Our Lord’s mercy and compassion over living beings manifests itself in many ways. One of these manifestations is the amazing speed animals use to survive, sometimes to run away and sometimes when they have to chase.
What are the fastest animals in the world? What are the characteristics of these animals?
Fastest Beings In The Air
Birds are the fastest animals on earth. That friction force is less in the air has a big impact on birds being the fastest creatures. The fastest among birds is the tercel, which is as big as a crow. The speed of this little bird, which flies 320 kilometers per hour, is equal to the latest speeds of cars such as the Lamborghini Murcielago Convertible, which is the fastest production car in the world, and Formula 1 racers.
These beings first climb in the air and then dive on their prey flying underneath them at a speed of 320 kilometers per hour, using a special hunting technique called “diving.” Then they suddenly catch the prey that dies as a result of this impact in the air and this ends the hunting process. These beings gain this amazing speed only when they dive to the ground for hunting. There is no doubt that the speed of this bird, that reached a record speed in the air when compared to other birds, and the ability to calculate the impact point or catch its prey in mid-air cannot occur coincidentally. Besides these, birds of the falcon species need to be able to see their prey from very far distances in order to maintain its life. This could only be ensured with the visual acuity of falcons being seven times sharper than that of man. This speed of falcons is, no doubt, a wonder of creation that makes them perfect hunters and are a result of Almighty Allah’s superior creation. They could only fly because Allah, the All-Knowing, inspires them to fly this fast and because He created the necessary systems in their bodies. In one verse, this truth is revealed as follows:
“Have they not looked at the birds above them, with wings outspread and folded back? Nothing holds them up but the All-Merciful. He sees all things.” (Surat al-Mulk, 19)
Fastest Beings in Water:
All sea creatures from the tiniest fish to the biggest whale move easily with a superior maneuverability , swim with the highest efficiency by masterly using their body weight and easily feed. The reason for this is that the swimming system of every fish species is created in a perfect manner. The location of their fins is specially selected, the size of their gills and the indents on their skins have the characteristics that meet their needs perfectly.
The way a fish swims looks like the working system of machines. Almost all machines move around a fixed axis with a fixed rotation speed and produce power via pieces called shafts. Fish also produce power, but their working system is much different than that of machines. Every single crank in fish is connected in such a way that movement takes place on a single plane. Therefore, the fish’s spine moves right and left continuously like a snake curling on the ground. The fish’s speed of forward movement is also directly proportional to the right-to-left traffic speed of the axis of the fin along the fish’s spine. When the fin gets close to the axis speed increases and when it is away from it, it decreases.
Sudden acceleration is vital for fish, because they need this capability both to hunt and to run away from predators. Some small fish can reach their maximum speeds in a short time like one-twentieth of a second. The thrust they produce in the meantime is four times their own weight.
This means sports cars reaching 100 kilometers from 0 kilometer within 4-6 seconds, but normally such a thing is impossible because cars need more time to reach their maximum speeds. However, for fish the time we mentioned is only one-twentieth of a second. Besides all of these, there is also another point that needs to be mentioned. Fish also show this superior performance sometimes swimming against currents. When it is considered that water’s resistance is far more than that of the air, it can be understood that fish have an extraordinary performance. Some examples about this superior performance of fish are as follows:
The best example about this subject is no doubt the Mediterranean spearfish. The Mediterranean spearfish, which looks like a swordfish and has a very large dorsal fin , is the fastest creature in water with a speed of 110 kilometers per hour. This fish, which has a total weight of 100 kilos and a height of 3.4 meters, feeds on smaller fish and cuttlefish, thanks to its strong fins and aerodynamic qualities and can also escape from sharks easily.
The Atlantic swordfish is among the fastest swimming fish with a speed of 80 kilometers per hour.
Dolphins and whales are the fastest of sea mammals with speeds of up to 66 kilometers per hour and 48 kilometers per hour respectively.
The flying fish, gray mullet and octopus all reach very high speeds by swimming with speeds of up to 56 kph, 12 kph 6 kph respectively.
Fastest Beings on Land
All land beings, except for those who move by bouncing, generally walk by throwing their feet crosswise. The right front and left back feet move to the front together and they are followed by the right back and left front feet. The body twists with this crosswise movement of the feet and proceeds with continuous movement. This crosswise running system Allah created in living beings helps land beings move in the fastest way. Cheetahs, which are the fastest of land-dwelling creatures, move in this way.
Cheetahs watch around with their sharp eyes, bend over when they spot an impala or antelope astray from the herd; hunch their backs, lay their ears back and begin to run by bracing up from their first steps. In a couple of seconds, they can increase their speed up to 72 kmkph They can run a distance greater than 600 meters with a super speed up to 113 kilometers per hour within seconds. Cheetahs have to catch their prey in a very short time, so they increase their speed to a maximum level as rapidly as possible. This is because in case of maintaining their super speed for more than 30-45 seconds, their body temperature increases up to 46 degrees, which can harm their brains. Therefore, they lock on the prey and try to capture it immediately. Cheetahs, different from other big cats, generally hunt their prey alone, thanks to these qualities.
Not all of the living beings that dwell on land move in the same way. Some of them throw their front and back feet at one side simultaneously, then move to the feet at the other side. Camels, lamas that live in the South America Andean Mountains, alpaca, giraffes on the African plains, okapi living in the forests of the Congo and hyenas can be counted among beings that walk like this.
Allah is the Creator of All Beings
When our body is resting, our circulatory system distributes blood to our internal organs and body parts almost equally. If we begin to do sports or run without doing warm-up exercises, meaning if we do rapid and sudden movements, our blood floods to our organs in a very fast and unbalanced way, and there would not be enough blood left to feed the muscles in our body. Less oxygen goes to the area with low blood levels, and this causes aches or cramps. In order to avoid these aches and cramps, we need to warm up before running or beginning to do sports. However, animals do not need to warm themselves up or make preparations to do sudden movements or run. They can begin moving suddenly and run very long distances with speeds so high that could compete with high technology vehicles. These are some of the amazing qualities our Lord bestowed on these beings to hunt, feed and avoid being hunted.
Our Lord created all of these beings with superior qualities as a must for their lives. All of these qualities, which amaze people and cannot be acquired other than by Allah’s creation, are only an example of Allah’s unique creation, His infinite power and demonstrate that He can do anything. Man is only responsible to see the amazing evidences of creation in animals, and praise Allah’s mightiness as one should and shower Him with praise. In one verse, our Lord’s knowledge of creation is revealed as such:
“Allah created every animal from water. Some of them go on their bellies, some of them on two legs, and some on four. Allah creates whatever He wills. Allah has power over all things.” (Surat an-Nur, 45)
Almighty Allah has granted various abilities to living beings, in order to survive and maintain their existence as a blessing. Incomparable speed and bouncing abilities of living beings, which are found in nature and we will mention only some in our article, and that they can fight against difficult conditions show our Lord’s art of creation and knowledge. Living beings can hunt, defend themselves by escaping from enemies and protect their offspring thanks to these amazing abilities. Almighty Allah reveals that He created animals with many different features in one verse of the Qur’an as such:
“Have they not seen how We created for them, by Our own handiwork, livestock which are under their control?” (Surah Ya Sin Suresi, 71)
There is Goodness in Every Being Allah Creates
What Allah, Who creates all beings wants from us, is to think about His infinite power and art while watching their beauty and superior qualities, that He created all things, to realize that He is the Owner of everything and to take pleasure in everything that He creates. At the same time, it is to thank Him for creating these unique beauties and to love Him very much. There is only one purpose in the creation of the whole universe, all animals, plants, day and night and everything around us. It is to see the superiority of Allah’s mightiness and creation. In one verse, this important truth is revealed as such:
“In the creation of the heavens and earth, and the alternation of the night and day, and the ships which sail the seas to people’s benefit, and the water which Allah sends down from the sky – by which He brings the earth to life when it was dead and scatters about in it creatures of every kind – and the varying direction of the winds, and the clouds subservient between heaven and earth, there are Signs for people who use their intellect.” (Surat al-Baqara, 164)