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10 Fastest Things in the Universe


5
Everyone Knows It's Windy
It may not be that high, but it sure is windy. Timothy Babasade/iStock/Thinkstock
It may not be that high, but it sure is windy. Timothy Babasade/iStock/Thinkstock

For a long time, a rather small mountain in New Hampshire (elevation roughly 6,288 feet or 1,917 meters) held the title of fastest recorded wind on Earth. Measured on Mount Washington in 1934, the wind reached a miserable 231 mph (372 kph), and the peak has cheerily proclaimed itself the "Home of the World's Worst Weather" for quite some time [source: Mount Washington Observatory].

In 2010, Australia's Barrow Island broke the wind record, with measured speeds of 253 mph (407 kph) [source: Ferrell]. However, don't pity Mount Washington: The peak can probably keep the World's Worst Weather title since the subtropical climate of Barrow Island might cancel out the terrible wind.

But those are just the records for our own little slice of heaven. The real achievements in wind speed are made out in the universe, where black hole IGR J17091 is creating winds whipping around at 20 million mph (32 million kph) [source: Fitzpatrick]. Sure, it's only 3 percent of the speed of light, but it probably still makes for a rather blustery day in the universe.