Big-boned. Fluffy. Huge. Heavy. Whatever you call them, these biggest animals tip the scales and inspire jaw-dropping reactions whenever they appear in public or on the news – they’re some of the largest specimens of their individual species, and animal fans just can’t seem to get enough of them! Some have actually set records, and others are just impressive, but when you check these slides out you’ll be shocked by how much they dwarf their “average” siblings and cousins. From the adorable to the aggressive, the furry to the finned, here are 38 of Mother Nature’s awe-inspiring XXL animal superstars:
38. How Does She Walk Him?
This is the 44 inch tall Zeus, the current titleholder for the world’s tallest dog. This image makes it look like his owner is really short – but she’s not! He’s just really that high up! It must be a real struggle getting this lanky fella off the couch if he tries to sneak onto it. A direct hit from that big tail probably stings, but not as much as…
37. Brainless, But Huge
The Nomura’s Jellyfish is so big, the scuba diver beside it looks more like a bathtub toy than a person. He’s a little too close for comfort with those stinging tentacles! No, it isn’t as scary as a shark, but you still wouldn’t want one to brush against your leg, would you?
36. Here Comes Peter Cottontail…
This big bunny is named Ralph, and he has held the title of world’s largest rabbit for several years! Weighing in at an astounding 50 pounds, this big boy is in a league far apart from common yard bunnies. Can you imagine discovering this monster out nibbling your lettuce patch? His only fears are probably running out of carrots or the brute in our next slide…
35. Big, Sly and Unbelievable
…a 26 pound fox! In this picture, you can see what a normal fox looks like beside this massive specimen, who was hunted down after a string of cat attacks and kills in the surrounding neighborhood. While it’s a shame that a hunt was needed to protect other animals, it’s a truly beautiful creature. Speaking of sneaky animals, this next “bandit” is huge!
34. Trash Cans are No Match
Who doesn’t love a sweet little raccoon? If you saw this massive specimen wedged in between your garbage bins, you might rethink your stance on these nocturnal creatures, which are normally quite a bit smaller. This one tips the scales at an astounding 75 pounds!
33. It Was HOW Long?
…this absolutely massive snake! With a staggering length of 55 feet total, it was longer than 9 average men laying head-to-feet! Anything this crazy-long reptile has in its sights for dinner doesn’t stand a chance.
32. Great White Wow!
This throwback picture is from 1945 and was snapped in a Cuban fishing village. That massive great white shark reportedly measured 21 feet long and weighed an unbelievable 7,000 pounds! I bet everyone was breathing a sigh of relief to know it wasn’t swimming near their village any longer. I wonder if they ate it! Chances are this next vintage ocean-dweller was destined for dinner…
31. Talk About a Fish Fry
This enormous ocean sunfish is so big, all of the dozens of people in the same photo likely could have eaten it for days. It makes you wonder how the heck they were able to reel it up onto the shore! It’s not exactly pretty, however, and neither is our next sea-going creature…
30. Crab Legs, Anyone?
This is a Japanese Spider Crab, and it’s probably just plain creepy to anyone that gets skittish around spiders. All those legs, combined with the pitch-black ocean floor? No thanks! Then again, maybe something with a ton of legs and a home in the sea can be pretty after all…
29. A Pretty Unusual Star
This is a sunflower starfish, and it’s considerably larger than the 5-pointed starfish that most people look for while beach combing. It can actually have up to 4 times the number of arms – 20 – that enable it to move quickly around the ocean floor in search of food. One thing’s for sure, it wouldn’t be chowing down on this next ocean dweller!
28. Surprisingly Humanlike
Gorillas are a fascinating look into the human-like characteristics of primates, but they’re also massive! Standing taller and wider than even a larger-than-average man, their muscle strength is incredible, and they can be very dangerous if angered. In harmonious situations, however, gorillas have been taught sign language and can perform rudimentary communication skills.
27. A Camper’s Worst Nightmare
If you’re lucky, the only grizzly bears you’ll ever see will be on film! This behemoth was taken down by hunters, but if you stumbled across him unarmed, you’d have been toast. Look at the size of those massive paws! There’s a reason deer are routinely on their menu – one swipe would be all it took. Sleeker predators, however, still boast amazing sizes…
26. Dances With WOW
The grey wolf can reach very large sizes, provided its environment is rich in prey and low on higher-foodchain predators. Here, you can see the incredible size difference between the face of this nature photographer and that of the wolf’s muzzle. Don’t give a “hoot” about 4-legged forest friends? Check this feathered phenomenon out, then…
25. Um…Nice Birdie. Goooood Birdie.
…a ticked-off Ostrich. These sensationally large birds may be flightless, but they can run faster than people think. The average specimen stands as high as the average man, 5 feet 9 inches tall. It’s safe to say that this particular ostrich may be a bit larger than that!
24. Hamsters Gone Wild?
This is a capybara, and it’s the largest living rodent species in the world. It resembles a giant guinea pig more than a hamster, but even the smallest ones look more like a photoshop prank than an actual living creature. The largest “Capy” on record – named Gary – weighs in at 112 pounds. Speaking of oversized pets…
23. That’s a Lot of Meow Mix!
Meet Ulric, a cat that’s big, beautiful and rightly a little conceited. This gorgeous hunk of fluff is a Norwegian Forest Cat, a breed known for their size and loft, but his 30-pound self is an outlier even among his own kind. I hope he doesn’t have hairballs – they’d be the size of bowling balls! He’s so big our next critter could probably take him in a race…
22. Slow and Steady
A 115 pound tortoise! A far cry from the tiny box turtles most children discover in their yards, this big boy is named Sammy and is much-loved by his owner – a NFC-champion quarterback. It’s a good thing, too, because tortoises can live even longer than human beings with the right care.
21. That’s Not a Chair!
When we spot the relatively small-sized elephants trotted out by traveling zoos and circuses, it can be easy to forget how big wild elephants can truly get! This elephant was just using the car beneath him to scratch an itch on his stomach, but I bet the terrified occupants didn’t know that!
20. One Heck of a Catch
A catch that would make even Jules Verne speechless, this 44 foot giant squid was captured back in 2007. From the deck of the boat, it was probably more amazing than terrifying, but meeting this huge creature underwater, on its own turf, was probably an entirely different story.
19. Not a Tall Tale
The giraffe on the left is named Zulu, and to his right is a normal-sized giraffe. Zulu is an impressive 19 feet tall, and still growing – and probably enjoys this advantage when foraging for the best leaves on the tallest trees. Speaking of tall jungle occupants…
18. Whooo Would Have Guessed?
This is a Blakiston’s Fish Owl, and it’s the largest member of the owl species. That is a brave man holding that massive pile of feathers, wide eyes and razor sharp talons! Even as massive as this avian is, there’s still room to grow, as our next animal demonstrates…
17. America the GREAT
Ever see a Harpy Eagle? You have now! Those dinosaur-like feet would give even our beloved national bird, the Bald Eagle, quite the run for his money. I bet this big boy skips right over field mouse and moles and goes right for rabbits when he gets a little peckish – pun intended! Finding all these predators a little scary?
16. Hide the Salt Shakers
This is the Giant African Snail and it grows to be up to 8 inches in length! Not exactly easy pickings for escargot, this slimy invertebrate looks like it might fight back if you try to grab it. It doesn’t get the crown for being the largest, slimiest creature on this list though – this next entrant likely does.
15. Like a Car Sized Pancake
No, your eyes don’t deceive you – this is a real photo of a monster called a Giant Freshwater Stingray. If you thought the rays at your local aquarium were huge, they’ve got nothing on this aerodynamic water-dweller. These shocking animals can weigh up to 1300 pounds each!
14. Now That’s a Fish!
This is “Goldie” and his owner, holding a normal-sized goldfish for scale. Yes, that’s the same little 0.99 goldfish one would buy at a pet store. A goldfish will, in time, actually grow to the proportions of their containers. Bigger bowl, bigger fish – so keep that in mind when shopping for aquariums.
13. Are You Sure He Just Eats Fruit?
This is a New Guinea native. The Bismark Flying Fox has a wingspan that would dwarf a small child – an astounding 4 feet 11 inches! Flying must be a cinch to this huge animal, though it’s easy to see how the Dracula myth came about when you think about him unfurling his massive wings. While this mammal was built for aerodynamics, our next animal probably gets a bit more wind resistance…
12. They Really Measure Fluffy?
This is Colonel Meow, and he actually holds the Guinness record for the longest fur! He’s also the cat most likely to avoid static-charged balloons, low-humidity environments and used gum, if we had to guess. Can you imagine getting a snarl in that lovely coat? This next animal never has to worry about finding a brush…
11. I’ll Name Him Rover
The Chinese Giant Salamander can grow up to 6 feet in length, making him a very bad choice for a classroom pet, but a great pick for the science (fiction) fair. Looking at this huge specimen, it’s not hard to see why dragon myths are so enduring in the East! If he’s a bit too slimy for your tastes, check out this dog…
10. We’re Guessing His Owner is Greek
Zorba was a former titleholder that weighed an absolutely mind-blowing 343 pounds! If anyone tried to break into his house or hurt his owner, they were certifiably insane. Just look at that huge pup – he’s practically a horse! Zorba might not be with us any longer, but this next big dog sure is!
9. George? More Like Clifford!
George here weighs 252 pounds and measures 7 feet long. It must be tough finding a leash and collar that big!
8. His Chirp Is Probably Deafening
Believe it or not, this isn’t a CGI still from the latest Tim Burton movie. This is a Giant Weta Cricket, and that’s a real human hand, and a real full-size carrot. Suddenly, Jiminy Cricket seems like a much scarier character than he did the last time Pinocchio was on.
7. He’s Really Only 2?
The simply-named Meow weighs 39 pounds, and is the current heaviest living cat on record. The catch? It didn’t take him nine lives to get this way – this husky fellow is a mere 2 years old! Imagine how massive he’ll be once he’s a little older. It’s a good thing he’s around, because animals like our next one need to be hunted down.
6. No Trap Large Enough
This big rodent was snagged in NYC in 2015, after terrorizing the neighbors and even their pets. He was likely only looking for a warm place to sleep and a little food, but since the dog-sized rat wasn’t paying rent, the owners were well within their rights to evict him! He was 3 feet long, a foot shorter than our next furry friend…
5. An Elegant Shawl of a Feline
Stewie might not max out the scales, but you’ll need a few rulers to account for his luxurious length: an incredible 48.5 inches long! He’s also the current titleholder for the longest tail on a cat, which makes sense when you see this photo of him at his full stretched-out beauty.
4. Leapfrog, Anyone?
The African Goliath Frog is shockingly large, and rightly so: it’s the biggest frog on earth. They can weigh over 7 pounds apiece, which really puts that toad you found in the backyard into perspective. That croak probably sounds for miles around!
3. Put It Down, QUICK
This is a Coconut Crab, and frankly, it’s terrifying! This brave tourist is holding it aloft, but we bet he’s screaming in terror behind that cool, collected face. These crabs can live for up to 70 years, which is surprising given mankind’s taste for crab legs. Tasty legs are a problem for this next animal, too…
2. Hulk is Right!
This 174 pound monster of a guard dog is Hulk, a pitbull specifically bred to protect his house and owners. He’s the largest living pitbull today, and his owners love him to pieces and say he’s super sweet!
1. Hey that’s not a dog..
And finally, just so you don’t think domesticated pets have all the fun, we have the saltwater crocodile, the world’s largest living reptile.
Thanks for viewing! Enjoy more stories from our sponsors: