Can Moose Run On Water?

It’s no secret the moose are incredibly large creatures. If you’ve ever seen one up close, you will know the sheer magnitude of their size. 

In fact, when stood normally – they can be around 7 or 8 feet. If they stand upright, they can be as much as around 10 feet! 

So, with such a large size – is it even possible for them to run on water? 

Is It True?

As humans, we cannot run on water unless the conditions are just right – and even then, the likelihood is low. It probably comes as no surprise then that a moose will not be able to run on water. 

You may have seen a viral video that shows a moose running on water recently – but the truth is, the moose was actually striding through a very shallow (for itself) bit of water. 

As moose are incredibly tall creatures, they can stand in deeper areas of water and therefore can move through the water. In fact, there is only one creature on the planet that is able to run on water. 

Running On Water – Earth 

The only creature that is able to run on water on earth is the basilisk lizard which is sometimes known as the Jesus lizard because of this ability. 

The way it can do this is by creating small pockets of air from the feet as they make contact with the water, which sort of propels them upwards. Technically, they’re gliding over the water. They can do this for around a length of 15 or so feet. 

You might be wondering then, if this is possible – why can’t humans or indeed, moose, do this then? It’s all about proportionality. 

In order for humans to imitate the Jesus lizard, we would have to hit the water at a pace of 67mph – the amount necessary for this process as it is 15 times larger than the force of our legs. 

If earth didn’t have as much gravity and we had much larger feet, humans would be able to do exactly the same thing as the Jesus lizard but for about 7 seconds.

The problem is, a lot of cars can’t even travel at 67mph, let alone a human! 

Around twenty percent of the earth’s gravity is the maximum gravity that a human can achieve the ability to run on water assuming we also had a small fin. 

To put it simply, for a moose to be able to run on water – even if it had huge feet and a fin – would still be incredibly unlikely! 

If these scenarios were on the moon however, moose and humans could run on water because the moon’s gravity is only 16 percent of earth’s.

How Fast Can A Moose Run?

Even with such a massive size, moose can run incredibly quickly. On land, moose can run as quickly as 35 miles per hour and if they’re just trotting, can travel at around 20 miles per hour. 

Being in water will slow the moose down though, but even in deeper waters – the moose is quite the adept swimmer. 

They have been known to swim at about 6 miles per hour at a distance of 12 and a half miles. For a creature of its size, this is incredibly impressive. 

The largest moose that was ever recorded was around 1800 pounds and could still run and swim at these numbers! 

Can A Moose Jump?

Most moose are good at jumping and people who live in areas that moose frequent should consider getting large fences to prevent them coming onto their property. 

Standard fences aren’t good enough as a moose can clear large fences like highway barriers with ease. 

If you think a fence isn’t necessary to keep the moose from your property – you might be surprised to hear that moose can be very dangerous! 

Moose don’t normally act aggressively, as it isn’t in their nature. However, when threatened, harassed, tired, hungry or protecting their young – they can be extremely dangerous. Even more so if they are in season. 

With their sheer size, speed, antlers and weight – a moose can kill you if it so chooses! In Alaska alone, more people are injured by moose attacks than by bear attacks every year. 

The advice is that if you are observing a moose and its behavior alters rapidly or in any way – you are probably bothering the moose and it is recommended that you leave the moose alone or leave the area.

Where Exactly Do Moose Live?

Moose are pretty much native to North America, living in the northern areas of the United States and in Canada. They tend to live in colder parts of the country.

You’re more likely to see a moose sliding over a frozen lake than running on the water! 

Moose love water. Not only do they enjoy diving into water as a game, but they are prone to getting extremely warm and overheating. The water cools them down and makes them feel better.

A lot of their diet is found around watered areas too. Aquatic vegetation is what the majority of their diet consists of, which can usually be found at the lakeside or the bottom of watered areas. 

Better still, the natural predators of moose such as the wolves, will be swept away in strong currents of water, or might even avoid the water altogether. This means the moose also uses the water as a type of protection! 


To sum it all up, moose cannot run on water. Instead, they are big fans of water as it protects them, cools them, feeds them and provides an area of socialising. 

If you see a moose in the water and you think it is running on the water, much like the viral video – the likelihood is that it is an optical illusion and the moose is in fact running through the water!

George Alexander
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