Speed freaks

This week marks 60 years since Roger Bannister broke the 4-minute mile. Here we look at some of the fastest records on our planet today

462791635Fastest animal

The fastest member of the animal kingdom, the highflying Peregrine Falcon, can exceed speeds of 200 mph (325km/h) when diving to catch its prey.

Fastest fish

Sailfish have been clocked at speeds of up to 68mph (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.

Fastest roller coaster

The fastest roller coaster on the planet reaches an astonishing top speed of 149.1mph (240 kmh). Formula Rossa, which can be found in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, accelerates from 0 to 100km (62miles) in 2 seconds.

Fastest man

In 2009 Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt broke the world record for the 100m with a time of 9.58 seconds. Born in 1986, he’s the first man to win six Olympic Gold Medals in sprinting and is an eight-time World champion.

Fastest woman

In 1988 American Florence Griffith-Joyner ran the 100m 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.

Fastest train

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

Fastest lift

Two high-speed lifts in Taipei 101, the world’s tallest building situated in Taipei, Taiwan, have a maximum speed of 1,010m/min (3,313ft/min), equivalent to 60.6km/h (37.6mph). The lifts take just 40 seconds from ground level to the 89th floor, situated at 382m (1,253ft), and have atmospheric pressure regulatory systems to avoid ears ‘popping’ for the occupants.

Fastest eater

Joey “Jaws” Chestnut is the current World Champion of Competitive Eating. In 2007 he broke a world record when he inhaled 66 hotdogs (along with their buns) in 12 minutes.

Fastest wind speed

The fastest wind speed on record was measured in an F5 tornado near Oklahoma City in 1999. The speeds exceeded 300mph (484 km/h).

Fastest time to escape from a pair of handcuffs (double locked)

The fastest handcuff escape is 1.59 sec and was achieved by Chad Netherland (USA) in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, on 8 January 2011.

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