Remember when humans were breaking the four-minute mile or the 10 second 100-meter sprint? Impressive wasn’t it. But, those records would mean nothing if animals could compete in the Olympic Games. Today, we’re going to look at five fabulous creatures that would stroll to a gold medal after gold medal if they were taking part. Without even breaking a sweat.
As most people will know, the cheetah is the fastest sprinting land animal on the planet. In fact, a cheetah clocked in at 5.8 seconds for the 100 meters, thrashing Usain Bolt’s human record by over four seconds. Plenty of other animals, including racehorses and greyhounds, can also leave Bolt in their wake. Head over to conservationinstitute.org/10-fastest-animals-on-earth/ for more info. And, make sure you never put yourself in the position of having to run away from any of them! However, when you take birds into consideration, things don’t look quite so rosy for the land animals. Peregrine falcons, for example, have been clocked at speeds of up to 161 mph.
Humans have yet to break the two-hour mark for a marathon race. The current world record holder needs to shave more than three and half minutes from his time for that to happen. And, whoever does it first, will no doubt be held in very high regard. However, horses don’t just break that record – they smash it. A horse can do the 26-mile marathon in one hour, eighteen and a half minutes. Or, to put it another way, could run two marathons while a human runs one with a pretty good time.
The long jump and high jump are both feats of springing power and acceleration. The human world record for the long jump currently stands at 8.95 metres. But, it pales into insignificance when placed next to the red kangaroo. These amazing creatures can leap distances of 12.8 meters. They are also great at jumping vertically, too. They can jump heights of 3.1 meters, compared to the human record of 2.45 meters held by Javier Sotomayor. Both, though, get whipped by the snakehead fish, which has been recorded jumping 4 meters out of the water. That’s over 13 feet, by the way, if you don’t like the metric system.
When you see those weightlifters raising more than 500 lbs above their heads, there is no doubt it’s impressive. But, the elephant can do more than that just with it’s trunk. Not only that, but if you pack on weight to its back, it can carry over 1800 lbs. However, the real tough guy of the animal kingdom is out close relative, the gorilla. Get one down to your local gym and they would wipe the floor with anyone, lifting close to two tons. Don’t mess with them, under any circumstances!
Well, there you have it – four Olympic events where humans would fall desperately short in the medals. And, all without the use of performance enhancing drugs, too. So, perhaps something for Lance Armstrong to think about there. See you next time!
Cheetah running photo by Michael Moss. License: CC BY-ND 2.0.