A physics genius out in California found that a tiny little mite is faster than the mighty cheetah in terms of relative speed.
The finding is based on measuring the speed of the mite relative to its body size and not distance traveled. The mite, Paratarsotomus macropalpis, is smaller than a sesame seed and can run up to 322 body lengths per second.
So while it doesn’t cover much ground while it’s moving so quickly, if you look at that relative speed, it’s 20 times faster than a cheetah. Technically, the cheetah wasn’t even the record holder.
The Australian tiger beetle was the fastest land animal before this little might. The tiger beetle can cover 171 body lengths per second.
The guy who measured the speed of that little mite, Sam Rubin, says his discovery can be useful for technology development down the road.
"Looking deeper into the physics of how they accomplish these speeds could help inspire revolutionary new designs for things like robots or biomimetic devices," Ruben says.