Humans love speed and have spent a great deal of time inventing and improving so that we can go faster and faster. Until fairly recently, the fastest thing we knew, apart from light was the speed of sound. Travelling at 767 mph, sound was faster than any machine we had created. This all changed in 1947, when Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier in his Bell X-1 aircraft called Glamorous Glennis. That was the pinnacle moment, the bar had been set and now the contest began to go even faster. So, what are the fastest things on the planet?
Unofficially, the fastest production road car in the world is the Hennessey Venom GT which reached speeds of 270 mph in 2014. It was unofficial because it only completed one run whereas a Guinness Record requires two runs in two directions. Officially, the record belongs to the Bugatti Veyron SuperSport which can do 0-60 in a mere 2.4 seconds! Built to incredible standards you can be sure that specialist equipment will have been used much like the Euromac Punching Machines that are used to help produce shaped metal.
The fastest non-production car is the British jet-propelled Thrust SSC. This was the first car to break the sound barrier in 1997 when it reached a staggering speed of 763 mph. It was driven by an RAF pilot, Andy Grain in the Black Rock Desert, Nevada. The car is propelled by two Space Turbo fan engines and guzzles 18 litres of fuel per second. It’s 16.5 m long and weighs 10.5 tonnes!
The world’s fastest rollercoaster can be found in Abu Dhabi and is called the Formula Rossa at Ferrari World. Hydraulic pressure launches to its top speed of 150 mph which is reaches in just 5 seconds. Due to this speed, the track has to be quite long and comes in at 2.2 km. The speed is such that riders have to wear protective eyewear in case they get hit by an insect, which at that speed would feel like a brick!
The fastest animal on earth is a title that belongs to the cheetah. This sleek, graceful cat cuts through the air at speeds up to 75 mph, so could give you a run for your money on the motorway! It can accelerate up to 62 mph in just the first 3 seconds of a sprint – which is more impressive than many of our cars.
The fastest waterslide is the Insano in Brazil. It stands at 41 m high which is the equivalent to a 14 storey building! Riders don’t even touch the slide for most of the journey down as the slide is so steep that riders are in mid-air, only touching water at the end. In reality, it is a 5 second, 65 mph free fall, only to be attempted by the very brave – or daft!
If you’ve ever tried talking really quickly, it’s quite tough without tripping over your own tongue. NoClue is an American rapper who can boast being the world’s fastest rapper. His rapping is so fast, it sounds like nonsense but his record was set in front of a speech therapist and it’s all real words. He managed 723 syllables in less than a minute which amounts to 14.1 syllables per second. That’s one fast talker!