Stories tagged world record

Put, put, put: The British Challenge car is a bit faster than this 1896 model.
Put, put, put: The British Challenge car is a bit faster than this 1896 model.Courtesy Skuds
After lots and lots of work a team of British engineers broke the century old world speed record for a steam powered car. Charles Burnett III piloted the sleek green car to an average speed of 139.843mph. Steam cars sound crazy? They actually used to be quite common in the early days of automobiles, before the internal combustion engine really caught on.

Oct
22
2008

It's thinking about what it's going to do to you: It'll probably just hug you.
It's thinking about what it's going to do to you: It'll probably just hug you.Courtesy Datuk Chan Chew Lun
Light your sparklers Buzzketeers! It’s celebration time! And if you don’t have sparklers, go ahead and light any old thing! Because the world officially has a new largest insect!

Bang a gong!

This new bug is actually dead, and has been dead for about thirty years, but the international insect size record committee has had a lot of back work to do, and I guess they only just got around to it.

Anyway, we just have to accept that now everybody can measure insects as quickly as we might hope, and move on to this massive bug—Chan’s Megastick. (Or Phobaeticus chain if you’re going to be a jerk about it.) It looks… like a stick, really. A stick that’s nearly two feet long.

That’s right, y’all, the megastick is over 22 inches long from front legs to back legs, with a 14-inch-long body. It lives by disguising itself among the treetops, until a human walks beneath it, at which point it dives down, and inserts itself into the person’s body. It lives the remainder of its life there, laying eggs in all major organs, and scurrying around just beneath the skin.

That, or they spend their lives moving slowly and eating plants. Which ever you choose to believe.

The record-breaking specimen was collected decades ago in Borneo by a local giant bug enthusiast. Ten years later, the Malaysian naturalist Datuk Chan Chew Lun found the remarkable insect in the collection, and it was only announced to be a new species (among more than 3000 species of stick insects) last week. It edged out the previous record holder by less than an inch.

A huge, huge bug. How do you feel about that?