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mazingerz88's avatar

What could be the fastest running, flying or swimming animal on Earth with a 100 lb human on it's back?

Asked by mazingerz88 (26224points) May 15th, 2011

Regardless of whether these animals could be tamed and trained or not I would be very much excited to hear as to other people’s answers that may surprise. I would be instantly thinking of a horse when it comes to running on land, or a shark in water but who knows really?

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26 Answers

Cruiser's avatar

Hammerhead shark….prove to me I am wrong! ;)

Coloma's avatar

A Cheetah with a monkey on it’s back. lol

Hmmm….land, probably a horse, water, yeah..a shark, air….nothing, unless we’re talking at any time in history then maybe a giant Teradactyl. (sp?) haha

ucme's avatar

Racehorse….game over!

Aster's avatar

One of the wild cats. Panther?

jaytkay's avatar

Are sharks faster than dolphins?

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Birds can safely be ruled out. Of the ones faster than an animal or fish, none could hold the weight of a human.

The world’s fastest fish is a sailfish at 110 kph. While some are probably large enough to handle carrying a 100 lb. human, I wouldn’t want to be sitting on one when they attempt to put the ‘sail’ up. (The great blue shark clocks in at 69 kph. Dolphins don’t make the Top 9 list.) Source While not as fast as a cheetah, it can better withstand distances at top speeds.

I’d go with a land animal. Cheetahs rank #1 in speed, but they are limited to shorter distances than others, and they range from 79 to 140 lbs. in weight. Source

I’d vote for the Pronghorn., which ranks #2. While slower than a cheetah, they can go much further at top speeds. And a caveat is that they are vegetarians. :)

mazingerz88's avatar

How about an ostrich? Oh yeah they don’t fly!

gasman's avatar

@ucme Racehorse….game over!

Maybe, but stamina is quite limited. Over long distances I’d think aquatic. I’m not sure sharks that (as suggested by @mazingerz88 = OP) could reliably carry 100 extra pounds (a light human at that). Probably same with dolphins, who are nonetheless far more intelligent.

So my overall vote goes to whales, including orcas, which may cruise around 20–30 mph, much faster than a horse or elephant walks. Since they don’t have to stop that often (or do they? I’m no expert on whales) and the ocean is open, conveyance by whale seems analogous to global aviation. Just plot a course…

Brian1946's avatar

According to this, these are the speeds of the fastest land animals:

Cheetah 70.00
Pronghorn antelope 61.00
Lion 50.00
Thomson’s gazelle 50.00
Wildebeest 50.00
Quarter horse 47.50

I’d say that because all of the animals faster than a quarter horse are substantially smaller, carrying a 100-pound rider would actually make them slower than a ¼ horse carrying the same weight.

BTW, the pronghorn is the fastest land animal in North America.
I’d love to see a bear try to catch one. I can imagine the pronghorn taunting the bear, “Nah nah na nah nah, you can’t catch me, you tub of ursine lard!”

According to this, these are the speeds of the fastest swimming animals:

Killer Whale (Orcinus orca) 34.5
Flying Fish (Exocoetidae), gliding 35
Mahi Mahi (Coryphaena hippurus), leaping 37
Bonito (Sarda), leaping 40
Albacore (Thunnus alalunga), leaping 40
Blue-fin Tuna (Thunnus thynnus), leaping 43.4
Yellowfin Tuna (Thunnus albacares), leaping 46.35
Wahoo (Acanthocybium solandri), leaping 47.88
Marlin (Makaira), leaping 50
Swordfish (Xiphias gladius), leaping 60
Sailfish (Istiophorus platypterus), leaping 68

As Pied_Pfeffer said, I don’t think a sail-bearing fish can be ridden.
Wahoos are too small to carry a 100-pound rider, but the yellowfin tuna can reach 1,000 pounds, so that’s my answer for this question.

Hallelujah's avatar

An Ostrich can run 40 to 60 mph. Humans of 100# could ride on the long legged bird quite easily.

Coloma's avatar

But a Pronghorn would not have the ability to carry ⅔rds of it’s body weight.

Even horses should not carry more than about ⅓ of their body weight, carrying a 200 lb. man on a 1200 lb. horse is going to strain the animal over a long distance.

I’d still say that, ratio wise, a horse would be the best bet with a 100 lb. rider.

Then, depends on the speed and distance. My old Quarter horse was clocked at his fastest, pushing about 38–39 mph in short ( ¼ mile bursts. )

A Thoroughbred is bred for distance running, but, the Quarter horse can outrun a TB on the ¼ mile track.

Coloma's avatar

Oooh…yes, maybe an Orca! And, don;t forget these top speeds are just that.

The average quarter horse will run at 38–40 ish mph but the top runners are where the records come in.

Also, a lot of what people call quarter horses are really Appendix bred, meaning they are crossed with TB blood for maximum speed and stamina.

Brian1946's avatar


“But a Pronghorn would not have the ability to carry ⅔rds of it’s body weight.”

That’s a let down for me. Here I was going to spend a carefree day in the meadows harassing grizzlies while riding a pronghorn, but I guess this means I’ll have to either sell or return my special antelope saddle. ;-(

windex's avatar

An elephant falling from a plane

Coloma's avatar


“special Antelope saddle” lololol

Coloma's avatar

Probably easier to saddle an Antelope instead of an Orca. haha

Actually I just brushed up on my QH facts again, and the top speed, was 55 mph!
No specifics, but, that is what Wiki said. I’m rusty these days, no horses for about 8 years now.

mazingerz88's avatar

@Coloma and @Brian1946 For fun check this page showing an antelope or pronghorn with a human rider.

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Coloma's avatar


Wow…I always have wanted a Buffalo, I don’t know why, but I especially love the Asian water buffalos. Maybe I was a Vietnamese rice farmer in a past life. lol

lloydbird's avatar

I’m going with the Orca too.

mazingerz88's avatar

@Coloma they are called Carabao or Kalabaw in the Philippines. They ride the animals in a racing contest too.

gm_pansa1's avatar

Probably a horse. I’m not sure about water animals though.

Coloma's avatar

Well you know, the happiest cows are knee deep in opium poppies in asia. The California cows have nothing on their asian cousins. lol

mazingerz88's avatar

@Coloma wait till weed planting is fully legalized? Lol.

ETpro's avatar

It would definitely be the cheetah. Because they are such cheetahs, they would cheat and eat the 100 lb human who’d jumped on their back. Then they would win the race handily.

Coloma's avatar


I think that Cheetah might need a good attorney, may I recommend the law firm of ” Dewey, Cheatham and Howe”? lolol

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