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, 2015 at 18:11
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    Anywhere is within walking distance, if you have the time. ;o) Jun 19, 2015 at 19:36

2 Answers 2


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( Jun 19, 2015 at 19:54
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    @JohnnyBones - Amusingly enough we got roughly same the answers too :D Jun 19, 2015 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, 2015 at 7:01
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    @AnkitSharma - Yay! Jul 16, 2015 at 23:20
  • There is a flaw in this as far as the movie not the answer. If it took Marlin 26 days to find nemo this wouldn't work cause the dentist's niece Darla was coming in a week to an appointment with her uncle. Nemo was her present. She came approximately 5-7 days after Nemo was captured/taken. That would leave 19 days unaccounted for the time taken for Marlin to get there. Marlin got there the same day that Darla came to see her uncle. Oct 1, 2023 at 10:13

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, 2015 at 21:24
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    @OrangeDog Sydney is the capital of the state of New South Wales Jun 19, 2015 at 22:23

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