image MS_131_50
Image number: RS.16378
Credit: ©The Royal Society

Flying fish


October 1699


Edmond Halley (1656-1742, British), Astronomer

Object type

Archive reference number

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height (paper): 76mm
width (paper): 206mm


   > Zoology
      > Ichthyology

Content object


Side view of a variety of flying fish (Exocoetidae) with inscription: 'A Flying Fish taken in the sight of Palm'.

This is one of a set of sketches Edmond Halley made during his voyage to the South Atlantic as captain of the Paramore (September 1699- September 1700), which was tasked to take readings of the variations of the magnetic needle in the Atlantic Ocean to improve navigation. (See Alan H. Cook, Edmond Halley: Charting the Heavens and the Seas (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998), pp. 256-91.)

Paramore arrived at La Palma (Canaries) on 15 October 1699. (See The Three Voyages of Edmond Halley in the Paramore, 1698-1701, ed. by J. Norman and W. Thrower, 2 vols (London: Hakluyt Society, 1981), I, 130.)

On his return, Halley submitted his sketches to a meeting of the Royal Society on 6 November 1700. The sketches were placed in the Repository.


A Flying Fish taken in the sight of Palm.
Transcribed by the Making Visible project

Object history

At the meeting of the Royal Society on 6 November, 1700, '[Captain Halley] produced several sketches of fishes, and of the Batavian Islands, for which he was thanked, and the sketches ordered to be put into the Repository. The fishes were of two sorts of flying fish &c.' JBO/10/198.

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