Look around and you’ll see that we are obsessed with speed. Our cars are getting faster, our athletes are getting faster, computer and the internet are getting faster and even our super heroes move faster than speeding bullets. Our obsession with ‘The Fastest’ seems to apply to nearly everything. From transportation to entertainment to military weaponry.
1. Fastest Train
Trains have been hauling Freight and people around for hundreds of years. It’s an older form of Transportation which has constantly been upgraded with new technology. Today, trains can go pretty fast and the fastest one on record can be found in Japan. Although it’s still being tested, the Japanese mag-lev train uses magnets to reduce friction between the wheels and the track. This has enabled the train to reach the record speed of 374MPH. Where this train gets put into full operation, its passengers will be able to travel at speeds of nearly a mile every 10 seconds.
2. Fastest Elevator
We don’t often think of elevators as being faster than one another, but designers of new buildings want to ensure their structures have the best and fastest mode of transportation. When China’s newest and tallest building, the Shanghai Tower, opens November 2016 it will have the fastest elevator in the world. Using aluminum and a lot of carbon fiber, designers at Mitsubishi Electric created a rather futuristic looking elevator. Its cars can reach speeds of over 40MPH and get people from the basement to the 119th floor in just 55 seconds.
3. Fastest Car
Many people think the 270MPH Hennessy Venom GT is the fastest car on the planet. In terms of production cars, they are right. For all cars, however, no one can come close to the thrust SSC. In 1997, this car reached the absolutely insane speed of 763MPH. That’s Mach 1.02, which is faster than the speed of sound. The thrust SSC has the aerodynamics of a dart. It also received considerable help from its two Rolls-Royce jet engines – the same engines used in the RAFS F4 phantom fighter jets.
4. Fastest Manned Aircraft
Today, it’s not uncommon for jet aircrafts to reach speeds in excess of Mach 2, or twice the speed of sound. The United States and Russia have even produced Jets capable of Mach 3 including the SR-71 blackbird and the MIG-25 Foxbat. In terms of the fastest manned aircraft ever nothing comes close to the rocket powered X-15. This American hypersonic aircraft was basically a manned missile and set a number of altitude and speed records in the 1960s. In 1967, the X-15 reached a top speed of 4,519 MPH or Mach 6.72.
5. Fastest Fish
We know that some fish can move pretty fast but no one ever really understands just how quick some species of fish can be. Enter the sailfish. In the underwater world, this guy is like an F1 racer. The sailfish is distinct thanks to its long and pointy bill and large dorsal fin. This fish has been clocked at 70 MPH which is the same neighborhood as a cheetah. To put that in a different perspective, the sailfish can swim at or faster than the posted speed limits on the American interstate system.
6. Fastest Humans
Generally, this record is measured by who holds the record for the 100M sprint. Over the years, humans have become faster and the record time keeps getting smaller and smaller. Currently, the fastest men and women are Jamaican Usain Bolt and American Florence Griffith Joyner. In 2009, bolt ran the 100M in 9.58 seconds while Griffith Joyner posted a 10.48 second result in 1988. In the case of bolt, he reached speeds as high as 30 MPH during his record breaking sprint.
7. Fastest Animal
In the animal kingdom, the Cheetah is the fastest land animal but it has nothing on the Peregrine Falcon. This bird is known to be able to cruise at the speed of over 60 MPH while its powerful eyes scan for prey. When it comes time to hunt and kill the Peregrine will go into a dive to strike its prey in mid-air. In these instances, the Falcon has been recorded at speeds of over 240 MPH. In fact, the Peregrine is so fast that it can kill its prey and have time to circle back around to pick up the falling remains well before they hit the ground.
8. Fastest Boat
If you’ve ever watched speed boat racing you know these crafts can get going pretty fast. You’ll also know that they can get unstable pretty quickly, resulting in a spectacular crash. In the world of fastest boats, the title belongs to Ken Warby and the spirit of Australia. In 1978 Ken piloted this jet engine powered boat to a record top speed of just over 317 MPH. Since then, many have tried and failed to break this record set nearly 40 years ago.
9. Fastest Roller Coaster
When it comes to pushing the limits of size, height and speed look no further than roller coasters. Of course, since we’re interested in the fastest roller coaster, we have to travel all the way to Abu Dhabi to locate the record holder. Here you’ll find a Ferrari world, a Ferrari theme park where you’d expect speed. The Park is home to the formula Rossa, currently the fastest roller coaster in the world. Those who ride the formula Rossa will get up to a top speed of 149 MPH. That’s over 20 MPH faster than the kingda founded Six Flags Great Adventure in the United States.
10. Fastest Submarine
In their early days, submarines were rather slow moving vehicles which rarely came close to breaking 20 MPH. Competition during the Cold War pushed designs to the limit and created submarines with much greater underwater speed. In the 1960s, the Soviet Union built the S- 162, a submarine that used new design technology and was powered by two nuclear reactors. The S- 162 was extraordinarily fast and in the early 1970s set the speed record at just over 51 MPH. Officially, no submarine has surpassed it since.