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How Fast Does the Earth Spin? Earth vs The Engineered

How Fast Does the Earth Spin?

Earth spins at an incredible 1000 miles per hour (1600 km/hr).

Think about it: If you stick a giant pole in the ground at the equator, you’d see it spin with a circular velocity of 1600 km/hr.

That’s fast! But how fast is that?

I’m going to show you how Earth’s rotation compares to the fastest things known to man.

And I bet you that you’ll never guess what’s the fastest. Come along and join us to see how Earth’s spin measures up against everything else.

Earth vs. Usain Bolt

Earth Speed: 1600 km/hr
Usain Bolt’s Speed: 44.7km/h

Usain Bolt is insanely fast. With a top speed of about 44.7km/hr (27.8 mph), his stride can break speed limits on some streets.

Despite being the fastest man alive, he staggers behind Earth’s rotation speed. If Usain Bolt kept his top speed for 1 full day, he’d run a bit over 1000 km.

Impressive to say the least. But the Earth’s spin would lap Usain Bolt more than 35 times!

Earth vs Cheetah

Earth Speed: 1600 km/hr
Cheetah’s Speed: 120 km/hr

Cheetahs are the fastest-living land animal. They run in short bursts at speeds up to 120 km/h (75 mph) to catch their prey.

They’re not good long distance runners. But their stride makes them faster than Usain Bolt.

When you compare a cheetah’s top speed to Earth’s spin, it’s still 13 times slower.

Ok, living things on the ground aren’t making the cut. How about something we’ve engineered?

Earth vs Hennessey Venom F5

Earth Speed: 1600 km/hr
Hennessey Venom Speed: 300 km/hr

On the race track, the fastest car in the world is the Hennessey Venom F5. It’s the all-American engineered design with a sick amount of horsepower.

At speeds over 300 km/hr, it takes a special kind of maniac to sit in the driver’s seat. But even with its neck-bending speed, it’s still 5 times slower than the rotation of Earth.

So what about on rails? Can we get even faster?

Earth vs Bullet Train

Earth Speed: 1600 km/hr
Bullet Train Speed: 400 km/hr

The bullet trains in Japan are an engineering marvel. The first thing you’ll notice is its sleek, aerodynamic design.

It’s the apex of human ingenuity on rails capable of reaching speeds up to 400 km/hr. Still, the Earth’s rotation is 4 times faster.

Let’s go to the air. Maybe if we take away the friction of the ground, we can reach speeds even greater.

Earth vs Peregrine Falcon

Earth Speed: 1600 km/hr
Peregrine Falcon Speed: 385 km/hr

Peregrine falcons are the fastest animal in the air. And the truth is, it’s the fastest on land and sea too.

During dives, they can reach speeds up to 385 km/h (240 mph). That’s faster than the Hennessey Venom F5.

But if you compare it to our spinning Earth, it’s still 4 times slower.

Earth vs Speeding Bullet

Earth Speed: 1600 km/hr
Bullet Speed: 5150 km/hr

At this point, nothing has even come close to the speed at which the Earth spins. Not even half the speed the Earth turns.

Well, I think we’ve finally found a worthy competitor. From the barrel of a gun, it turns out that a bullet is faster than the Earth’s spin at about 5150 km/hr (3200 mph).

That means that a bullet is about 3 times faster than how fast the Earth spins.

Earth vs Jet Plane

Earth Speed: 1600 km/hr
X-15 Speed: 7275 km/hr

The North American X-15 is VERY powerful. Extremely, EXTREMELY fast. And it’s the fastest jet plane ever built.

It’s clocked at a top speed of 4,520 mph. So that means it can fly at about Mach 6.

If the Earth was up again the North American X-15, the jet would be 4.5 times Earth’s rotation.

How fast does the Earth spin?

Earth spins incredibly fast! It’s faster than anything on the ground. But it’s slower than a speeding bullet and the fastest jet plane.

What else is faster than the Earth’s spin? Let us know with a comment below.

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1. Mike Forster says:

Wrong!!! The tangential velocity of the earth’s rotation is about 1000 mph … only at the equator! It is less at any other latitude, either north or south. That tangential velocity gets much lower at higher latitudes, until that velocity becomes zero at the mathematical axis points at the poles. This article’s incompleteness is what makes it wrong.

2. Kyu says:

Peregrine Falcon cannot have 1200km/h of speed on the final summary chart.

3. David Grosvenor says:

Fast, but not as fast as my wife running to get to the sales before the shop closes!!

4. Ajay Sandhu says:

So you could outrun a bullet if you were in a jet???

That’s nuts…but also cool to know…

5. Neal says:

Light trounces every example you have given. Unlike Usain Bolt, the cheetah, the peregrine falcon and Earth, light is often engineered.