Fastest Things in The World (With Technology)

Posted in Labels: ,

 Fastest Things in The World

Fastest roller coaster

Hydraulic motors propel riders of this roller coaster from zero to top speed in mere seconds.

Speed: Positively face-peeling. And the ride's hill is double-digit stories high.

Where: Ride it at a U.S. amusement park.

Price: Built in 2005 at a multimillion-dollar price.

See: Riders' amateur videos.

Compare: The fast roller coaster could travel from Chicago to this U.S. city in just 60 minutes.

Athletes and cars aren't the only ones with a need for speed. Animals, astrophysicists and riders of roller coasters also pursue jaw-dropping velocities. Here are some of the fastest things in the world.

Fastest animal

Yes, it's a cat. Yes, one is the mascot of a crispy cheesy snack.

Speed: Scientists have clocked an adult female Acinonyx jubatus at this velocity.

Where: Sub-Saharan Africa and central Eurasia, as seen on its territory map.

See: Here's video, plus the National Zoo's live webcam.

Compare: Almost half as slow, a North American animal is faster over long distance.

Fastest airplane

This record has held since 1967. We're talking with a human pilot, not unmanned.

Speed: The North American X-15 hit Mach 6.72, which is this in miles per hour.

Where: Over Murdock Dry Lake, Calif., though the plane didn't take off there. Why?

See: Watch videos of the X-15; visit one at this museum.

Compare: If commercial flights were this fast, L.A. to New York City would take 32 minutes.

Fastest home Internet service

Have typical broadband? Now, imagine this many times quicker.

Speed: Whoa. Yes, gigabytes. With a "g."

Where: Palo Alto? Redmond? Sorry. It's this Southern city.

Price: Ultra-expensive monthly fee.

See: Your current connection speed.

Compare: In five minutes, says the mayor, you download this institution's contents.

Fastest lava flow

Molten rock traveled record speeds in 1977 from the Nyiragongo volcano.

Speed: Oozed almost 40 mph. Typically, lava ... flows ... slowly.

Where: In a country that rhymes with "Nyiragongo."

Price: The eruption cost 2,000 lives.

See: Recent activity. Nyiragongo remains active.

Compare: Could one of the world's fastest men have outrun it? Nope

Fastest lawn mower

U.K.'s Don Wales snagged the title this spring. Was he actually cutting grass?

Speed: The mower hit this top speed, enough for a ticket in every U.S. state.

Where: Achieved in Britain at a famous site for speed records.

See: Video of the mower in action.

Compare: Wales could mow a soccer field this quickly.

Fastest wind

Sorry, New Hampshire. Mount Washington's 1934 record has been beaten.

Speed: During this weather event, sensors measured a 253-mph gust.

Where: Barrow Island, Australia. The landscape is dotted with insect creations.

See: Gust-free video of the island's offbeat animals.

Compare: Hurricane Katrina's landfall speed was about half as fast.

Fastest talker

In 1995,Sean Shannon rapidly recited a famous soliloquy.

Speed: He said the whole thing in 23.8 seconds, or this many words per minute.

Where: The performance was in a Scottish city; Shannon hails from another land.

See: The fastest talker in action.

Compare: Watch Laurence Olivier or Mel Gibson recite the same speech.

Fastest caterpillar

Zippy critter Pleuroptya ruralis, who turns into this rather drab moth (pic).

Speed: 15 inches per second, or this many miles per hour

Where: Across Europe, usually on the plant it eats

See: Photos of the speedy critters; videos of other fast caterpillars

Compare: Adjusted for size, its equivalent speed is faster than a cheetah.

Fastest manmade object

The ultimate prize goes to 1976's Helios 2 deep-space probe.

Speed: The craft reached 153,800 mph. Where was it going in such a hurry?

Where: Launched from Florida, Helios 2 was fastest 28 million miles from the sun.

Price: NASA split the bill with this country's space program.

See: Photos of Helios 2

Compare: The space shuttle (next launch?) orbits Earth about nine times more slowly.