In Theory, Humans Could Run Up to 40 Mph — Fast Enough to Escape a Grizzly Bear

Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Usain Bolt is unquestionably the fastest man in the world. In fact, he's hit a top speed of 28 miles per hour in a 100-meter dash. However, a 2010 study suggests that Bolt's speed, while impressive, might not be the limit of human capacity. Theoretically, humans could run as fast as 40 mph. 

Source: YouTube

Essentially, the findings posit that the limit of human speed comes down to how fast our muscles in the body are able to move. "Running speed limits are set by the contractile speed limits of the muscle fibers themselves, with fiber contractile speeds setting the limit on how quickly the runner's limb can apply force to the running surface," according to Live Science

"If one considers that elite sprinters can apply peak forces of 800 to 1,000 pounds with a single limb during each sprinting step, it's easy to believe that runners are probably operating at or near the force limits of their muscles and limbs," said Peter Weyand, one of the study's authors.

If a human were able to run that fast, while they certainly can't come close to the cheetah (70 mph), a human would be able to evade a grizzly bear, and would be much quicker than a T. rex, according to Live Science. With that in mind, perhaps Jurassic World's Claire could escape one in heels, after all. 

Source: YouTube

Read more: This Woman Is Running 40 Marathons Across 7 Deserts for Water Crisis Awareness

h/t Live Science

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Miles Surrey

Miles is a staff writer at Mic, covering culture. He is based in New York and can be reached at miles@mic.com.

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