The 25 Fastest Things Known To Man

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From the beginning of time we have dedicated countless hours to making everything from our food to our spaceships go just a little bit faster. We are obsessed with speed, and even the rate at which we break our own records is astounding. So get reading. Fast! By the time you reach the bottom of this page our list of the fastest things known to man will probably be outdated.

25. Fastest Rapper

Wikimedia In 2005, NoClue, the American rapper from Seattle obtained the title of “fastest rap MC” in the Guiness Book of World Records when he did 723 syllables in 51.27 seconds. That works out to about 14.1 syllables per second.

24. Fastest Guitar Player

Guinness Book of World Records John Taylor aka Dr. Hot Licks broke the previous world record when he played “flight of the bumblebee” at 600 beats per minute perfectly…twice.

23. Fastest Land Animal

National Geographic By far the fastest land animal it can reach speeds of up to 75mph but after about 500 meters it has to stop and take a breather. It’s acceleration, however, is where it really shines as it can get from 0 to 60 mph in roughly three seconds. That’s faster than most production cars.

22. Fastest Bird

Greg Hume The fastest member of the animal kingdom, the high flying Peregrine Falcon, can exceed speeds of 200 mph (325km/h) when diving to catch its prey. They are quite literally at the top of their food chain.

21. Fastest Fish

National Geographic The cheetah of the sea, sailfish have been clocked at speeds of up to 68 mph (110km/h). Although they are known for the gigantic “sail” spanning the length of their backs they usually keep these folded down while speeding through the water.

20. Fastest Roller Coaster

Jazon88 At a top speed of 150mph the recently constructed Formula Rossa is the world’s fastest roller coaster. It is located at Ferrari World in Abu Dubai, United Arab Emirates and reaches its top speed in less than 5 seconds using a hydraulic launch system.

19. Fastest Computer Although this one will probably be outdated by the time this pages finishes loading on your screen, the fastest computer in the world at the time of this writing is Japan’s “K” computer built by Fujitsu Co. The craziest part? Its still under construction. By November 2012 it should be fully operational, requiring about 9.89 MW of power, or roughly the same amount as 10,000 suburban homes.

18. Fastest Production Car

xavigivax With a top speed of 268mph (431 km/h) the Bugatti Veyron EB 16.4 is the fastest street-legal car in the world. At this speed its engine consumes 45,000 liters of air per minute, which is about the same amount an average human breathes in 4 days.

17. Fastest Non Production Car

cmglee On October 15, 1997 the rocket powered car Thrust SSC hit a speed of 763 mph. Driven by fighter pilot Andy Green through the Nevada desert it is the first car to break the sound barrier.

16. Fastest Man

Wikimedia In 2009 Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt broke the world record for the 100 meter dash with a time of 9.58 seconds. Born in 1986, he is a 5 time world and three time Olympic gold medalist who also holds world records in the 200m and 4x100m relay.

15. Fastest Woman

Beijing 2008 Olympic Games In 1988 American Florenc Griffith-Joyner ran the 100m dash in 10.49 seconds, a record that is yet to be broken. Granted, there has been some controversy over the measurement, but the Association of Track and Field Statisticians has let the record stand.

14. Fastest Train

BBC News In December 2003 a the Japanese JR-Maglev reached 361mph (581km/h) on a magnetic levitation track with three cars. This is widely held to the be the fastest speed recorded for a railed vehicle not counting military rocket sleds that are used to test missiles.

13. Fastest Manned Plane

NASA The North American X-15 was a part of the X-series of aircraft produced for the US Air Force in the 1950’s. It currently holds the record for fastest speed achieved by a manned, rocketpowered aircraft at 4,519 mph (7,273 km/h). Not only did they go fast though, they also went high. So high in fact that several of the pilots were later awarded astranaut wings by NASA.

12. Fastest Submersible

US Navy Because the fastest submerged objects (excluding missiles) in the world are all top secret military vessels it is hard to get reliable data on this subject. The fastest speed being claimed by any government out there however, was achieved by the Soviet K-162 in 1969. It allegedly reached speeds of up to 44.7 knots on trials which is already about 15 knots above any “verified” record.

11. Fastest Helicopter For almost a quarter of a century the top speed for a helicopter was 249mph (216 knots) set by a modified Westland Lynx in 1986. In July 2010 however, the Sikorsky X2 broke the barrier with a speed of 258mph over West Palm Beach, FL. By comparison, an Apache attack helicopter tops out at around 175 mph.

10. Fastest Boat

Wikimedia The World Unlimited Water Speed Record is the officially recognized fastest speed achieved by a water-borne vehicle. It is currently held by the Spirit of Australia that topped out at 318 mph (511 km/h) on Blowering Dam in 1978.

9. Fastest Crash Test

EuroNCAP Although EuroNCAP usually crashes vehicles at a measly 40mph to assign production ratings, they decided to do something worthwhile last year when they crashed the Ford Focus, one of their safest vehicles, into a wall at 120mph. Their conclusion? Don’t crash your Ford Focus into a wall at 120mph.

8. Fastest Elevator

Tatoni Thomas Not counting the fact that this record is soon to be broken by Mitsubishi in the Shanghai Tower, the current record is held by the Taipei Tower elevators in Taiwan that shuttle people up and down at a speed of about 60km/h. No time for small talk in that town.

7. Fastest Racket Sport

dee’lite In Badminton the shuttlecock (birdie) can easily travel at speeds of over 200 mph which is pretty good for a piece of cork impaled on a bunch of goose feathers.

6. Fastest Eater

Wikimedia This one is sure to be controversial. Although the world famous Takeru “Tsunami” Kobayashi still holds the record for most hot dogs consumed in 10 minutes with 69, Joey “Jaws” Chestnut is now officially recognized by the International Federation of Competitive Eating as the World Champion. In 2007 he broke a world record when he inhaled 66 hotdogs (along with their buns) in 12 minutes, successfully warding off the “Tsunami”.

5. Fastest Tornado

Wikimedia Technically when we say “fastest tornado” we are referring to the wind speed, not forward motion. With that said, the fastest wind speed on record was measured in an F5 tornado near Oklahoma City in 1999. The speeds exceeded 300 mph (484 km/h). On the Fujita scale this means it was barely scraping an F6 and no tornado has ever been classified as an F6.

4. Fastest Land Vehicle

Wikimedia Remember those military rocket sleds? Well they own the fastest land based speed record at mach 8.5. No humans were involved.

3. Fastest Spacecraft

NASA Calculating the speed of a spacecraft is a lot harder than simply pulling out your stopwatch. You have to account for the many possible frames of reference, two popular ones being the Earth and the Sun. While the fastest launch speed was achieved by New Horizons (currently en route to Pluto) at 36,000 mph (58,000 km/h), the fastest interstellar spacecraft is Voyager 1 which is moving away from the sun at 38,500 mph (62,000 km/h).

2. Fastest Speed

Identity Photography Those of you who have read our list of25 Reasons Not To Upset Chuck Norrisknow that there is only 1 thing that can travel faster than the speed of light. According to special relativity, however, it requires infinite energy to achieve this, making it the official cosmic speed limit.

1. Fastest Particle

NASA Goddard Although we just went on about how photons are the fastest particles in the universe (except for two very deadly roundhouse kick delivering mechanisms), scientists have been debating whether or not this is in fact true ever since Einstein came out with his theory. Although tachyons (hypothetical particles that move faster than light) have been proposed in the past, CERN has recently completed experiments where they found muon neutrinos that allegedly covered the distance between Geneva Switzerland and Gran Sasso, Italy 60 nanoseconds faster than light would have. As of yet, however, they have refrained from drawing conclusions from the experiment so the photon is still king.

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