The world's most powerful things
There's a lot to be said for subtlety and grace, but sometimes you just want brute force and raw power. The 10 things on our list of the World's Most Powerful — ranging from the world's biggest bomb to the planet's strongest animal — pack enough power to test the limits of our imagination.
Take the world's most powerful computer, the IBM Roadrunner. With the ability to process 1 million billion calculations per second, this supercomputer has the strength of 100,000 MacBooks combined. It is so powerful that IBM estimates it would take 6 billion people armed with calculators nearly 50 years to process what the Roadrunner can achieve in a day.
The Roadrunner (there is only one) is owned by the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration, and its primary purpose is to model the aging nuclear warheads in our atomic arsenal for safety reasons. Cost? $100 million US.
Looking for a powerful buzz? Pick up a $130 bottle of Sam Adams Utopias. This 54-proof brew is the strongest beer in the world. Just make sure to drink it slow: One 24-ounce bottle packs as much alcohol as a 12-pack of Bud Light.
While you are at it, try some Naga Jolokia pepper sauce on your buffalo wings. These power peppers pack 10 times more heat than jalapeños — and can burn your hands, let alone your tongue.
Sometimes power can be terrifying. The most powerful weapon ever detonated, the Soviet Union's Big Ivan hydrogen bomb, could vaporize everything in a 64-kilometre radius of its target. The Russians detonated it on the remote island of Novaya Zemlya in the Arctic Ocean in October 1961, at the peak of the Cold War.
"No more powerful weapon has ever been created, or even seriously contemplated as far as we know," said Carey Sublette, a former weapon systems analyst and proprietor of the Nuclear Weapons Archive. "One hundred megatons is much too large for any real military justification or need."
Botox most potent poison on earth
And while Botox injections might be the hottest beauty procedure in Hollywood, its active ingredient —botulinum toxin — is the most potent poison on earth. A gram of this bacteria-based poison is powerful enough to kill a million people.
When it comes to strong engines, the Wartsila-Sulzer boat engine makes a turbo-charged Porsche look about as powerful as a golf cart. With the ability to crank out 108,920 horsepower, the Wartsila-Sulzer is stronger than 213 Ferrari 430 Scuderias. The engines are used to power very large container ships.
If you're searching for the world's strongest creature, don't think elephants or whales — look instead to beetles. The average rhinoceros beetle can lift about 850 times its body weight. To equal the power of this 6-inch bug, 158-kg Ryan Kennelly — who holds the world bench-press record of 1,075 pounds (487 kg) —would need to max out at 300,000 pounds (136,077 kg). That's the equivalent to lifting 80 Toyota Camrys.