Given that the movie "Finding Nemo" takes place in a world resembling our own (with locations like Sydney Australia). Where is the reef (Marlin and Nemo's home) located? And, given the landmarks Marlin travels through (ie: the "EAC"), how far does Marlin travel from that reef to get to Sydney Australia?

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    Interesting question. And a follow-up might be: Could a clownfish actually make that distance? – Walt Jun 19 '15 at 18:11
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    Anywhere is within walking distance, if you have the time. ;o) – Johnny Bones Jun 19 '15 at 19:36

What a fun question!

Ok, so Marlin and Nemo live in the Great Barrier Reef which is located off the coast of Queensland in north east Australia.

Great Barrier Reef

From there he wanders around and hops aboard the East Australian Current (EAC), which luckily enough passes right through the Great Barrier Reef and passes by Sydney in the south east of Australia.

East Australian Current

Using Google Maps' measuring tool to plot a (very) rough course between the Great Barrier Reef and Sydney we find that Marlin traveled the equivalent of 1275 miles (2040 KM).


For simplicity sake we'll just take he maximum speed reached by the EAC is 90 cm/s (about 3.24 km/h) to calculate the trip taking about 630 hours or 26 days. That's a long time to stay on a surfer Turtle's shell :)

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    You have pretty pictures and I don't. :o( – Johnny Bones Jun 19 '15 at 19:54
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    @JohnnyBones - Amusingly enough we got roughly same the answers too :D – System Down Jun 19 '15 at 19:57
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    Congratulation for wining additional bounty as consolation prize for being 3rd highest score in event. – Ankit Sharma Jul 15 '15 at 7:01
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    @AnkitSharma - Yay! – System Down Jul 16 '15 at 23:20

Nemo and Marlin live on the Great Barrier Reef. According to MapQuest, there is approximately 1,500 miles of coastline between the shores off the Great Barrier Reef and the capital city of Sydney, which is located on the southeast corner of the continent.

Marlin, on his journey, hops into the EAC (Eastern Australian Current) which runs down the coast from the Great Barrier Reef and ends in Sydney. So far, this all checks out.

As for Walt's follow-up, Clownfish are small animals that could maybe reach a top speed of 3MPH. The EAC also moves at approximately the same speed, so that would double Marlin's speed to reach Sydney. At that rate, swimming non-stop, it would take about 250 hours, or about 10½ days to make the trip. However, on the way back, it would take at least 21 days, assuming they stayed out of the EAC. And that's non-stop.

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    Sydney is not the capital of Australia – OrangeDog Jun 19 '15 at 21:24
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    @OrangeDog Sydney is the capital of the state of New South Wales – Damian Yerrick Jun 19 '15 at 22:23

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