The Fastest Animals on the Planet Today

By Joe Burgett
The Fastest Animals on the Planet Today

When it comes to animals that we should all fear at least a little, speed is most certainly a large factor. Some of the fastest animals in the world are capable of running laps around you in seconds. Think about it like a NASCAR race, you’re bound to be lapped by a lot of animals several times.

In fact, some of the fastest animals in the world today exceed speeds that would get them speeding tickets on most American highways. Yet some move so fast that not even our fastest cars can keep up with. Of course, some of the fastest animals on the planet are on land. However, we should not forget about the air and sea as well.

They house some of the fastest creatures you’ll ever come across. Of course, they are not running as you’ll see with land-based animals. Rather, they are swimming or flying at an incredibly fast rate. Do keep in mind, however, that even the most moderate speed of most animals can be faster than the average human.

Take bears for instance. Really large creatures but the Polar Bear alone can run up to 25 mph. The fastest a human being has ever run is 27.8 mph, which is the world record set by multi-time Olympic Gold Medalist Usain Bolt. Most of us will never get to half of that speed, much less match it. Therefore, Polar Bears can outrun most humans.

This means humans are at the bottom of the food chain in many of these situations sadly. Yet not all these speedy animals need to be feared by mankind.

The question many would like to know by now, we’re sure, is… well, who are these incredibly fast animals? Let’s dive into that right now!

[Image via Sergey Uryadnikov/]

The Hippopotamus

  • Speed: Around 20 MPH

The Hippopotamus is a deceptive creature for its size. The species is incredibly strong and large, weighing in at an average of 3,000 to 4,000lbs. One would surmise that, due to this, they should not be able to move that quick. Yet not only do they move fast for their size pound for pound on land, but they can also move quickly underwater too.

They are quite territorial and are known for attacking humans and even random animals that just come wandering by. Of course, many do not assume that they are as dangerous as they happen to be. Yet Hippos are responsible for more human deaths each year than all other African creatures combined. In 2019 alone, Hippos killed around 500 people.

Their deceptive speed is certainly to thank for this, as many humans do not realize how fast they will be attacked. One other thing people should keep in mind is that they will chase people for a long period of time. There are instances where Hippos were said to have chased humans for about a mile or two before finally giving up. This species does not play!