Walking On Water? No Problem For The Jesus Lizard

The basilisk lizard doesn't have the nickname "Jesus Christ lizard" for no good reason. This small green lizard can actually walk on water. And not just walk, but run on top of water at speeds up to 5 feet per second. This natural superpower is possible due to the long toes of the lizard's back legs and extra skin that traps little pockets of air between the foot and surface of the water. The lizard whips its legs around like windmills to generate the speed, and hold its tail up in order to retain balance. But they're not running all the time; the lizards usually only run on water when startled, and young lizards do it more frequently than older ones.

Key Facts In This Video

  1. The "Jesus lizard" can actually run on top of water. 00:30

  2. The Jesus lizard can run on water at speeds up to 5 feet per second. 01:01

Written by Curiosity Staff February 16, 2016

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