I was looking up an answer I had about a song called Wolf Creek Pass by CW McCALL. The question was how fast do you have to go for telephone poles to be passing at 22,000 poles an hour. This led me to another question from a song and I have no idea how to figure it out. The song in question is Hot Rod Lincoln by Commander Cody. In this song they have these lines:

Now the boys all thought I'd lost my sense And telephone poles looked like a picket fence They said, "Slow down! I see spots! The lines on the road just look like dots."

Now my question is this, How fast do you need to be traveling for common road lines to look like dots? Preferably in MPH.


1 Answer 1


Roughly: 186049.4 miles per second, so 11162964 miles per hour.

(I used https://www.omnicalculator.com/physics/length-contraction to compute this, basing it on the fact that the typical stripe is 6" wide and 10 feet long, so to make the rectangular stripe look square, you need a contraction factor of 20.)

("We're gonna need a bigger engine...")


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