In College Park, Maryland, a snail's pace has been determined to be about .000363005 miles per hour. A snail completing a marathon on a plexiglass treadmill at the University of Maryland, plodded 22 feet and one-half inch in 11 hours and 30 minutes, without stopping to catch his breath.
A fish and wildlife laboratory here is conducting research on snails, which prey on Chesapeake Bay oysters, in an effort to slow them up still further. The snails are still too fast for the oysters.
To Israel of old the snail was unclean—as were the ferret, the chameleon, the lizard, the mole (Leviticus 11:30).
We are amazed when we compare the snail's pace of .000363005 miles per hour with the new record for speed set by the U.S. X-15 plane. The X-15 rocket plane, en route to performing perhaps its riskiest maneuver, set a new speed mark of 4159 miles an hour—unintentionally.
Space Agency Pilot Joseph A. Walker surpassed the old mark of 4093 miles per hour while streaking into the fringes of space, so he could plunge back down with the stubby research craft's nose 23 degrees higher than its tail. The maneuver was to test the X-15's stability in a technique future space craft may use to brake their return to earth. The flight plan called for only about 400 miles per hour but the 89 second burst of the mighty rocket engine pushed the X-15 faster than anticipated.