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Who was the fastest human being ever recorded in 2024?

Who was the fastest human being ever recorded in 2024?

Who was the fastest human being ever recorded in 2024?

The fastest ever *recorded* is Usain Bolt. But the fastest we know about was an Aboriginal teenager, probably a boy, who lived tens of thousands of years ago and left their preserved footprints in the soil of Australia, going as fast as Bolt and still accelerating. We don’t know whether they were trying to catch lunch, trying to avoid becoming someone else’s lunch, or just running for the thrill of it or to impress a girl.

Usain Bolt.

The Jamaican sprinter is the fastest human alive—our reality’s version of the Flash. He set a world record in 2009 in the 100-meter sprint at 9.58 seconds. His top speed was 27 mph. However, Australian Aboriginals may have been even faster, as footprints that were fossilized in a claypan lake bed showed that a prehistoric man reached speeds of up to 23 mph (37 kph) while chasing prey on a soft, muddy lake edge.

If ancient man were warped to today’s time and had all the advantages that Bolt has in terms of proper footwear, like spiked shoes, proper training, and rubberized tracks, then they would have reached speeds of up to 45 kph, running even faster than the fastest man alive.

Bonus Fact: A Neanderthal woman would be stronger than Arnold the “Terminator” in today’s time, according to a leading anthropologist. The men and women of yesterday were vastly stronger than the men and women of today.

Could Usain Bolt be the fastest human to ever live?

Using the extrapolation method, Usain Bolt may not be the fastest human being to ever live. Biologically, Bolt is a descendant of people of African origin who migrated to the Americas only a few hundred years ago through the slave trade. If DNA was done on him, we could get a very good match in Africa.

If we then consider his biological make-up, there should be dozens of people who are like him. The biggest problem in finding people who share similar biological characteristics as him who can challenge him on the track is that. Not to be funny, but most of the people from some impoverished areas of Africa have never or will never get a chance to discover their talent in athletics. The main reason is that those who end up being selected are extremely lucky to have been selected because someone saw them competing at a school level. Education is still not readily accessible in some parts of Africa.

So the bottom line is that we will never know if he is the fastest person ever, but for now, because he was privileged enough to do what he is doing, he is by all means the fastest.

Who was the fastest among humans?

As of my knowledge, the fastest human sprinter is Usain Bolt from Jamaica. Bolt holds the world records for the men’s 100-meter (9.58 seconds) and 200-meter (19.19 seconds) races, both set at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin. He is widely considered one of the greatest sprinters in the history of athletics.

Please note that records in sports can change over time as athletes continue to push their limits and break new records. It’s always a good idea to check the most current records and achievements in the world of athletics for the latest information on the fastest humans.

How fast can a human theoretically run?

Humans are not the fastest animals. This is immediately obvious from our anatomy. We have heavy calf muscles way down our legs. The calves must swing back and forth at every leg stroke and require a lot of force to allow any increase in the frequency of the steps. Considering that our muscles have few “fast trigger” fibers, a frequency of about 5 steps per second (300 steps per minute) is an upper limit for the capacity of our leg muscles to contract and extend.

Cheetahs, ostriches, and horses, but even dogs and cats, have all the leg muscles bundled way up their legs and connected to their lower points of action by long tendons. This way, free of muscles, the lower part of their legs is very light and can swing at a much higher frequency. Their short muscles, being closer to the point of rotation (the hip), don’t have to move as much as our long leg muscles, and the force needed to swing a largely muscle-free, very light leg is a lot less than the force needed to swing the heavy, muscular human leg.

We also have a rather short foot. The foot is an extra lever that allows us to use the power of the calf muscles (when we walk, as opposed to running, the calf muscles are used very little). The foot acts like a gear: the shorter the gear, the greater the force, but the lower the speed. The human foot allows the calf muscle to exert a lot of force on the toes, but not much speed. A longer foot will provide less force but greater speed, like a taller gear.

If you look at runner animals (cheetahs, ostriches, horses, dogs, cats, etc.), they all walk on their toes, and their feet are very long, sometimes as long as the other leg bones. We, humans, are like a motor vehicle with the gearbox stuck in second gear, while runner animals benefit from tall gear for fast running.

So, if we can swing our legs at a frequency of about 5 seconds, or steps per second, and each step can be 2.5 m long, this means that the top speed of a human cannot exceed 12.5 m per second, which is equal to 45 km/h or 28 MPH, no matter how strong our legs are. These numbers may apply to Usain Bolt; for a normal human, the maximum speed would be more like 30 km/h or 18 MPH. That’s fast, but not as fast as fast-running animals. A fit human cannot outrun a bear, let alone a horse or a large dog. But we can outrun all of them over long distances.

It is often believed that humans are weak animals that manage to get through the hardships of the fight for survival with their large brains. This is not the whole story. It is not much appreciated that humans, given certain conditions, can outrun any land-going animal over long distances. Yes, I wrote ANY, and I include ostriches, horses, and even camels.

How is that? For three extraordinary evolutionary traits of humans: we have evolved the most efficient engine water cooling system in the animal world; we are the only animal with a two-gear shifter; and we are among the very few land animals to have rear wheels, sorry, hind legs, and drive. Let’s see how.

  1. Water cooling

Muscles, like all engines, produce heat. This is because the chemical energy they receive from the blood cannot be entirely converted into mechanical energy, but only a fraction of it. The rest becomes heat. Heat is good for us: we are homeothermal (hot-blooded) animals, and our body temperature must be within a very narrow range to allow us to live and thrive. Too much heat, if not adequately dissipated, will raise the body temperature and put our very survival at risk.

The muscles of a mammal have an efficiency of about 18 to 26%. This means that 18 to 26% of the energy that comes from the blood is converted into mechanical energy, and the remaining 74 to 82% is either not drawn from the blood or is converted into heat. That’s a lot of heat if you think of it, and it is very difficult to dissipate adequately.

Heat is dissipated through the skin mainly, and the surface of the skin is just so much. As a body grows bigger, its volume increases with the cubic power of its linear dimensions (length, height), but its outer surface increases only with the square power. If you double the length of an animal, with all the rest remaining equal, its body volume will increase eight times and its skin surface four times. So a big animal will soon meet a deficit of body surface through which to dissipate the heat produced by its muscles.

The evolutionary solutions to this problem are multiple: elephants have developed large ears with a thick network of blood vessels that act as radiators to dissipate heat; other animals have placed a limit on the amount of heat they produce by reducing muscle metabolism when they need to produce long-duration efforts. Others have started sweating.

How does sweating help dissipate heat? Water requires a lot of heat to evaporate: almost 2300 joules (550 calories) per gram of liquid water that becomes vapor. Water does not have to be taken to its boiling point to evaporate; it can evaporate at any temperature if energy is given to it in different ways, for example, by a current of air that flows by its surface.

Imagine having your skin constantly wet, and the current of air generated by running makes this layer of water evaporate. Continuous sweating replaces the water that evaporates. Every gram of water that evaporates will remove 2300 joules of heat from your skin. Your skin blood vessels will transfer heat from the blood to the skin and, from there, to the water. An athlete can produce as many as 3 liters of sweat per hour; this corresponds to 3000 grams, and if they all evaporate, they will require nearly seven million joules of energy. If this is done in one hour, it is equal to nearly two kilowatts of cooling power.

So, we humans have a cooling system that can reach nearly two kilowatts of thermal power. It removes much of the heat produced by our muscles and allows us to keep our body temperature stable even under continuous and intense muscular effort. Assuming a cooling efficiency of 100% (which is never reached), we could, ideally, generate a continuous muscular power of 0.6 to 0.9 horsepower.

This is why we have no fur: fur insulates the layer of sweat that lies on the skin, preventing the air current from making it evaporate. Horses also sweat, but their fur, however short, requires that a much thicker layer of water be formed on their skin than on the bare skin of a human. Heat transmission is far worse across a thick layer of liquid water trapped in the fur, as anyone who has been sweating through a flannel shirt has experienced.

Humans have the most efficient water cooling system in the animal world. This feature did not evolve without pain. We had to lose all our body hair, except on top of the head, where it was necessary to protect the brain from being heated by direct sunlight. We had to develop a complicated and fragile kidney system that allowed us to get rid of a lot of water through a different path. We had to develop a pigment to protect our skin from sun rays, and despite that, we are too often victims of skin cancer. We became dependent on water, as sweating is so hard-wired into our physiology that we sweat even when water cannot evaporate from our skin. But there is more.

2. two-gear shifter

Unique among all animals (I’d like to be corrected here by a zoologist who knows better), humans can switch from plantigrade deambulation to digitigrade deambulation at will. When we walk, we place the entire foot on the ground, and we exploit the leverage offered by the length of the foot only to lift the weight of the leg a short distance. We rarely use our calf muscles to walk. Why? Because less muscle mass is used, less energy is consumed, and less heat is produced. Walking is a slow but extremely energy-efficient way to move. Cats, dogs, horses, camels, ostriches, and cheetahs, as well as all other running animals, always move on their toe tips, no matter how slowly they want to go. They cannot put their calf muscles to rest, and their slow walking pace is not as efficient as it could be if they were able to walk on their soles as humans (and bears) do.

When we want to run, however, we just shift to a higher gear: we do not put the whole sole of our feet on the ground anymore, and we run on our toes (actually, we mostly use the “cushions of the feet” behind the toes, with the toes acting as balancers). This way, the calf muscles can generate a strong force acting on the leverage provided by the length of the foot to lift the entire weight of the body, and we can efficiently use many more muscles when running than when walking.

So, we have two gears: a light one for energy-efficient, slow walking, and a tall one for strong, fast running or climbing. Also, this feature did not develop without losing some previous ability; for example, we lost the rear “hands,” which our ancestors probably shared with arboreal apes. Although our species adapted to running, it never became a fast runner because a long foot, necessary to allow fast running, would have become rather awkward and useless when walking in first gear.”. But there is more.

3. hind legs drive

Once again, unique among mammals, we walk solely on our hind legs. We share this ability only with running birds. Most “two-legged” mammals are four-legged and occasionally walk on their hind legs: bears, apes, monkeys, and lemurs, for example. Australians here will dispute that kangaroos and wallabies are also bipedal. But the fact is that they don’t walk at all. Rather, their evolution led to an even more radical transformation, and they became two-legged pogo sticks, where the two legs could only move at the same time as if they were one. Kangaroos and wallabies are, by all means, one-legged deambulatory, at least from a functional point of view.

Becoming two-legged, erect walkers was probably the most painful evolution that humans underwent. The backbone, which was designed to work as a beam, supported by the chest, its tendons, and its muscles, had to transform itself into a column, with many associated changes and problems. The pelvis had to become narrower to allow for a different position for the hips. This, together with the big cranium of human fetuses, has made giving birth a rather complicated affair. The cardiovascular system had to adapt and transform to account for a difference in static pressure between the head and the feet equal to or greater than the systolic pressure generated by the heart and to allow the blood to flow back from the feet to the heart, overcoming a static pressure differential of 80–90 mmHg without blowing the veins of the legs (varicose veins are caused by this pressure difference).

But walking and running on two legs instead of four allowed us to use fewer muscles and joints, increase our efficiency, and save energy (not to mention the advantage of having one’s head and sensory organs above the tallest bushes). One further adaptation towards long-distance mobility.

So, our species developed from a primate ancestor that probably resembled a lot more modern apes than it could resemble modern humans. We lost our body fur, we developed a powerful system to keep our skin wet and dissipate heat generated by the muscles so that we could endure continuous sustained efforts, we developed legs that allowed us to walk efficiently and run reasonably fast, we changed the position of our spine from nearly horizontal to vertical, and we lost a lot of physical abilities in the process.

We became the ultra-marathon runners of the animal kingdom. No other animal can run for 8 hours at 16 km/h (10 MPH). [What’s an Ultramarathon?] in a hot climate. A horse can run much faster than a man, but after one hour, even less in a hot climate, they have to stop and cool off or they will die of a heart stroke. In a cold climate, the problem of body heat is not so relevant: sled dogs can run for 200 km at sub-zero temperatures, and horses also travel longer and faster in the cold. But humans are unbeatable for their endurance in a hot climate.

Arabic camels are often cited as the endurance runners of the animal kingdom. Arabic camels have a wholly different strategy from men to endure efforts, and like horses, they cannot sustain strong efforts for long. Camels are designed to save water. Because of the environment they have evolved in, they cannot afford to sweat like we do, and their body temperature would rapidly increase if they did not reduce their effort. Also, a camel can travel for 8–10 hours, but at the speed of a fast-walking human. Also, a human can do that; most people in a caravan of camels crossing a desert walk alongside the camels, but humans can also do better. They can run the same distance in less time than a camel.

During the “great Australian camel race” that was held in 1988, the winner walked and ran alongside his camel for 3200 km (2000 miles) from Ayers Rock to Gold Coast. Man and camel had the same long-distance performance!

Why did we evolve this way? For some yet-disputed reason, we became nomadic. We had to change the environment quickly to find food and shelter. The proof of this is that humans exited East Africa, where they originated, and adapted to the diverse environments of Asia and Europe very early in the history of this species, while most other primates are still there, clinging to their shrinking ecosystems.

All this was thanks to sweating and legs that allowed both efficient walking and running and bipedal deambulation. Incidentally, this last feature left our hands free, which provided the opportunity for our brains to grow. After this, we all know how it went.

Today, we are largely a domesticated species that has lost most of its ability to walk and run. We have almost forgotten that once upon a time, we were wild animals roaming the African savannah and beyond, walking so far that no pack of wolves or lions could follow us. We could disappear from their hunting grounds and be beyond the horizon overnight. Cool!

EDIT #1: Thanks to Cole, who noted that humans can run as fast as 28 mph. That’s just one human How fast does Usain Bolt run in mph/km per hour? Is he the fastest-recorded human ever? 100m record? and 20 MPH is a more realistic figure for “normal” humans. I have, however, changed my numbers accordingly.

EDIT #2: Thank you for the many upvotes, but particularly for the interesting discussion that is going on in the comments section, which I invite the readers of this answer to scroll through.

It is time for me to confess: I write this kind of answer mostly for the pleasure of the discussion rather than for the upvotes. I have no definitive proof that man is the best long-distance runner in the animal world, and my statement in this sense is somewhat provocative. I wanted to be challenged in this and other statements, and indeed, the challenges came, and I collected some very interesting information in the comments.

Especially interesting are the real-life account by Pat McCormack and the long comment by Ian Dorward. Also, thanks to Tim Lu, who disputed my numbers on the cooling power of sweating and prompted me to do some calculations on an Excel sheet, of which you can read the results in my answer to his comment.

I also want to thank all those who kindly took the time to proofread my answer, found several grammatical errors, and suggested edits. English is not my native language, so being corrected in my writing is, for me, another way to learn something new.

EDIT #3: I found out that for some reason, the edits and corrections that many readers are kindly suggesting are not recognized by Quora, and I keep seeing the same typos over and over despite accepting the corrections. So I went through the text, corrected it manually, and took the chance to make some small changes and additions. Among them is a mention of the Great Australian Camel Race that was held in 1988.

How much speed can a human run?

Humans could perhaps run as fast as 40 mph, a new study suggests. Such a feat would leave in the dust the world’s fastest runner, Usain Bolt, who has clocked 27.4 mph in the 100-meter sprint.

The human frame is built to handle running speeds up to 40 miles per hour, scientists say. The only limiting factor is not how much brute force is required to push off the ground, as previously thought, but how fast our muscle fibers can contract to ramp up that force.

The only way to increase speed is to generate force more quickly during the limited time when the foot is on the ground. The key to doing this is increasing how fast the muscle fibers can contract to produce force. If that were possible, Weyand’s team calculated that humans could theoretically run as fast as 35 or 40 miles per hour, based on our gait and the maximum forces our muscles can generate.

Would the fastest man run faster downhill, or would it be too difficult to keep up with the speed?

Yes, fast runners are (temporarily) faster downhill. For example, there are popular “downhill mile” races, and the records for those downhill courses (a 3:28 world record downhill mile) eclipse world records set on flat tracks (3:43 on flat). Even slight downhill gradients make for better race times. However, steep downhill gradients are demanding on a runner’s legs and can’t be sustained at top speed, all else equal.

The elite athletes who participate in events like the Queen Street Downhill Mile in New Zealand are known to describe the race as “terrifying.”. In 1982, the race where the 3:28 record was set, the top runners hit the 800m (about 1/2 mile) mark at 1:41, which is only about a second from the fastest flat 800m ever run, even to this day.

However, your intuition is correct that it’s hard on a runner’s legs to “keep up with the speed” when running very fast down a steep slope. The impact force is much greater versus flat running, so the legs—especially the quads—will tire very quickly.

If a slope is steep enough, the acceleration of gravity will cause the speed to exceed the rate at which an athlete can “turn over” his or her stride, and the athlete will fall. When running steep downhill, part of the effort is to decelerate the speed to keep from falling, so you’re fighting gravity harder than ever.

Why can’t humans run as fast as 100 MPH (160 km/h)?

There were many great answers, but only one touched on the primary reason.

Balance.

Being bipedal uses a tremendous amount of brain power just to keep us upright when we are just standing still. Being bipedal is inherently unstable.

Moving on to walking or running, when we walk or run, our brain keeps us just balanced enough to stay upright. Some studies show that when we walk or run, we are actually in a constant state of falling, and our brain moves our legs just fast enough to prevent the fall on every step.

Much every other species that is capable of short bursts of bipedal motion (such as the Great Apes) resorts to quadrupedal locomotion to attain maximum speed except humans. are not built for that; our legs are too long and our arms are much too short.

We are much faster in bipedal motion.

Even at that, the fastest known speed for a human is about 28mph, far short of your proposed 100mph.

Do you think a human could run 40–50 mph?

For many reasons, I do not only think but also believe and know that running at such speeds is possible. Now I am going to explain why.

Laugh skeptically all you want, but for me, it all comes down to the mind, and it’s subjective, so there is no determinate answer to that.

For example, if you’re overly focused on the physical world, to the point of losing your awareness of your practical energy in the deeper layers of your mind, you are “weak” and you can’t achieve that “40–50 mph” like most humans in the world, unless some scientific “word Macedonia salad” will “succeed” in this concept, but well, according to MY OWN beliefs, the physical world, the laws of physics, and science, all of that is “mere child’s play” and it’s pretty childish, compared to the metaphysical, subconscious, etc.

But if you are open-minded to the most absurd theories and concepts, then it will be possible for you to become a superhuman. For example, others will be just smoking, drinking poison, staring at you, wondering if you are even human, and thinking, “No, no, no way in hell, it’s just a dream; come on, there are certain laws of logic out there,” while you will be running faster than a formula one, extinguishing punches that can easily one-shot gorillas, dodging bullets, withstanding knives, and spreading terror in nightclubs full of poisoned weaklings.

I mean, everything you say, think, and believe, you are always determining YOUR limits, and you simply can’t “decide” someone’s limits. It’s not that anything does have a universal or absolute limit, after all.

Sorry, all of that might sound “off-topic,” but I’m simply saying that everyone’s realities are just that: minds.

Ok, but now, being more “physical,” the short answer is “it’s subjective.”.

Do you want to run at such speeds? Then open your mind even to ridiculously “unrealistic” things, stop being a weak average Joe, and achieve it through effort, determination, belief, etc.

I believe in such abilities; there aren’t any reasons why it would be impossible other than mere skepticism giving off negative energy.

Who was the fastest human ever in history?

As of my last knowledge update in January 2022, Usain Bolt from Jamaica holds the title of the fastest human ever in recorded history. Bolt set the world record for the men’s 100 meters with a time of 9.58 seconds and the 200 meters with a time of 19.19 seconds at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin. Keep in mind that records may have changed since then, so it’s a good idea to check the latest information for the most up-to-date records.

What is the fastest speed ever achieved by a human?

As of my last knowledge update in January 2022, the fastest speed ever achieved by a human was during the Apollo 10 mission in 1969. The spacecraft reached a speed of approximately 39,897 kilometers per hour (24,791 miles per hour) relative to Earth during its return from the moon. This record-breaking speed was necessary for the spacecraft to re-enter Earth’s atmosphere and safely return the astronauts to Earth.

Keep in mind that records may have changed since then, and there might be new developments or missions that have surpassed these speeds. It’s advisable to check the latest information for the most up-to-date details on human space travel speeds.

Who can run faster than a human?

As of my last knowledge update in January 2022, no land animal is known to run faster than the fastest human, Usain Bolt. Bolt set the world record for the men’s 100 meters with a time of 9.58 seconds and the 200 meters with a time of 19.19 seconds. However, in terms of natural speed and agility, several animals can surpass humans. For example, the cheetah is considered the fastest land animal, capable of reaching speeds of up to 75 miles per hour (120 kilometers per hour) in short bursts.

It’s important to note that different animals have evolved with specific adaptations that suit their environments and hunting or survival strategies. While humans excel at endurance running, certain animals are designed for incredible bursts of speed.

How fast can a human travel without dying?

The speed at which a human can travel without risking death depends on various factors, including the duration of exposure to that speed, the conditions of the travel (such as acceleration and deceleration), and the individual’s physiological tolerance.

In terms of sustained speeds, commercial jetliners typically fly at cruising speeds ranging from around 500 to 600 miles per hour (800 to 965 kilometers per hour), and passengers experience these speeds without harm. This is due to the controlled environment inside the aircraft, where the passengers are not exposed to extreme accelerations or decelerations.

For shorter durations, such as in the case of amusement park rides, humans can experience higher speeds without immediate risk. However, these experiences are carefully designed to ensure safety and limit the duration of exposure to high speeds.

It’s crucial to note that sudden accelerations or decelerations, impacts, and other factors can have a significant impact on the human body’s ability to withstand high speeds. In extreme cases, even relatively low speeds can be dangerous if the conditions are not controlled. Always adhere to safety guidelines and precautions to avoid harm during any form of travel or activity.

Who is the fastest kid in the world?

As of my last knowledge update in January 2022, it is challenging to determine who the fastest kid in the world is, as records for young athletes may not be as widely recognized or documented as those for adult athletes. Additionally, children’s performances can vary depending on their age groups and the specific track and field events they participate in.

Youth athletics organizations and events, such as those governed by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) or national sports organizations, may keep records for young athletes. However, these records are often categorized by age groups and may not be as widely publicized as records for adult athletes.

To find information on the fastest youth athletes, you may want to check the latest records from relevant youth track and field competitions, school events, or regional or national youth sports organizations. Keep in mind that records can change, and new talented young athletes may emerge over time.

How fast can a lion run?

Lions are powerful and fast predators, capable of reaching speeds of around 35 to 40 miles per hour (56 to 64 kilometers per hour) in short bursts. However, their endurance is limited, and they can only maintain these high speeds for relatively short distances. Lions are known for their explosive acceleration and agility, which they use primarily during hunting and chasing prey.

It’s important to note that the speed of a lion can vary based on factors such as age, health, and the specific circumstances of a chase. Lions are skilled hunters and often use a combination of strategy, teamwork, and bursts of speed to capture their prey. Their hunting tactics involve stalking and ambushing rather than relying solely on sustained chases.

Who was the fastest human being ever recorded in 2024?

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