Stronger Than Steel.Weaker Than a Beetle; WE PUT HUMAN BODY TO THE TEST

The Mirror (London, England), August 23, 2007 | Go to article overview

Stronger Than Steel.Weaker Than a Beetle; WE PUT HUMAN BODY TO THE TEST


Byline: By MATT ROPER

IT was perhaps not the most useful piece of research ever conducted, but scientists have worked out that a Tyrannosaurus Rex could run slightly faster than a Premiership footballer.

Experts at Manchester University found that the six tonne dinosaur could reach a top speed of around 18mph.

We decided to pit man against some other unlikely adversaries to see who comes out on top...

STRENGTH: MAN vs STEEL

OUNCE for ounce, human bones have a greater pressure tolerance and bearing strength than a rod of steel. The strongest bone in the body is the femur or thighbone, which is 48cm long and so strong it can support 30 times the weight of an average man. Man wins

STRENGTH: MAN vs RHINOCEROS BEETLE

A RHINOCEROS beetle can support up to 850 times its own weight on its back. That would be the same as a man carrying 76 family-sized cars around. The strongest humans can only lift a measly three times their own body weight. Beetle wins

SOUND VOLUME: MAN vs BLUE WHALE

NOTHING comes close to the world's biggest mammal when it comes to noise. The low frequency pulses of blue whales hit 188 decibels - more than a jet engine - and can be heard more than 500 miles away. The loudest a human can shout is 70 decibels. Whale wins

STRENGTH: MAN vs COPPER

AHUMANhair is stronger than a copper wire of the same thickness and can stretch up to 30 per cent before snapping. An average head of hair when twisted together can support 23 tonnes of weight, or the equivalent of around 100 people. Man wins

SMELL: MAN vs DOG

WHEN it comes to smelling, dogs win noses down. Their nostrils are approximately a million times more sensitive than a human's. Scent hounds can smell one to 10 million times more acutely than a human, and bloodhounds, who have the keenest sense of smell of any dogs, have noses 10 to a hundred million times more sensitive than a human's. Dog wins

DEXTERITY: MAN vs APES

THE opposable thumb, combined with a larger brain, helped mankind win the evolutionary race over our ape cousins. It helped us move from swinging in trees to making rudimentary tools to texting ex-lovers while drunk. Man wins

MONOGAMY: MAN vs SWAN

THE average human marriage lasts just over 11 years in the UK, which puts us on a par with the swan. The romantic birds mate for life at about two years old but since the average life expectancy of the mute swan is 12 years they lose to humans.

Man wins (just about...)

INTELLIGENCE: MAN vs COMPUTER

THE fastest computer can do over four trillion calculations per second - but unlike humans, they cannot think for themselves, work without instruction or solve problems in a way they aren't programmed to.

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Stronger Than Steel.Weaker Than a Beetle; WE PUT HUMAN BODY TO THE TEST
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