14 Alternatives to Hyperloop, Elon Musk's Mysterious Transportation Device

by Josh Heller Aug 12, 2013

BILLIONAIRE INVENTOR Elon Musk is set to unveil a mysterious new high-speed transportation technology. The Hyperloop will allegedly be cheaper than a bullet train, crash-proof, weather-proof, and could get people from LA to San Francisco in 30 minutes. The inventor and entrepreneur behind PayPal, Tesla, and SpaceX says he’s too busy with other ventures to actually work on the Hyperloop, so he’s making the design open-source. He’s hoping that people can improve on his plans.

There’s some speculation that the Hyperloop is merely a jumbo version of the pneumatic tube that banks use to send cash to other parts of their building. Since we’re getting speculative here, I want to propose some better high-speed transportation technologies.

1. Running fast through a series of tunnels

running fast through series of tunnels

When a series of tunnels are built connecting every major destination on the globe, all you’ll have to do is run quickly through them! Or run through them moderately and speed them up in post-production.

2. Flame-powered bike

flame-powered bike

Get between destinations quickly on a bicycle with a scorched-earth policy.

3. Teleportation

teleportation gif

The technology isn’t completely there, but once it is, just poof in front of dinner tables and look like you belong.

4. Turtle on a Roomba

turtle on a roomba

Really solid mode of transportation if you’re a turtle.

5. Back of an 18-wheeler

kid riding a truck

This is not only fun, it’s free! And if you fall off, I guess it doesn’t really matter how long the journey was going to take you.

6. Sitting still

Earth's orbit

Just sit in one place and let Earth’s orbit do the rest.

7. Reverse-Pangaea


In what geologists have called “pulling a Reverse-Pangaea.” The reconfiguration of landmasses would make it possible to turn a transatlantic flight into a leisurely stroll.

8. Vertical hula hoop

vertical hula hoop

The fastest method for getting to the Kombucha Depot on the other side of town.

9. Change of scenery

train tracks backdrop

You were going to take the train home, but then just decided you’d rather skip it and just be at home.

10. Sea dragons

sea dragon

The fastest method for crossing the ocean. Bring some headphones, though; sea dragons always play the lamest tunes.

11. Bowling ball

stuck in a bowling ball

Public transportation by bowling ball is great, but service is intermittent because of frequent strikes.

12. Spider-mobile

spider bicycle

Finally, an opportunity to sit on a couch while riding a tandem bike that looks kind of like a spider through the parking lot of a prestigious tennis club!

13. Jet pack


An excellent way to travel — just make sure you calibrate it for the right hemisphere, or you’ll be shot through the center of the earth.

14. Pogo stick

pogo stick

Boing from Point A to Point Z to Point C to Point Y back to Point A before reaching your final destination at Point B!

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