There are hundreds of people in London right now who are trying to prove how fast they can go — and millions of us are watching them on TV.
If all this Olympic prowess has left you feeling bad about your own athletic abilities, look at these eight animals, whom even the most confirmed couch potato could easily edge out in a race.
Check out more Vetstreet-exclusive coverage of the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games, including eight animals who could beat Olympics record holders.
The slowest mammal is the three-toed sloth, who averages a distance of only 0.15 miles per hour. You'd probably also win a race against his slightly speedier cousin: The two-toed sloth can climb 6 to 8 feet in a minute, which comes out to about 0.07 miles per hour.
Even the fastest snails in the world move incredibly slow. The 2011 winner of the snail racing championships in England took 3 minutes and 23 seconds to complete a 13-inch course! The world record, set in 1995, is a lot faster — but Archie the snail still took 2 minutes and 20 seconds to travel the rather short distance.
Most people think of sharks as swift-moving predators, but not every member of the family can keep up with that reputation. Scientists recently declared the Greenland shark to be the slowest representative of the species, swimming at an average speed of only 1 mile per hour. They're so sluggish, in fact, that they have to hunt by sneaking up on sleeping seals.
This insect has the slowest wing flap at 300 beats per minute. Sound like a lot? The Swallowtail butterfly is actually quite the slacker compared to the midge, who holds the record of 62,760 beats in the same amount of time.
The giant Galapagos tortoise walks at 0.16 miles per hour, which is much slower than humans, who average a walking speed of 2.8 miles per hour. Of course, these reptiles can live to be 150, so they've got little reason to hurry.
Lorises are little primates who are distinguished by their curious, silent movements — one species is even called the Slow Loris. A slender loris was once timed moving normally at 1.3 miles per hour. In addition to the fact that their lumbering makes it hard for predators to spot them, they possess a bonus defense: The slow loris is one of only a few venomous mammals in the world.
The bird that flies the slowest could be right outside your window: The common house sparrow clocks between 15 and 19 miles per hour. There's one other bird who can go even slower when showing off: During courtship, the woodcock travels only 5 miles per hour.
Yes, the sea anemone is an animal! They usually spend their whole lives in one place, but some can creep slowly along the ocean floor. Although you'll need time-lapse photography to actually witness it, since they only average about 0.04 inches per hour!
Which animal is one of the slowest animals in the world? ›
Three-toed sloths are some of the slowest and seemingly laziest creatures in the world.Is snail the slowest animal in the world? ›
The snail is one of the slowest moving animals in the world; it moves at 50 yards per hour. Their lack of speed is attributed to their foot (the part of the body that extends from the shell), which in their case is one large muscle that helps them inch across the ground.What are those slow animals? ›
While sloths are the slowest mammals in the world, you might want to know if there are other critters as slow or perhaps, even slower than a sloth. Water invertebrates Sea Anemones are slower than sloths, according to a-z-animals.com. Sea Anemones are typically still and attached to rocks or coral underwater.What is the slowest thing in the world? ›
The atoms in our frigid atom cloud quite literally move at less than a snail's pace – and that cloud is the slowest thing on Earth.What is the slowest animal that can fly? ›
The slowest flying non-hovering bird recorded is the American woodcock, at 8 kilometres per hour (5.0 mph).Which animal eats very slow? ›
Sloths munch on leaves, twigs and buds. Because the animals don't have incisors, they trim down leaves by smacking their firm lips together. A low metabolic rate means sloths can survive on relatively little food; it takes days for them to process what other animals can digest in a matter of hours.What is the slowest animal in the sky? ›
Both the American and European Woodcock have the slowest powered flight speed for any bird, 8 kilometers per hour or or 5 miles per hour.What moves slower than a snail? ›
Sloths are the world's slowest animals, also one of the cutest animals on the planet. A sloth's top speed is 0.003 miles per hour, while a garden snail's top speed is 0.03 miles per hour.Is there an animal slower than a turtle? ›
From sloths to snails, tortoises to slugs, these are some of the slowest animals in the world.Is turtle the slowest animal? ›
Turtles are slightly faster than sloths, clocking in at speeds of 1 mile per hour on land, and 1.5 miles per hour in the water.
Which one is slower a sloth or a turtle? ›
Turtles are slightly faster than sloths, clocking in at speeds of 1 mile per hour on land, and 1.5 miles per hour in the water. There are many different species of turtles including – box turtles, snapping turtles, painted turtles, and softshell turtles!What's slower a sloth or snail? ›
The top speed of a sloth is 0.003 miles per hour; they are so slow that algae can grow on them: on average, sloths travel 41 yards per day—less than half the length of a football field, snails travel about 50 yards per hour, so they're quite a bit faster than a sloth.Which one is the slowest animal underwater? ›
The dwarf seahorse is the world's slowest moving fish, swimming at about 0.01mph. Dwarf seahorses tend to stay in a unique place, for that reason the species is mostly threatened by habitat loss. Unlike most of the other fish, the dwarf seahorse is monogamous and mates for life.