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How Fast Things Travel Compared to the Speed of Light

Illustration for article titled How Fast Things Travel Compared to the Speed of Light

Sometimes it's hard to put things like the speed of light into perspective: it's a number so large that it's tough to make sense of. Which is why this visualization, which compares the speed of things you can (kinda) more easily visualize, is massively helpful.

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With arc length representing speed, Usain Bolt barely registers, while a Cheetah at least puts in a decent showing. A Bugatti Veyron or Bullet Train take things up a notch but then—WHOOSH—there goes an HTV2 jet. But we're still pitifully far away from travelling at the speed of light. Sigh. [Visua.ly]

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DISCUSSION

This is a horrible graph and a horrible visual. It does not show the difference at all. It makes it seem like we are almost at the speed of light. By putting an asterisk at the end and saying now multiple by 18,135 is not visual.