened often enough and to too many people to be dismissed as hoaxes or delusions. People have reported seeing fish seemingly flying through the air in high winds and storms. Parodied in the Discworld novels, where mysterious rains of fish come in the form of canned pilchards, anchovies and sardines. You have to duck a lot or wear a steel helmet.

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