Let’s face it, we all secretly love a good ogle at an ‘oddball’. And how nature has provided us with some absolute incredible examples of animals that have gotten WAY bigger than they should be. Here are the record breakers, the freaks and the downright shockers of the Animal world, and number 15 may be way closer to you than you think!
Zeus was the God of Sky and Thunder in Ancient Greek mythology. Fitting therefore that this thunderous Great Dane specimen was named after him. Zeus the Great Dane was a Michigan dog who gained worldwide fame when he was named the Tallest Dog in the World in 2012 by Guinness Book of World Records. He returned to defend his title in 2013 also! He measured a whopping 7ft 5 inches when standing on his hind legs and almost 4 feet from his foot to his withers. This magnificent dog, worthy of the name, died of old age September 2014.
42. Malaysian Python
Builders and construction workers have a hard enough job at the best of times without an early morning encounter with one of the largest snakes ever recorded! Yes, this huge python was found on a construction site in Malaysia and is thought to be the longest snake ever captured at 24 feet (8 meters) long and weighing a colossal 250kg. The slippery snake was spotted during the construction of a flyover in the tourist hotspot of Penang and later died while giving birth.
41. Great White Shark
For anyone over a certain age, the word ‘Shark’ immediately brings to mind the 1975 classic Steven Spielberg movie, Jaws, which led to a whole generation being afraid to step into the water. They are the largest predatory fish on Earth and grow to an average of 15 feet in length and can weigh up to an astonishing 5,000lbs. If that wasn’t scary enough, they also have powerful tails and can glide through the water at 15 miles per hour and have 300 serrated teeth. If you’re looking for reassurance to get in the water, here it is: Scientists remain convinced that Great Whites don’t have a taste for humans! Most shark attacks are merely “sample bites”. Now, how about a spot of surfing?
40. Giant Raccoon
The average weight for an adult raccoon is 8 to 20 pounds, but 30 pound giants are not uncommon. They very rarely grow much bigger than that but one Wisconsin raccoon proved to have a whopping appetite and is the largest recorded North American raccoon ever – he weighed an incredible 62 pounds. Raccoons in the wild are opportunistic and tend to feed on frogs, nuts, fruits, rodents and berries. The record-breaking Wisconsin raccoon seemed to have a Berry good eye for dinner!
39. Nomuras Jellyfish
The Nomura’s jellyfish is the largest cnidarian in the world. Learn something new every day! A sting from one of these monster jellyfish will likely require more than a discrete pee to fix (which, incidentally, is not effective and more of an urban legend!). The Nomura’s when fully sized are slightly bigger than the height of an average man and can grow to almost 7 feet in length. As you can imagine, their stings are extremely painful, but thankfully they are not renowned for inflicting lasting damage!
38. Giant Grizzly Bear
The Grizzly Bear has a giant head and long claws and is one of the most skilled animals on the planet at controlling their habitat. It is the absolute top of the food chain and can easily maul any animal it comes in contact with. Even fearsome wolves and cougars tamely surrender their kills when a grizzly comes looking for food. After you, Sir! Amazingly, Grizzly Bears diets are rich in fruits, berries, insects but they have been known to eat rats and fish. They go for a very long snooze in the winter time and don’t eat or drink or go to the toilet for a full 5 months!
37. Ocean Sunfish
The Ocean Sunfish, also known as the common mola, is the heaviest bony fish in the world. An adult can reach an incredible weight of 1,000kg, so they literally weigh a ton! The species is generally found in tropical waters around the planet. They emerged shortly after the extinction of dinosaurs and, staggeringly, at a time when whales still had legs!! They evidently had a whale of a time, for they have stuck around and continued to thrive on the planet. The bad puns will continue.
36. Ralph the Rabbit
Ralph the Rabbit was a 4 year old Continental Giant Rabbit from the UK and was named the Guinness World Record largest rabbit in 2010. Ralph was a big boy with a big appetite and at his peak ate almost $100 worth of food a week – Which is more than most human beings consume in a week! Ralphy Boy was extremely fond of cabbage, broccoli, corn on the cob, cucumber, sweetcorn, apples, crackers and, of course, a good old carrot. Scientists are still trying to confirm if he is related to Bugs Bunny or his uncle Roger. I may have invented that last sentence to check if you’re paying attention for the next giant on the list.
35. Grey Wolf
The Grey wolf is one of the world’s best known, well researched and, frankly, HATED animals. The term the “Big Bad Wolf” was largely written with the Grey in mind. It has long preyed on livestock and devastated farming communities by massacring sheep. The Grey Wolf typically doesn’t attack humans but when suffering from rabies, it has often attacked people to deadly consequences. Beware the Big Bad Wolf, it’ll do more than blow the house down!
34. Japanese Spider Crab
The Japanese spider crab is a delicacy in some parts of Japan. And when you consider the size of this Monster, you realize that’s a lot of servings of crab from one beast! It is a stunning specimen of crab and has the greatest leg span of any arthropod, reaching nearly 18 feet from claw to claw! The body can grow to nearly 16 inches and the whole crab can weigh up to 40 pounds, with only the American Lobster bigger among it’s Arthropod cousins. They live at depths of almost 500 feet and only migrate towards the surface during breeding season.
33. Field Marshall the Bull
At 6 foot 5 inches in height, what else could you call a Bull other than ‘Field Marshal’, one of the highest military ranks. Field Marshall is thought to be Britain’s biggest bull and he’s currently basking in retirement at the grand old age of …..10! I call bull at retiring at 10. Mind you, when you weigh a monstrous 1.6 tonnes (heavier than a small car) and have become something of a local celebrity, then perhaps retirement is well deserved. The Field Marshal calls Dulhorn Farm and Caravan Park, Somerset, UK his home.
32. Giant Fox
One of the largest fox’s ever caught in the UK was caught, ironically, by a vet! Keith Talbot was home from Scotland at his parents’ home in Maidstone, Kent, on December 26th and was delivered some awful news by his children that their beloved 19-year-old pet cat had been killed by a fox while sleeping on the front porch. Undeterred, Keith set out to catch the less-than-fantastic Mr. Fox and couldn’t believe his eyes when he discovered a 4 foot fox in the trap. It is believed to be one of the biggest ever seen.
31. Gary the Capybara
Not many people install a swimming pool in their back garden for a pet but that’s exactly what one Texas couple did. Stranger still, the pet in question is a monster Capybara named Gary. In their natural habitat, capybaras spend most of their time in the water so his owners decided to bring the water to him. Gary is a very sociable gentle giant and is reputedly very friendly with the family horse, dogs, tortoises and cats. Although a cool customer at the best of times, he has had several run-ins with the tortoises who don’t respect his privacy. I know the feeling Gary.
30. African Bush Elephant
The largest land animal on planet Earth is the African Bush Elephant. Typical adults are around 13 feet tall and 24 feet long. They weigh a staggering 11 tonnes and can live to the grand old age of 70, with only humans being the other mammals to live longer. They are green-eating herbivores and eat an incredible 350 pounds of vegetation daily and have a trunk so strong it can lift objects in excess of 400 pounds. Popeye and his spinach have nothing on the African Bush Elephant!
29. Sunflower Starfish
The Sunflower Starfish is commonly known as the sunflower seastar and is a huge sea-star found in the northeast Pacific. It is among the biggest sea stars in the world. Sunflower seastars usually have 16 to 24 limbs and come in a variety of colors. They are predators and quick hunters, moving at a speed of 3 feet a minute (not Usain Bolt-esque but not bad for a starfish!). They use 15,000 tube feet on the undersides of their bodies to put on a dart of speed. Whilst they regularly eat snails and clams, the equivalent of a steak dinner for a Starfish is a delicious sea-urchin. Yum.
28. Giant Squid
The giant squid is an elusive, mysterious so-and-so despite the fact it’s the biggest invertebrate on Planet Earth. The largest ever recorded was a behemoth! It measured 59 18 meters in length and weighed a colossal 900kg. The reason these Squid are so mysterious is that they live in the deep-sea and are extremely difficult to study. Researchers hit the jackpot in Japan in 2004 when they captured their first ever images of a living giant squid.
27. Ulric the Norwegian Forest Cat
Who said cats and dogs can’t get along? Ulric, the UK’s fattest cat at 30lbs, has recently acquired a personal trainer by the name of Dennis and, you guessed it, he’s a puppy!! Despite many attempts at dieting for Dorset-based Ulric he just couldn’t shift the weight but since Dennis’s arrival he has lost 2lbs in a month. Evidently a bit of play-time with his new friend has done the trick where all else failed! Aww.
26. Adult Gorilla
A knuckle-walking gorilla is a sight to behold and we all have the image of King Kong pounding his chest wildly. They are magnificent strong creatures. Wild male gorillas weigh up to 400 lbs, can reach up to 6 feet tall and have an arm span that stretches up to 9 feet. Adult male gorillas are known as silverbacks due to the silver hair on their backs reaching to the hips. Fat gorillas in captivity can weigh up to 600lbs but it is unusual for a wild gorilla to reach over 500lbs. It’s all in the diet!
25. Zulu the Giraffe
Giraffes are tall, as everyone knows, but one UK-based giraffe has taken this to a whole new height!!At just over 19 feet tall, Zulu the Giraffe is a whopping four feet taller than an average giraffe and is believed to be the tallest giraffe ever seen in the UK. However, measuring giraffe height is notoriously difficult so this remains an estimate based on the roof of the 20-foot-enclosure. Zulu lives at Folly Farm zoo in Pembrokeshire, UK, and gives new meaning to the word tall!
24. Bismarck Flying Fox
Ever sit back and wonder does something really exist or did you imagine it? Well the Bismarck Flying Fox is one such example. It’s a flying fox! Pteropus capistratus, to use the Latin definition, is a species found in Papua New Guinea and is named after the Archipelago of the same name. It was originally considered a subspecies of Pteropus temminckii before being reassessed in 2001. It is an endangered species of animal and one of the very rare mammals in which the males can lactate!
The first thing to come to mind when thinking of an Ostrich is, of course, eggs. However, their legs are incredible! Ostriches are the worlds largest flightless bird and are speed-demons! When they feel threatened they run at speeds of up to an incredible 70km an hour and their legs are so powerful they can kill a human or even a lion with a forward kick! That’s MMA-level of ninja!
22. Blakiston’s Fish Owl
Blakiston’s fish owl is a large eagle owl, with a wingspan that can reach up to 6 feet long. The wings are dark brown and they have greyish facial features. Blakiston’s fish owl are, as the name suggests, ‘fishermen’, being specialised feeder on aquatic creatures such as fish, amphibians, frogs and even small mammals. They often spend their time along the riverbanks waiting to swoop on unsuspecting prey. Yikes!
21. Colonel Meow
This furry feline currently holds the Guinness World Record for the longest fur. His name is Colonel Meow and he marches into battle under the command of Brigadier Betty and is the superior of Major Kitty. Ok, the last parts may not be fully true but who wouldn’t want an Army of cute cats to go to war with? That’s paws for thought! Colonel Meow is a native of Los Angeles, California or in the Colonel’s own words LA, Cat-ifornia. I’m (thankfully) all out of cat puns.
20. The Harpy Eagle
The Harpy Eagle, not to be confused with the lookalike Papuan Eagle, is a fearsome predator found in the Americas. It holds a place near the summit of the food chain and is only vulnerable to agile Jaguars and Ocelots. It swoops from great heights to prey on tree-dwelling mammals such as the Sloth and certain species of monkeys, such as the Spider Monkey. Moving mammals are not safe either, the Harpy has been known to soar into the sky with squirrels and porcupines for dinner. It is truly a sight to behold.
19. Zorba the Dog
You may have heard of Zorba the Greek. Well, meet Zorba the Dog. This giant English Mastiff from the UK once held multiple Guinness World Records. He weighed an astonishing 340 pounds at his peak, was over 8 feet in length and 37 inches in height. In every way, Zorba was a Titan of the canine world. By all accounts this massive doggy was as placid as a teddy bear but he might have made would-be robbers think twice about entering the premises!
18. Goldie the Goldfish
Most of us will have experienced the joy of owning a goldfish as a child. The tiny orange fishes are good starter pets for children to learn the discipline of feeding and taking care of a pet. One particular goldfish might not have been a good choice! Meet Goldie, the imaginatively named goldfish. This UK goldfish held the World Record for being the largest pet goldfish. In 2008, Goldie was an incredible 15 inches in length, 5 inches in width and weighed a whopping 2lbs. That’s one well-fed goldfish!
17. Giant Weta Cricket
Many of us have a serious problem with and phobia of bugs. Some of you will have already skipped to the next slide at the mere sight of this Giant Weta Cricket, chomping on a carrot. The Weta is a native of New Zealand and can reach the size of a rat! Despite their Alien-like appearance, they very rarely bite humans and have a varied diet ranging from leaves and seeds to smaller bugs. Not the type of bug you want to wake up to roaming your bedroom!
16. Giant African Snail
Lissachatina fulica. For those, like me, a bit rusty on Latin (ahem) this mouthful is the other name for the Giant African Snail. They are, in many ways, ideal pets for children. As with most snails, they don’t tend to do anything in a hurry and are not prone to going missing. The Giant African Snail can grow to 8 inches in length and 32 grams in weight – roughly the size of an adult human hand. They’re also very cheap (as low as $10) so this is one snail that doesn’t hang around long in pet shops.
15. New York Rat
There are roughly 2 million rats in New York City alone. Alas, despite the urban legends they do not grow to the size of a well-fed cat. The largest NY rats tend to be about 2lbs in weight and feed on a predictably awful diet. Still, If I saw a 2lb rat scurrying towards me I’d be swiftly moving in the opposite direction! Scientists conducting a study of NY rats thankfully concluded that bigger does not mean more dangerous.
14. Giant George
‘Giant George’ the Great Dane was a truly enormous dog! He was, for a time, recognised by the Guinness World Records as the tallest dog in the world measuring 42.2 inches in height. He had stiff competition during his reign as Titan, a fellow American Great Dane, was measured a fraction of an inch smaller. Since his death in 2013, George’s record has passed to a Canadian Great Dane by the name of Zeus, who is a full inch taller than the Gentle Giant at 7 foot 5′. Yikes!
13. Chinese Salamander
The Chinese giant salamander is the biggest salamander and largest amphibian in the world, reaching a length of 5 feet and 9 inches, and is one of the most ancient creatures on the Earth, though it rarely reaches that type of size these days. It is fully aquatic and is native to mountain streams and lakes in parts of China. It can sound like a (huge) crying baby in the wild (no relation to Donald Trump!) and it is claimed 2 Salamanders curled up together were the inspiration behind the Chinese symbols for yin and yang!
12. African Goliath Frog
The African Goliath Frog is Huge! Believe me! Goliath may give away the first hint – these are the largest frogs in the world. While most frogs can fit in your hand, the Goliath can grow up to 3 feet long when fully stretched out and can grow as big as 7lbs, which in many cases is the same as an adult human baby. Food for thought!
11. Stewie the Maine Coone
Stewie the Maine Coone was the largest domestic cat in the world until he lost his battle with cancer. He was 8-years-old and nearly 50 inches top to tail. He was bought from a breeder in Oregon in 2005 and his owner was egged on by friends to enter him in contests due to his enormous size. Full name Mymains Stewart Gilligan (what a name for a cat!) was a gentle giant of a cat, with the world’s longest cat tail. He was active in the community and visited old-folks homes in the area to cheer people up. A legendary kitty.
10. Coconut Crab
The Coconut Crab is a species of terrestrial hermit crab also known as the robber crab. It is the largest land-living arthropod in the world and weighs up to 9lbs – a whole lot of crab! It can grow to up to 3 feet in length measured from leg to leg. It is called the Coconut Crab because it is found in locations in the Pacific and Indian Oceans which closely reflect the habitat of the Coconut tree.
9. Hulk the Pitbull
Hulk, the giant dog, is believed to be a cross between an American pitbull and an American bull-terrier. He weighed an incredible 175lbs 2 months before his 2nd birthday. He has since forged a “career” in breeding other dogs and has been making lucrative money in doing so, due to his enormous size and popularity amongst breeders.
8. Giant Freshwater stingray
The giant stingray is another mysterious fish on the list. Nobody seems sure how many giant stingrays are left, what habitats they prefer, or even if they are ever found in the ocean. They have been around for millions of years and can reach 17 feet long and weigh up to a whopping 1,350 pounds. They are brownish grey in color, and have a rather long tail. Beyond that, not a whole lot else is known!
7. Huntsman Spider
Huntsman Spiders are found in Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia, the Mediterranean, Florida and Hawaii and possibly in many other tropical and semi-tropical regions. As the name suggests they are hunters and have been known to even hunt birds. A spider-hunting-birds sounds wrong on almost every level but it’s nonetheless true. Scarily, the Huntsman is a notorious home invader and often enters houses. Worse again, they have a habit for crawling their way into cars and tend to hide behind sun visors or on the corner of the dashboard. Enough to give the creepy-crawlies!
6. Hercules Moth
Hercules seems to be quite a common name for Giant Animals and the short-lived Hercules Moth is no exception. Although their life-span is brief, they resemble a bird more than a moth. They have an enormous 28cm wingspan (the largest of any moth in the world). They are typically found in parts of Australia and New Guinea. The adults are so short-lived they don’t even feed. Curiously they have 2-false-eyes on their body to put would-be attackers off the scent, so to speak!
5. Sammy the Tortoise
Colin Kaepernick has been in the news in the latter part of 2016 and 2017 for his stance on the American National Anthem (irony alert, he refuses to stand). In lesser-known-news, the NFL star has a giant tortoise by the name of Sammy. At 115lbs, the African spurred tortoise is nowhere near fully grown but devours plants and whacks into people and fences on Kaepernicks sprawling property. His parents babysit Sammy while Colin is away during the season yet his father doesn’t seem particularly impressed with Sammy! “All he does is lay around”. Indeed.
4. Blossom the Tall Cow
Cows are not traditionally a scary animal and this Moo is no exception despite being incredibly tall. Blossom the Cow was the tallest cow in the world at a huge 6 feet 4 inches tall, dwarfing all the other cows – EVER! Yes, that’s right. Shortly after her death in 2014, Blossom was granted the honor by the Guinness Book of World Records of the “World’s Tallest Cow of All Time”. She sadly passed away due to a leg injury and is sorely missed by her owner Patty Hanson of Orangeville, Illinois, USA.
3. Hercules the Liger
Like the Flying Fox, a Liger is one of those in the “Is that a real thing?” category. Well, yes it is! A liger, as the name suggests, is a cross between a Lioness and a tiger. When you have one with the name of Hercules you surely know it’s going to be Big with a capital B. Hercules in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest living cat, weighing just 922lbs! He lives at the Myrtle Beach Safari wildlife preserve in South Carolina, USA. He is 131 inches long, and 49 inches tall at his shoulders. He’s a big scary boy!
2. Giant Oarfish
The giant oarfish (Regalecus glesne) was first described in 1772, but like the Giant Squid is an elusive rarely-seen animal due to the deep-sea depths it lives at. Oarfish are believed to reside at a depth of around 3,300 feet – a long way down to get a glimpse! Giant oarfish are the longest known living species of bony fish and have amazing physical properties, they can grow up to a length of 58 feet and can weigh up to 600 pounds. They are one fish you won’t want at the end of your rod and, luckily, the chances of that happening are slim-to-none!
1. Saltwater Crocodile
The Saltwater Crocodile is a ferocious animal and is deemed the animal most likely to kill (and eat) a human. Beware! Average-sized males reach around 17 feet in length and weigh an astonishing 1,000 pounds but if that wasn’t scary enough in itself, adult males are known to get as big as 2,200 pounds! And, of course, they have scarily strong bites that can snap through bone with ease. They are located throughout India, Asia and Northern Australia and as if they weren’t already scary enough, they are also the Michael Phelps of crocodiles and have been spotted far out at sea.
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