24 Fastest Things In The World [As of 2024]

We all know the fastest possible speed in the universe is the speed of light, but what about the fastest production car, fastest land animal, fastest missile, or the fastest supercomputer?

Below is an interesting list of some of the fastest things on Earth that are fun to know. We have covered diverse sectors, from the natural world’s swiftest creatures to groundbreaking achievements in science, technology, business, and beyond.

24. Fastest Roller Coaster – Formula Rossa in Abu Dhabi

Formula Rossa roller coaster | Image Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Speed: 149.1 mph

The title of the world’s fastest roller coaster goes to Formula Rossa, a steel-launched roller coaster located at Ferrari World amusement park in Abu Dhabi, UAE. It is manufactured by Intamin and inaugurated on 4 November 2010.

The maximum speed of Formula Rossa is 149.1 mph (240 km/h), about 21 miles per hour more than the second-fastest roller coaster, Kingda Ka. A modern hydraulic launch system allows the coaster to reach its maximum speed in 4.9 seconds. Riders experience 4.8 G force throughout the journey.

23. Fastest Helicopter – Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey

An MV-22 of the U.S. Marine Corps refueling before a mission in Iraq, 2008

Maximum Speed: 351 mph or 305 knots at 15,000 feet

The V-22 Osprey is an advanced military aircraft that combines the vertical takeoff and landing functionality of a typical helicopter with the long-range and high-speed capability of a fixed-wing turboprop aircraft.

It is powered by two Rolls-Royce T406-AD-400 (also known as AE 1107C-Liberty) engines, each delivering 6,150 hp or shaft horsepower. The V-22 Osprey has a maximum speed of 351 mph (at 15,000 ft), while its maximum cruise speed is 306.1 mph.

Its speed is comparable to some of the larger military transport aircraft, such as the Lockheed C-130, and it can easily outrun conventional helicopters.

This helicopter can tilt its engine (nacelles) to 80 degrees to take off quickly and reach high altitudes and fast speeds. What’s cool is that the controls are so advanced that it can hover in the air even when the wind is not very strong, and the pilot doesn’t need to constantly steer it.

22. Fastest Car Crash Survived – 610 Miles Per Hour

What is the fastest car crash that anyone has survived? The answer is 610 mph or 981 km/h.

In November 1966, drag racer and world land speed record holder Art Arfons crashed his jet-powered Green Monster automobile at a ferocious speed of 610 mph at Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. Astonishingly, not only did Afrons survive, but he came out with just minor burns and bruises.

Considering that most modern vehicle safety tests are performed at speeds of 50-65 km/h (to assess the safety of road-legal cars), surviving at more than 15 times that speed is almost surreal.

21. Fastest Ambulance – Modified Lotus Evora

Top Speed: 245.4 miles per hour

HyperSport Responder is considered the fastest ambulance in the world. It is a unique ambulance developed and manufactured by W Motors, a Dubai-based company. The company is also known for creating the Lykan HyperSport, a highly exclusive and rare hypercar. 

HyperSport Responder boasts an astonishing top speed of 395 kilometers per hour. It costs nearly 13 million AED (United Arab Emirates Dirhams), which underscores its exclusivity and high-end features.

20. Fastest Growing Plant – Bamboo

Maximum growth rate: 4 feet in one day 

Bamboo is the fastest-growing plant on Earth. It’s a type of grass that can grow incredibly quickly under the right conditions. 

Some species of bamboo have been known to grow as much as 4 feet in a single day during its peak growing season. Phyllostachys bambusoides (also called Giant Timber Bamboo), for example, can achieve remarkable growth rates — certain shoots have been documented to extend by as much as 4 feet in just one day. 

Moreover, some bamboo species can grow to impressive heights. The Moso bamboo, for instance, can reach heights of up to 92 feet. 

19. Fastest Eater –  Star-Nosed Mole

Time: 277 milliseconds

The star-nosed mole is the fastest eater among all mammals. It’s incredibly quick at finding, catching, and eating its food, taking only about 277 milliseconds on average. This speedy hunter gets its name from its unique nose, which looks like a star and has 22 small parts called appendages.

These nose parts are super sensitive and have lots of tiny sensors called Eimer’s organs. These sensors help star-nosed moles find their prey even when it’s underwater.

But despite their amazing abilities, some people might not find them very attractive because of their unusual noses. Some consider them one of the ugliest animals on Earth

18. Fastest Production Car – SSC Tuatara

Two-way average speed: 282.9 mph

SSC Tuatara is the most recent production sports car from SSC North America, an exclusive sports car maker based in Richland, Washington state.

The Tuatara became the world’s fastest production car on January 27, 2021, after clocking 282.9 mph or 455.3 km/h at Space Florida Launch and Landing Facility. It broke the record set by Koenigsegg Agera RS. The speed test was later verified by Racelogic, an automotive testing firm specializing in vehicular tracking systems.

On a side note, it was Tuatara’s third attempt at breaking the previous speed record set by Koenigsegg Agera RS (277 mph) in 2017. On its first attempt, the car reportedly achieved a top speed of 316 mph, but was refuted by several independent sources.

In May 2022, Larry Caplin drove his Tuatara car really fast in one direction, reaching a top speed of 295 mph over a distance of 2.3 miles at Space Florida’s Launch and Landing Facility. However, it was a uni-directional top-speed run.

17. Fastest Non-Production Car – ThrustSSC

Thrust SSC on display at Coventry Transport Museum | Image Courtesy: Culture Coventry Trust

Speed record over 1 mile: 763 mph

ThrustSSC, short for Thrust SuperSonic Car, holds the record for the fastest non-production car with a top speed of 763 mph or 1,228 km/h. It is also the first land vehicle on record to break the sound barrier.

ThrustSSC set the record on October 15, 1997, in Black Rock Desert, Nevada. Behind the wheel was Wing Commander Andy Green, a skilled Royal Air Force pilot. 

This high-powered car was equipped with two Rolls-Royce Spey turbofan engines, which together produced a staggering 102,000 brake horsepower (bhp). These engines were originally used in British F-4 Phantom II jet fighters.

16. Fastest Boat – Spirit of Australia

Speed: 317 mph

Spirit of Australia is a wooden speed boat that currently holds the world water speed record. It was designed and built by Ken Warby, an Australian motorboat racer, in the 1970s specifically for setting such records.

On 8 October 1978, Ken Warby set the official world record on his speed boat, clocking over 275.98 knots or 317 mph on the Tumut River in New South Wales, Australia. According to sources, Warby broke his record in the same location a year later with a speed of 300 kN (344 mph), but it was not officially recorded.

The boat is fitted with a single Westinghouse J34 jet engine, which was used in various jet fighters and as a supplementary powerplant in larger aircraft such as Lockheed P2 Neptune in the 1940s and 50s.

15. Fastest Man – Usain Bolt

Usain Bolt during the 2011 World Champions | Image Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons/Stephane Kempinaire

Speed Record: 100 m in 9.58 seconds

The retired Jamaican athlete Usain Bolt is perhaps the greatest sprinter of all time. He is an eleven-time world champion and eight-time Olympic gold medalist in 100 m, 200 m, and 4 x 100 relay events.

In the 2009 World Championships, Bolt finished the 100-meter dash in a world record time of 9.58 seconds, breaking his own record of 9.69 seconds. He also set a 200-meter record of 19.19 seconds at the same event. 

Beyond his athletic prowess, Usain Bolt became a global sports icon and was known for his charismatic personality, celebratory “Lightning Bolt” pose, and engaging interactions with fans and fellow athletes.

14. Fastest Woman – Florence Griffith-Joyner

Speed record: 100 meters in 10.49 seconds

Florence Griffith-Joyner is the fastest woman ever recorded. In the 1988 U.S. Olympic trials, she completed the women’s 100-meter race in 10.49 seconds, a world record that still stands.

She broke the previous record, held by 1984 Gold medalist Evelyn Ashford, by 0.27 seconds. Her astounding 21.34 seconds record in 200 meters in the same Olympic trials also remains unchallenged.

In the 1988 Olympic finals, Griffith-Joyner won gold medals in three track and field events: 100 m, 200 m, and 400 m relay races. She finished the 100-meter sprint in 10.54 seconds.

13. Fastest Land Animal – Cheetah

Top speed: 68-75 mph

This is a no-brainer. Over short distances, Cheetahs can sprint at a top speed of 68-74 mph, and they can accelerate even faster (0-60 in 3 seconds) than most production cars. On a side note, the maximum speed attained by a Cheetah is slightly more than that attained by a pronghorn (55 mph).

The cheetah holds the title of the fastest land animal, with estimated speeds ranging from 80 to 120 km/h (50 to 75 mph). The fastest reliably recorded speeds for cheetahs are between 93 and 98 km/h (58 and 61 mph).

This remarkable speed is facilitated by its physical adaptations, including a slender body, long, slender legs, and an elongated tail. 

12. Fastest Running Insect – Australian Tiger Beetle

Top speed: 5.6 mph  

Rivacindela hudsoni, a ground beetle species from genus Rivacindela of subfamily Cicindelnae (tiger beetle), is the fastest running insect known on Earth that can run at a top speed of 5.6 miles per hour or 120 body lengths per second.

It was first discovered in 1996 by Dutch researchers while performing tests on two species of tiger beetles found in Australia, Rivancidela hudsoni and Rivancidela eburneola (many sources address them as Cicindela, i.e., Cicindela hudsoni and C.eburneola). Both species have vestigial wings and thus are flightless.

11. Fastest Bird – Peregrine Falcon

A male peregrine falcon 

Maximum airspeed: 242 mph (389 km/h)

The peregrine is a large falcon species with a body length of anywhere between 13 inches to 23 inches and a wingspan of 47 inches. Peregrine falcons are known for their distinctive high-speed dive or ‘hunting stoop,’ during which they can achieve maximum airspeeds of more than 200 mph.

In a hunting stoop, a peregrine falcon makes a steep dive from a considerable height in the sky towards its prey. According to National Geographic, the highest recorded speed of a peregrine falcon during a hunting stoop is 242 mph.

Read: 12 Fastest Animals In The World

10. Fastest Fish – Sailfish

Top speed: 68 mph

Sailfish is a member of the billfish family (Istiophoridae), which is mostly found in colder seas. The species is easily recognized by its relatively huge dorsal fin and a long, spear-like bill extending from its upper jaw.

Although not universally accepted, the sailfish is largely believed to be the fastest marine animal on earth. The sailfish is definitely one of the fastest fish species over short distances.

Studies in the early and mid-1900s estimated that the Atlantic sailfish could swim at a maximum speed of 68 mph in short bursts. Several sources have also reported a similar figure.

However, according to a study conducted in 2015, the maximum speed at which a sailfish can swim is no higher than 10 m/s or 22 mph.

9. Fastest Racket Sport – Badminton

Olympics 2012 badminton finals (mixed doubles) | Image Courtesy: Peter/Flickr

Maximum Speed: +186 mph

A shuttlecock, which is used during a game of badminton as a projectile, can reach speeds of more than 186 mph or 300 km/h, making badminton the fastest racket sport in the world.

Shuttlecock, also known as a birdie, is of two types: feathered, made of feathers (goose or duck), and synthetic, made of plastics. Feathered shuttles travel much faster than synthetic ones after the initial impact from rackets, but they also slow down more rapidly due to higher drag.

A feathered shuttlecock of the highest quality can reach speeds of anywhere between 186 mph and 200 mph at one point during the flight.

8. Fastest Commercial Train – Shanghai Maglev

Top Speed: 268 mph (431 km/h)

Shanghai Maglev is the world’s oldest and fastest commercial electric train operating in Shanghai’s Pudong district in China. It is capable of reaching remarkable speeds, with its top operational speed being approximately 268 miles per hour. 

The entire project (also known as Shanghai Transrapid), which includes two 18.9 miles (30.5 km) long tracks and terminals, took US$1.33 billion and over two and a half years to complete.

The train set for Shanghai Transrapid was built by a joint collaboration between two German companies, Siemens and ThyssenKrupp. Another German firm, Vahle. Inc. was involved in the electrification of the line. 

7. Fastest Internet Speed – Recorded In Japan

Peak Speed: 319 Tbps

The fastest internet speed ever recorded is 319 terabits per second (Tbps). This is a monumental achievement in the field of telecommunications and data transfer. 

To put this into perspective, it is approximately 7.6 million times faster than the average home internet speed in the United States, which is around 42 megabits per second (Mbps). 

This groundbreaking achievement was realized by a team of dedicated researchers at Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT). The data transfer occurred over a distance of 3,001 kilometers (about 1,864 miles). 

6. Fastest Cruise Missile – BrahMos

Maximum Speed: Mach 3.5
Place of origin: India

BrahMos is a medium-range cruise missile that uses a ramjet engine to maintain supersonic speeds throughout its flight. It is renowned for being the fastest supersonic cruise missile in the world, capable of reaching speeds of Mach 3.5. 

One of the key strengths of the BrahMos is its versatility in terms of launch platforms. It can be launched from fighter aircraft, ships, submarines, and Transporter-Erector-Launcher (TEL) vehicles.

A hypersonic version of the missile called BrahMos-II is also under development. It is expected to achieve even higher speeds, ranging between Mach 7 and 8. 

5. Fastest Supercomputer – Frontier in USA

Performance: 1.102 exaFLOPS or 1.102 quintillion operations per second

Frontier earned the title of the world’s fastest supercomputer when it became operational in 2022. 

It is powered by a massive array of 9,472 AMD Epyc Trento CPUs, each with 64 cores running at 2 GHz. This results in a total of 606,208 CPU cores. It also boasts 37,888 Radeon Instinct MI250X GPUs, providing a whopping 8,335,360 GPU cores.

The supercomputer has a high-speed storage system with a staggering 75 terabytes per second for reading data, 35 terabytes per second for writing data, and the capability to handle 15 billion input/output operations per second.

As for power consumption, Frontier uses 21 megawatts, which is slightly higher than its predecessor Summit’s 13 megawatts. Although it requires a significant amount of power, it’s a crucial tool for scientists and engineers, enabling them to tackle some of the most complex problems and simulations in the world. 

4. Fastest Moving Star (in Our Galaxy) – S4714

Maximum velocity: 15,000 miles per second or 8% of the speed of light

In the center of our Milky Way galaxy is a supermassive black hole, designated as Sagittarius A (Sgr A), that pulls hundreds of nearby stars into its orbit and propels them into extreme speeds through gravitational boost. Most of the fastest-moving stars in the galaxy are located in that region.

The fastest-moving star in our galaxy is S4717, which has a velocity of 15,000 miles per second or 8% of the speed of light. It completes an orbit around the Sgr A in 12 years.

In comparison, the sun and our entire solar system are moving at an average velocity of 450,000 mph or 720,000 mp/h about the center of the Milky Way galaxy. Even with this speed, it takes the sun about 230 million years to make a single orbit around the galaxy.

In 2023, astronomers found another superfast star in our galaxy. It is a white dwarf named J0927. It is moving incredibly quickly at a speed of 5.112 million miles per hour

J0927 is special because it’s a hypervelocity star, which means it’s moving so fast that one day, it will break free from the Milky Way’s gravity. 

3. Fastest Spacecraft – NASA’s Parker Solar Probe

Parker Solar Probe testing at Astrotech Payload Processing Facility | Image Courtesy: NASA/Glenn Benson

Relative Velocity: 163 kilometers per second

The Parker Solar Probe was launched in 2018 by NASA to closely study the outermost layer (corona) of the Sun. It is the first-ever spacecraft to fly into the solar corona. On 29 April 2021, the probe made its closest approach to the solar surface at 6.5 million miles or 10.5 million kilometers. The distance between the Earth and the Sun is approximately 93 million miles.

During this phase, the maximum velocity (relative to the Sun) of the Parker Solar Probe was recorded at 150 kilometers per second (93 miles per second). But this is not the complete story.

According to its mission profile and flight trajectory, the Parker Solar Probe is expected to reach 4.3 million miles to 3.8  million miles of the Sun’s surface during its final stages by the end of 2025. It will achieve that with an anticipated total velocity of more than 190 km/s.

This incredible speed translates to approximately 0.064% of the speed of light, making it the fastest human-made object ever constructed. 

Read: World’s Fastest Spinning Object Revolves At 300 Billion RPM

2. Fastest Hypothetical Particle – Tachyon

A tachyon or tachyonic particle is a hypothetical particle that is believed to be faster than the speed of light. The word ‘Tachyon‘ was first coined by Gerald Feinberg in 1967, but it was first proposed by German physicist Arnold Sommerfeld.

Some studies suggest that tachyons (unlike ordinary particles) gain speed when their energy decreases and vice-versa. The slowest speed achieved by tachyons is the speed of light.

It is important to note that tachyons are purely theoretical at this point. Despite numerous experiments in astrophysics and particle physics, there is no solid evidence for the existence of tachyons. Theoretical frameworks that include tachyons (like string theory) remain unproven and speculative. 

1. Fastest Achievable Speed – Speed of Light

The speed of light is the maximum speed at which any matter, signal, or energy can travel through space. Its exact value is 299,792,458 meters per second (about 186,282.397 miles per second).

The speed of light is a universal constant and has a fundamental role in physics. It is the fastest achievable speed in our current understanding of the physical universe, acting as a universal speed limit as per the principles of special relativity.

The Large Hardon Collider at CERN can accelerate protons to approximately 99.9999991% of the speed of light (about 1.08 billion km/h or 671 million mph). 

Read More 

13 Fastest Supercomputers In The World

Giant Machine Accelerates Particles To 99.9999999985% Of The Speed of Light

Written by
Bipro Das

I am a content writer and researcher with over seven years of experience covering all gaming and anime topics. I also have a keen interest in the retail sector and often write about the business models/strategies of popular brands.

I started content writing after completing my graduation. After writing tech-related things and other long-form content for 2-3 years, I found my calling with games and anime. Now, I get to find new games and write features and previews.

When not writing for RankRed, I usually prefer reading investing books or immersing myself in Europa Universalis 4. But I am currently interested in some new JRPGs as well.

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  • Moira Dominique M. Sanchez says:

    Can you tell me the inventors of the fastest objects/vehicles?