We all know that Flash moves so fast that time slows down, so to others it looks like he is running at superhuman speeds(because he is).

However, how does that work? Does he feel like he is running at a normal human speed except time is slow?

For example, if I was The Flash and I tried to run from L.A. to New York, it would only take at most a minute in real time, but wouldn’t it feel to him like he was running all the way to New York on foot? Because even if it only took me a minute, if my perception of time was different and it took me the "real time" to run I would be bored to death if I tried to run all the way there.

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    – Politank-Z
    Oct 9, 2017 at 3:31
  • 4
    When we go faster, we start to perceive our own speed long before major time dilation kicks in. Are you basically asking how much of Flash's speed is due to time acceleration powers, and how much of it is good ol' hoof power?
    – Misha R
    Oct 9, 2017 at 5:02
  • Not exactly. We all know that Flash feels like he is moving normally, just with slowed time. So if he feels like he is moving normally, would he not bore himself to death running from L.A. to New York or even farther even if it only takes a minute?
    – Bat-Cow
    Oct 10, 2017 at 1:18
  • @Bat-Cow - So what you are really asking is the difference between actual time and perceived time.
    – JohnP
    Oct 11, 2017 at 16:30
  • 2
    We all know that Flash moves so fast that time slows down Citation needed. Oct 11, 2017 at 20:27

3 Answers 3


I found a Reddit thread on AskScienceFiction that is very similar to your question.

Redditor Dredeuced posted a comment that explains that Flash can 'zone out' when travelling at superspeed.

The Flash, due to the Speed Force, is capable of zoning out when doing non-difficult tasks at superspeed. This is often why you see the Flash get tagged by slower people when he's doing something else at superspeed -- he kind of suspends his consciousness so as not to go insane!

Dredeuced includes this image of a Flash Comic:

Flash zoning pic

And goes on to say:

in this particular scene the entire city was put in a state of suspended motion, which robbed him of his usual ability to "zone out" when doing automatic processes to him.


"We all know that Flash moves so fast that time slows down, so to others it looks like he is running at superhuman speeds(because he is)."

This isn't the case - you're better describing the "speed" powers of Zoom, AKA Hunter Zolomon. He plays with time so he can move quickly, as well as in other ways. The Flash (almost all of them) just runs way hella-fast. Flash has heightened perception (it's been described as "speed-geared vision") so he can actually see things at those impossible speeds - otherwise it'd be a chaotic blur to him, just as he is when others see him.

Mike Baron wrote another good example of "Flash-view" in a early issue of his run. Wally is in a theater and suddenly switches to super speed instinctually. He notices the movie "stops" - it hasn't, he's just moving so fast he's between the frames. He realizes the reason he kicked into speed - there's a bullet tickling the back of his neck, about to pierce his spine. So at top speed (which at this point in Wally's career is "only" about the speed of sound) he combs through the theater, grabbing other bullets from the air and catching the nut in the back of the theater who is shooting them. And though it all takes place in the fraction of a second, he's viewing it in time relative to him, and he perceives it as several seconds, up to a minute. This is because he's concentrating carefully, working in detail.

In Baron's first issue of the book, Wally must run cross-country to deliver a transplant heart. He does it in (IIRC) under a couple hours - faster than any jet, but far slower than Barry could run (see previous comment about Wally's slower speed). He perceived the trip as only that couple of hours, and not however long it would take a human to run that distance.

So yes, he CAN "zone out" (much like you would on a car trip), but can also be in the moment, giving that "time slows down" perception, but not a literal time dilation effect.


Other people's sense of time is different than his. So, for instance, all rules would apply with faster/slower moving objects where they would change sound frequency.

"Initially, you hear nothing because the plane is moving faster than the sound itself but when the sound pressure cone arrives at your ear you hear a boom. An object traveling through the air causes sound wave energy (air) to pile up along a conical line (like the bow wave of a boat) called a wave-front. As these waves pile up, a very large pressure difference exists across the wave-front, which is called a shock wave. As this wave-front passes an individual, the sudden pressure differential or change in pressure creates the "sonic boom" that we hear." He must have superhuman cells of some sort because the level of wear necessary to produce a kinetic burst that would continue his forward motion and survive it.

Aside from that people/cars etc would appear next to stationary- their timeline doesn't cease, we are all mutually exstant, they just move more slowly.

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