Whether you are a kid or not, these fast facts are great to learn for a bit of fun. The Old Farmer’s Almanac for Kids, Volume 5, shares info about the fastest people, animals, insects, and machines in the world.
Fastest Reptile: The leatherback sea turtle. 22 mph. Although these reptiles move slowly on land, their big front flippers make them fast underwater swimmers.
Fastest Fish: The sailfish. 68 mph. Istiophorus platypterus can weigh up to 220 pounds.
Fastest Land Animal: The cheetah. 61 mph. Sarah, an 11-year-old cheetah at the Cincinnati Zoo in Ohio, set a new land-speed record on June 20, 2012, by running 109 yards in 5.95 seconds, a sprint during which she was clocked at 61 mph!
Fastest Flying Insect: The horsefly. 90 mph. Compare its speed to that of a housefly, whose top speed is only 4.5 mph.
Fastest Creature on Earth: The peregrine falcon. 200 mph. When this bird dives for its prey, it “falls” out of the sky at speeds that no other bird or animal can match.
Fastest Motorcycle: The Dodge Tomahawk. 350 mph. It uses a simple 2-speed manual transmission system.
Fastest Two-Legged Robot: 6.8 mph. Mabel, a two-legged robot that was built at the University of Michigan in 2008, has knees that enable it to walk and run like a human.
Fastest Roller Coaster: 149 mph. Formula Rossa at Ferrari World, which opened on October 27, 2010, in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. It goes from 0 to 149 mph in 4 seconds.
Fastest Car: 267 mph. The 2011 Bugatti Veyron Super Sport is the world’s fastest car that can be driven legally on the street (as well as on a racetrack). It costs about $2.5 million.
Fastest Baseball Pitch: 105.1 mph. Aroldis Chapman of the Cincinnati Reds. He set this Major League Baseball record with his fastball thrown on September 24, 2010.
Fastest Ice Hockey Slap Shot: 110 mph. Denis Kulyash of Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League. He set this world record at a KHL all-star game in St. Petersburg, Russia, on February 5, 2011.
Fastest Tennis Serve: 163.4 mph. Sam Groth from Australia. He set this record in South Korea on May 9, 2012. (He hit two other record-breaking serves in the same match!)
Fastest Dog to Pop 100 Balloons: 44.49 seconds. Anastasia, a Jack Russell terrier. She set this record in Los Angeles, California, on February 24, 2008.
Fastest Human to Run 5k (3.1 miles) in Swim Fins While Juggling: 32 minutes, 3.77 seconds. Ashrita Furman from Queens, New York. He set this record in the Czech Republic on May 30, 2012.
Fastest Dining Set: 130 mph. A dining room table set for six. Perry Watkins of Buckinghamshire, England, set this record while driving the table, which had been motorized, on a racetrack.