# (PseudoHumor) How to test elephant speeds for sure

Looking back, I've noticed a rather extensive thread on elephant speeds, debating the absolute maximum speeds of elephants. Greg Paul suggested a lower estimate of 12 mph while most of his opponents seem to stick with a higher estimate of 25 mph. All this rather flamebait issue seems to have risen from the confusion stemming from the lack of formal and widely-reconized attempts to measure elephant speeds, once and for all for the record. (However, though 25 mph is by far the most common measure, I wonder if it sounds a little high) Not wishing to start a rather tired thread however, I would like to suggest a method to discover the absolute speed of elephants.

Most methods I see used to measure elephant speeds might be not be accurate due to the elephant itself being unmotivated to run/amble at its top speeds. (Prehaps leading to Greg's 12 mpg?) However, may any paleontologist wish to risk the wrath of animal-rights groups, I do suggest a method of motivating the animal to run/amble at its maxium attainable speed, hence reducing the amount of confusion and debate and leading to more consistent results:

The idea is to put the elephant in a strengthened tunnel wide enough to allow its bulk to pass through. The tunnel in itself should be long enough to allow for the animal to reach its top speed and maintain it for a while. After the animal is inserted in one end, fire is enginered at one end of the tunnen behind the animal to induce it to run/amble by instinct, away from the flames in a straight line. The flames can be made to "chase" the elephant via controled used of multi-valved gas pipes running the length of the tunnel. At which point, we can be reasonably sure the animal should be quite motivated to move at its maximum speed. This result can then be repeated on different animals to get a sizeable sample range and from there we should be able to obtain a good measure of the animals' typical top speed. Any animal that failed to survive testing should be reglated as lunch.

An alternative, and cheaper experiment is to set the elephants' tail on fire and see how it runs, but the animal might not run in a straight line, or might catch fire and die before reaching its top speed. To observe speeds in the wild, prehaps starting a massive bushfire near a herd of elephants can work too. With so many individuals of different sizes, it provides an excellent experimental platform to observe elephant speeds.

`It's a flame-attracting experiment.`

```_________________________________________________________________