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Top 10 Ridiculously Fast Animals

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Michael Wynands Usain Bolt and Donovan Bailey move like a couple of snails next to these creatures! in as we count down our picks for Top 10 Ridiculously Fast Animals. For this list, we're looking at animals that are known to reach very high speeds when traveling and covering distance. Special thanks to our users Leo Lazar Jakšić for submitting the idea using our interactive suggestion tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Script written by Michael Wynands

Top 10 Ridiculously Fast Animals

Usain Bolt and Donovan Bailey move like a couple of snails next to these creatures! Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 ridiculously fast animals.

For this list, we’re looking at animals that are known to reach very high speeds when traveling and covering distance.

#10: Eurasian Hobby

A relatively small falcon, the Eurasian Hobby, or just “Hobby” to its friends, is all about speed and agility and can reach speeds of up to 100 miles per hour while in flight. As part of the breeding ritual between male and female hobbies, a pair can often be seen performing highflying acrobatic feats. During this courtship, the male hobby will often pull off high-speed hand-offs of captured prey to the female to demonstrate his hunting abilities and prowess. This is an important quality for the male to possess, as he will be responsible for hunting during the 27 to 33 day incubation period.

#9: Lion

A favorite animal for many, the lion holds a special place in popular culture. Lions are masters of their domain, as well as symbols of strength, courage and wisdom. Between Aslan from “The Chronicles of Narnia” and Mufasa of “The Lion King,” we learn at a young age to respect lions as figures worthy of reverence. So… why do they always seem to be sleeping and lazing about like housecats in the real world? Well, lions spend roughly 20 hours a day resting, so they can conserve their energy for the hunt! And when these fierce predators spot prey, they can run up to 50 mph – though they can only hold that speed for short periods of time. Regardless, you wouldn’t want to be this King of the Jungle’s intended prey.

#8: Blue Wildebeest

While it’s difficult to find it in our hearts to forgive wildebeests for what they did in “The Lion King”, we’ve got to hand it to them - they certainly are fast. The blue wildebeest is particularly swift, and can be found in about 10 African countries including Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. According to experts, the blue wildebeest runs at approximately 50MPH, which is roughly the same estimate given to lions, making for a pretty exciting hunt. The males, or “bulls,” are known for their particularly outlandish and territorial behavior during the mating season, which has earned them the unflattering nickname of “clowns of the savanna.” Poor guys.

#7: Black Marlin

One of the fastest fish in the world, the Black Marlin’s highest recorded speed is 80MPH. While not as intimidating as a shark or killer whale, it is still considered a pretty serious predator, eating a diet of small to medium-sized fish and squid. The females, which are significantly larger than the males, top out at 15 feet long and 1000 pounds, which when paired with their speed, makes them a force to be reckoned with. While the more recognizable swordfish may share anatomical similarities with the marlin, it can’t really keep up, peaking at 60 MPH.

#6: Sailfish

The sailfish lost its position as the undisputed fastest fish in the sea in the 21st century to one specific Black Marlin, but many argue that it should keep its title. The sailfish has been recorded swimming up to a speed of 68MPH, which is faster than the average recorded black marlin, making it, generally speaking, the fastest fish one will encounter in the ocean. But why nitpick? The sailfish usually keeps its sail folded over itself while swimming, unless agitated, scared or hunting. When unfurled, it makes a striking figure as it races through the ocean.

#5: Pronghorn

Often considered the second fastest land animal on the planet, the pronghorn is substantially faster than any of its North American predators. It is believed that it evolved to run at such extreme speeds to escape from predator species that have since gone extinct, like the American cheetah. Although often referred to as the pronghorn antelope, it is technically not an antelope at all. With a top speed estimated at 55MPH, it is the fastest animal in the Northern Hemisphere. Worldwide, it is second only to the cheetah, but the pronghorn can maintain its top speed for longer than the cheetah can.

#4: Ostrich

Sure, they might not be able to fly, but what these gigantic birds lack in flight skills they more than make up for with their remarkable size and impressive set of legs. Running up to 43 MPH on average, with some reported at 60MPH, they use their wings as stabilizers while running at high speeds. This enables them to make sharp, calculated turns. The ostrich is the largest living species of bird, and also lays the largest eggs: one ostrich egg is actually equivalent to two dozen chicken eggs in terms of volume. So they go big on everything.

#3: European Hare

It may not be the fastest land animal, but it definitely gives the competition a run for its money, while also being hands down the cutest competitor for the title. A relative to the more common European rabbit, European hares have longer ears and legs, and are known for their speed and agility. When it comes to mating, female hares also have a peculiar habit of fighting off, or boxing with males, if the females aren’t ready. But when a doe IS ready, the males better make sure they’re in top running shape, because only the one that’s able to catch her will be allowed to breed with her. Hares can run up to 43MPH on land, which also gives them a fighting chance of evading the manyanimals that prey on them.

#2: Cheetah

The cheetah isn’t the king of the jungle, but it certainly wears the crown for world’s fastest land animal. Capable of running up to 75MPH and going from 0 to 60MPH in three seconds, this big cat certainly deserves the title. Through its evolution, the cheetah’s abilities as a hunter have been absolutely maximized. It has a slender body, muscular chest, narrower paws than other big cats and an oversized, extra sharp dew claw that it uses to trip its prey. It shares various other characteristics more commonly found in small cats as well, such as a flexible spine. But you'll never see Garfield racing around like The Flash.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
White-Throated Needletail Swift
Mexican Free-Tailed Bat

#1: Peregrine Falcon

Meet the fastest animal on our planet. The peregrine falcon is only about the size of a large crow, but this bird of prey is especially known for its prowess as a hunter. To catch its prey, which is most often medium-sized birds, it climbs in the air then launches into a sharp dive. It is during this dive that the peregrine falcon achieves its remarkable speed. An average dive reaches 200 MPH, but the fastest recorded peregrine hit 242 MPH! Its closest competition, the golden eagle, lags behind a bit, averaging 150 to 200MPH, when diving. Close, eagle, but no cigar!

Do you agree with our list? What’s the last animal you’d want to race if your life depended on it? For more awe-inspiring top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to


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