World Records: Speed

World Records: Speed
Image: Mads Perch/Stone/Getty Images

About This Quiz

Breaking a land-speed record with a jet-engine-powered supercar is obviously not in the cards for the average joe. But when you check out this quiz, you'll realize you don't need to be an Air Force pilot or professional athlete to set a world record.
In October 2004, Xu Zhenjun set the marathon world record -- for running it backwards. How long did it take him?
3 hours, 43 minutes, 39 seconds
Xu ran the 2004 Beijing Marathon backwards in 3 hours, 43 minutes and 39 seconds.
4 hours, 9 minutes, 34 seconds
13 hours, 44 minutes, 9 seconds

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The world record for fastest manned aircraft was set in 1976 in a Lockheed SR-71A "Blackbird." What was that record?
973.21 mph (1,566.22)
2,913.17 mph (4,688.29)
Captain Eldon W. Joersz and Major George T. Morgan pushed the Blackbird to 2,913.17 mph (3,529.56 kph). That's about the speed a bullet leaves a rifle.
3,237.92 mph (3,529.56 kph)

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In 2006, American tennis player Andy Roddick hit the fastest serve in history. How fast was it?
135 mph (217 kph)
155 mph (250 kph)
It was 155 mph 250 kph). And we're assuming it was an ace.
175 mph (282 kph)

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American Chris Carr set a now-broken land speed record in 2006 when he drove a motorcycle one kilometer at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. How fast did he go?
256.310 mph (412.490 kph)
302.516 mph (486.852 kph)
351.062 mph (564.979 kph)
Carr's cycle went 351.062 mph (564.979 kph) -- which means he covered that kilometer in about 17 seconds.

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Englishman Marek Turowski drove a motorized sofa to the world record for "fastest furniture." How fast was that sofa moving?
92 mph (184 kph)
Turowski somehow gunned the sofa to 92 mph (148 kph) in 2007. How he got the idea to make a motorized sofa is another mystery.
69 mph (111 kph)
29 mph (47 kph)

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The ball in the game of jai alai is propelled faster than the projectile in any other sport. How fast can a jai alai ball go?
168 mph (270 kph)
178 mph (286 kph)
188 mph (303 kph)
The jai alai ball can travel around 188 mph (302 kph). Yeah, that thing could leave a mark.

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In 1990, American Tom Jager recorded the fastest-ever average speed for a swimmer. How fast did he go?
5.37 mph (8.64 kph)
Jager averaged 5.37 mph (8.64 kph) over 50 yards (43 meters) that day. So does that mean the rest of us swim, like, one mile per hour?
5.73 mph (9.22 kph)
7.35 mph (11.82 kph)

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Briton Andy Green set the land-speed record when he drove a Thrust SSC (that's a car) one mile in Nevada. What's the record?
637.053 mph (1,025.234 kph)
763.035 mph (1,227.982 kph)
Green's car obviously wasn't your garden-variety model -- it was powered by two Rolls-Royce Spey 202 jet engines and topped out at 763.035 mph (1,227.985 kph).
876.353 mph ( 1,410.353 kph)

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In 2006, Italy's Simone Origone set the highest recorded speed for a skier. How fast was he schussing?
156.83 mph (252.39 kph)
Origone raced down the slopes at a mind-blowing 156.83 mph (252.4 kph).
168.35 mph (270.93 kph)
185.63 mph (298.74 kph)

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A guy named Edd China drove a desk across London's Westminster Bridge in 2006, setting the world record for "fastest office." What's the record?
47 mph (76 kph)
67 mph (108 kph)
87 mph (140 kph)
In another example of \"this we'd have to see with our own eyes,\" the desk blazed across the bridge at 87 mph (140 kph).

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You Got:
/10
Mads Perch/Stone/Getty Images

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