Animals can be terrifying creatures; even tiny ones can pose a deadly threat to human beings. For example, the harvester ant can kill people—even though it is about the size of a tic-tac mint. Their venom is actually the most toxic insect venom in the world—and they hunt in packs, which makes them even more frightening.
The puffer fish is pretty small, too. It can be as small as one inch, but its two poisons can be lethal to human beings. Numbness, tingling, and decreased blood pressure can be the result of the poisons.
Mosquitos are extremely small, and they’re pretty much all over the place; they transmit the world’s deadliest diseases. It has been claimed that they kill more human beings every year than any other creature does—including other humans. They are probably the world’s most deadly animal.
On the other hand, large animals pose threats of their own because of their size. Surprisingly enough, though, large animals are often known to be relatively kind and benevolent creatures. This list contains examples of the largest of the large creatures that have existed on the Earth in recent years—many of them are still around and ready to scare anyone that encounters them.
1. The African Giant Snail
When you read the word giant, you expect an enormous creature. Snails are generally pretty small. However, this snail is a little bigger than one might expect. This snail, at about 8 inches long, is roughly the size of a human hand. It is also extremely tough and incredibly slimy.
Despite the fact it is called the “African” Giant Snail, it is actually found in a lot of places, and it poses threats to crops due to the fact it has a ravenous appetite. It also reproduces rapidly, making it even more of a pest.
As a result of the above, it is considered one of the world’s top invasive species.
It is also aestivate, meaning that that it can spend hot or dry periods in a state of dormancy or torpor—a state characterized by mental inactivity.
2. The Goliath Birdeater
Spiders are, in general, considered pretty small creatures. They may have eight legs and beady eyes—and they do possess the ability to create impressive webs—but they’re generally harmless. They typically eat flies, and then they’re eaten by lizards and birds.
The Goliath Birdeater, however, is something of an exception to the rule. The tarantula can actually weight up to 6 ounces (or 175 grams). They live in the Amazonian Jungle.
They don’t actually eat birds, though. They do however eat snakes, toads, and rodents.
3. Darius, The World’s Largest Rabbit
Darius is actually a bunny. He may be the size of a large and kind of fat dog—but he is actually a rabbit. Take a look at the ears.
He actually weighs about 50 pounds and is well over four feet tall.
Darius has a son named Jeff—who is not fully grown yet. Jeff is already roughly three feet, eight inches tall.
The two are members of a giant rabbit species called the Continental Rabbits. Members of the species routinely get to be four feet tall.
The father and son consume 2000 carrots and 700 apples every year, and they do so in addition to their daily rabbit food.
4. Chinese Giant Salamander
Salamanders are typically about 6 inches long, and many of them are smaller—in fact, some of them are actually smaller than an inch.
There are hundreds of varieties of the amphibians, though, so there needs to be an exception. That exception is the Chinese Giant Salamander, which can grow to be six feet long.
5. The World’s Tallest Dog
The world’s tallest dog is named Zeus, and the dog’s owners describe him as a “gentle giant”. In the 2013 version of the Guinness Book of World Records, he was named the world’s tallest dog. If he stands on his hind legs, he is well over seven feet tall. His owners—who live in Ostego, Michigan—were asked several times if their pet was actually a horse.
He was owned by Denise and Kevin Doorlag. Sadly, Zeus died only three days before he was to turn six years old.
Zeus was actually a qualified therapy dog, and would often sit in people’s laps in order to make them smile. He weighed over 150 pounds.
6. The World’s Largest Cat
The world’s largest cat is named Ludo, and he is a Maine Coon. Maine Coons are known for having furry tails and being a relatively large breed of domestic cats. From nose to tail, they’re typically 40 inches. At seventeen months, Ludo was about 45 inches and actually weighed almost 25 pounds.
Maine Coons are known for being particularly gentile, and Ludo is no exception; also, in spite of his size, he actually eats less than other felines.
7. The Goliath Frog
Also called the Giant Frog, The Goliath is not very frightening or hazardous to humans. However, seeing a frog its size can be quite a shock to most people. Most large frogs are only about the size of the average human fist, but the Goliath is over a foot long. When it extends its legs, it is even bigger.
Interestingly enough, the tadpoles are about normal size. They just keep growing, though, into quite enormous frogs.
Goliath Frogs can be found in Cameroon and other parts of Africa.
8. Japanese Spider Crab
If you enjoy eating seafood, there’s a lot to love about most crabs. No matter how much you might enjoy a good meal, though, you may want to reconsider interacting with a Japanese Spider Crab. It can actually weigh over 40 pounds and measure 18 feet, making the species of crab particularly frightening at first glance.
Surprisingly enough, however, the terrifying-looking Japanese Spider Crab is actually known to be quite gentle—at least as far as crabs go.
The Japanese Spider Crab is considered a delicacy and is therefore hunted as food, so its population has declined in recent years.
9. The World’s Tallest Horse
In general, horses are large animals. Most horses tend to be taller than the average human being. The world’s tallest horse is named Big Jake. The stallion is over 6 feet, 10 inches tall. He weighs 2,600 pounds. He was large at birth, weighing over 50 pounds more than he probably should have. He was roughly 240 pounds when he was born.
His enormous size doesn’t stop him from being a friendly creature. He has a lot of fans and is known to be very good with people. He is a hitch horse at Smokey Hollow Farm in Poynette, Wisconsin; he is owned by Jerry Gilbert.
10. The World’s Tallest Cow
The world’s tallest cow was named Blossom, and the Guinness Book of World Records recognized her as such shortly before she passed away. She weighed over 2000 pounds—about 500 pounds more than she should have weighed—and she was 6 feet, 4 inches tall.
Her owner—Patty Meads-Hanson—decided to keep her as a pet after learning that Blossom could not give birth to calves. The alternative was sending Blossom to be slaughtered.
Blossom quickly became famous as a result of her enormous size.
11. The World’s Biggest Liger
When you think of big cats, you probably think of the Siberian Tiger, or perhaps the lion. However, you may not have heard of the liger, which is the product of a union between a male lion and a female tiger.
The largest known living Liger is named Hercules; he weighs over 920 pounds, and he measures over 11 feet. He’s considered a sociable animal—all things considered.
12. A Record-Breaking Stingray
Jeff Corwin, a well-known television personality and conservationist, allegedly caught the largest stingray ever.
The stingray is also believed to be the largest freshwater fish ever captured in the wild. It was caught in Thailand and weighed over 800 pounds. It took Corwin’s team over two hours to reel in. It measured 14 by 8 feet.
Stingrays are notorious for their venomous sting; it was a stingray that tragically killed the famous television personality Steve Irwin.
13. The World’s Largest Crocodile
Crocodiles are known to be enormous, but the one known as Lolong is something quite impressive. It was caught in September of 2011 in Agusan Del Sure. Capturing the creature required the combined efforts of the local government, crocodile hunters from a reservation center, and area residents.
The creature was hunted for three weeks before he was eventually caught, and nearly 100 people were needed to drag the enormous creature to dry land. The croc weighed 2,370 pounds and was over 20 feet long. Allegedly a man-eater, the crocodile was believed to be over 50 years old.
14. The World’s Largest Pig
The world’s largest pig was named Big Bill, and he was from Jackson, Tennessee. He was owned by a man named Elias Buford Butler. The pig weighed over 2,500 pounds. He was awarded the title of World’s Largest Pig back in 1933. The pig was about five feet tall and was also nine feet long. Since then, no pig has come close to being as large as Big Bill.
Years back, there were reports of a pig that weighed 1,984 pounds. It died in February of 2009. It had health problems because it had trouble moving as a result of its size.
15. The World’s Longest Snake
The snake known as Madam Medusa holds the Guinness World Record’s title—the snake is believed to be the largest in the world. When measured in 2011, she was actually over 25 feet long. It took 10 men to hold her up just so she could be measured. Apparently, her typical dinner—which she consumes every two weeks, is a deer that weighs 40 pounds.
Back in 2016, there was talk of an even bigger snake; it was captured in Malaysia. However, it died just three hours after being caught, so Medusa is still on record as the largest snake ever.
Nature holds its surprises, so there may be creatures out there that are larger than we can even imagine. In the coming months or years, we may hear of a bigger pig or snake or cow. Whatever that enormous creature may end up being, let’s just hope it is relatively docile and appreciates the company of humans.