We are here on the Blind Side, There has to be the smallest and largest of any breed. For example, your friends might consider you the shortest in your social group, but someone else might be the tallest. But what about the animal world? From an enormous rooster that could take on a toddler, to a gentle giant of the horse world, here are 15 of the biggest land creatures found on earth.
15. World’s Largest Spider
As if the world’s smallest spider wasn’t terrifying enough, they had to go and create the world’s largest. And it’s kind of freaky. The world’s largest spider, or at least the one we know about so far, is a goliath bird-eating spider. Contrary to what the name suggests though, birds are not at the top of the list of their favorite things to eat.
Out of all spiders that fall within this enormous spider’s breed, the largest one ever found was in Venezuela in 1965. It was discovered by Pablo San Martin Expedition members in Rio Cavro and had an 11-inch leg span! That’s more than enough to cover a dinner plate.
In 1998, another giant goliath bird-eating spider came into the picture. This time, it was a pet. The two-year-old spider was reared by Brian Burnett in Perthshire and was bred by Robert Bustard. It weighed a whopping six ounces.
If you were to ever come across this spider, and most people will try not to, you would find them in coastal rainforests in French Guiana, Guyana, and Surinam. They have even been found as far away as Brazil and Venezuela. The average lifespan for this eight-legged nope-creature is ten years.
Time for the Star Topic!
Any bat of any size can be terrifying. They make awful noises, carry diseases, and terrify you in the night. But imagine if they were much larger than what we see? Imagine no more. We received this photo of what looks like a giant bat spread out on poles with two hunters holding a side each.
It has long, leathery wings, a monstrous hairy body, and a small head that looks exactly like that of a bat. The photo author didn’t give too much away with regards to the location, but it looks to be from somewhere tropical. Do you think this is a real-live bat, or is it something else?
Comment down below with the hashtag #StarTopic, and let us know your opinion in relation to what we just showed on screen. With that said, let’s keep things moving!
14. World’s Largest Raccoon
The average raccoon weighs between 14 and 23 pounds, and even at that weight, they look cute, chubby, and cuddly. At that weight, raccoons are by no means underweight, so you can only imagine what one above that weight looks like.
Bandit, the raccoon, who was born in 1994 and died in 2004, weighed nearly 75 pounds. At that weight you’d be forgiven for thinking he’s spent too much time dumpster diving, but that’s not the case at all.
Bandit was born with a thyroid issue that caused considerable weight gain. When he was born, he was raised by a dog as one of her puppies and was then cared for by a Pennsylvanian woman by the name of Debra Klitsch. Given his considerable size and speedy weight gain, Bandit was named the world’s fattest raccoon in The Guinness Book of World Records.
Without the thyroid problem, Bandit would likely have been within a healthy weight range. Their diets consist of invertebrates, plant materials, walnuts, fish, bird eggs, nuts, and similar.
13. Largest Bird in the World
The ostrich has many things to be proud of when it comes to points of difference. It’s the only bird with two toes on its feet instead of three or four, and it has the most enormous eyes of any bird at up to two inches in diameter.
It would scoop up a few awards in a running race, too, for it can sprint at speeds of up to 44 miles per hour with strides of about 16 feet. They’re not dawdlers, that’s for sure.
But perhaps one of their most significant accolades is their size and heft. Ostriches are the world’s largest bird, and they know how to throw their weight around – pardon the pun.
They use their giant wings, which have a span of around 6.5 feet, for a myriad of different tasks. They shade their chicks, cover the naked skin of their upper legs to conserve heat, and also prove quite useful in displays of mating as well. When they run, the wings also act as rudders for direction-changing. They don’t fly, but we’re sure if they did, their wings would carry them a fair distance.
They also weigh up to 320 pounds and nine feet long and have both long necks and legs with round bodies. Females are brown, but the males are a fascinating mixture of black and white.
You now know that ostriches are the largest bird found on earth, but did you know people have been spreading lies about them? Contrary to popular belief, they don’t bury their heads in the sand. Instead, they press their necks to the ground to blend them into their environment. This, from a distance, can make it look like their heads are buried.
What isn’t up for debate, however, is that these birds are massive and are probably not animals you’d want to cross.
12. World’s Tallest Horse
Farm manager Jerry Gilbert purchased three-year-old Big Jake the draft horse when he was three years old. He wasn’t all that unique or remarkable, even though he weighed 240 pounds when he was born and was quite a bit taller than other foals.
But Jake didn’t stop growing at three years old and went on to claim the title of the world’s tallest horse.
Big Jake is a Belgian Gelding and stands at 20 hands without shoes or 82.75 inches. He was officially given the title of the tallest living horse in January 2010. Since he skyrocketed to fame, hundreds of people have visited Smokey Hollow Farm in Poynette, Wisconsin, to catch a glimpse of this majestic creature. Jerry admits that life has been a bit busier since that coveted title.
Believe it or not, Big Jake’s parents were of average size, but Jake is anything but. And to cater to that great bulk, he eats a bucket of grain twice per day and at least one bale of hay daily too. Alongside food, Jerry had to make sure his accommodation was tall enough for Jake as well.
While Jake used to compete in draft horse showing competitions, he’s now living a quiet life. He greets fans at events and hangs out on the farm with his horse friends. He also loves being the center of attention, making sure there is plenty of people around to scratch his neck and belly.
11. World’s Tallest Recorded Giraffe
A tall giraffe, duh, they’re all tall. But surely there is one (or more) that are just a bit taller than the rest? You’d be right. While it’s hard to know if Zulu, a giraffe at Folly Farm Zoo in Pembrokeshire, is the tallest ever giraffe, he is at least the tallest ever recorded. And he’s pretty tall.
While there is no 100 percent accurate way to measure the extra-stubborn Zulo, he just manages to tuck under his 20-foot-tall enclosure. That means he is at least 19 feet tall – some four feet taller than the average giraffe. He also towers above the other three giraffes with which he shares his enclosure.
To be that tall, Zulu also has to have the loft to go with it – and he does. He weighs 1.3 tons, which means if he doesn’t want to do something, such as have someone measure him, then you can’t make him. There’s no coercing or shifting this mammoth creature.
The crew at Folly Farm are impressed with Zulu’s height, but they aren’t the only ones. Even giraffe transportation specialists from the Netherlands had never seen a giraffe as tall, and they likely never will again. Zulu is truly one of a kind, and if he were in the wild, he’d have the ladies fighting for his attention.
10. Largest Polar Bear Ever Recorded
The unfortunate reality of climate change is that polar bears are possibly smaller now than ever before. As the mercury goes up, the Arctic sea ice melts, and polar bears starve for months every year. The primary prey are seals, but even the polar bear struggles to hunt them. As a result, polar bears are not only smaller than they’ve ever been but are also not living as long.
However, that’s not to say there haven’t been polar bears at the larger end of the scale. Most of them weigh up to 900-ish pounds and stand at about four feet, four inches tall. The Beaufort Sea polar bear can weigh nearly 1,000 pounds.
But in 1960, a huge polar bear was killed in Kotzebue Sound, northwestern Alaska, that made scientists at the time wonder if there were massive polar bears out there.
This particular bear weighed over 2,200 pounds – around twice that of male polar bears in the world today. It was also measured at 4-5 feet in shoulder height. This polar bear towered above its smaller counterparts.
While we’re unlikely to see polar bears of that size today, that find was proof that at one stage, one of the largest polar bears ever to exist was found.
9. The Largest Rooster
Roosters can be pretty feisty and giant creatures, but they possibly pale in comparison to this enormous rooster in Kosovo. At 2.79 feet tall from head to toe, he’s about as tall as the average toddler. He also weighs 16.5 pounds, which is about four pounds heavier than the ordinary rooster.
This rooster towers above the other chickens and roosters around him, and everyone who sees the rooster is intrigued. He first shot to fame after Kosovo poultry enthusiast group member, Fitim Sejfijaj, posted a video of him on Facebook, which was subsequently reposted on Twitter.
The internet went crazy. People wanted to know why he was so big, and the video racked up over 50,000 likes and 40,000 retweets.
According to poultry health educator Emily Lhamon, the giant rooster’s breed plays a part in its size. The rooster is a Brahma chicken, which does grow larger than other kinds. Emily says that most males average around 2.5-3-feet heights. However, they are a fluffy chicken and look far heavier and more robust than they actually are.
Brahma chickens used to be the primary meat breed of chicken in America from 1950 until 1930. They are decent winter layers and originate from Shanghai.
8. Medusa the Longest Snake
Reticulated pythons aren’t known to be small snakes. They often average around 10 to 20 feet and are known as the world’s largest snakes. But within that giant snake species, there’s one in captivity that makes all the other pythons look tiny.
Medusa, the reticulated python, is 25 feet, two inches long, and weighs a whopping 350 pounds. She holds the current longest snake living in captivity title, and it takes 15 men to hold her at full length for measurement.
Medusa is owned by Full Moon Productions Incorporated in Kansas City, Missouri. She has beautiful grid-like skin, a showstopper appearance, and a big appetite. Her diet consists of deer, rabbits, and hogs that she gets twice per week, and she can eat a 40-pound deer in a single sitting.
When Medusa isn’t busy eating, she’s a star. She lives at The Edge of Hell Haunted House in Kansas City, where people can watch her stretch out. According to her handlers, Medusa knows when it’s showtime and makes sure she’s on her best behavior (and most extended length) for everyone to see.
Medusa may be the longest living snake in captivity, but she isn’t the longest ever found. In 1912, a python was shot in Sulawesi that measured 32 feet, ten inches. However, it wasn’t kept alive in captivity.
7. Blosom the World’s Tallest Cow
Blosom might look like any other Holstein cow at a distance. She was white with black patches, or black with white patches, and lived the good life in a paddock like many other cows. But Blosom had something that many other cows don’t: a Guinness World Record. This cow, from Orangeville, Illinois, was the tallest in the world.
Blosom stood at six feet, four inches tall, and weighed 2,000 pounds. She wasn’t the most attractive cow by World Dairy Expo standards, but that didn’t stop her from getting all the attention. Most people had never seen a cow as tall as Blosom. And they likely never will again.
Blosom belonged to Patty Meads-Hansen and had been raised by her father before her, from eight weeks old. She lived on the family farm in Orangeville ever since. Before she died at age 13 due to an irreparable leg injury, she was officially measured and entered in the Guinness World Book of Records.
Her height may have set her apart from most cows, but Blosom enjoyed the simple things in life. Ear scratches, oats, and chin rubs were at the top of her wishlist every day.
6. Jeff the World’s Largest Rabbit
Continental giant rabbits have that name for a reason; they are giant. But there is one rabbit that sits at the top of the food chain as being the largest of all Continental giant rabbits.
Jeff, who is the size of a seven-year-old child at four feet, five inches, has overtaken his dad, Darius, as the largest rabbit in the Guinness World Book of Records. Jeff is 18 months old and weighs 42 pounds.
His daily diet consists of around 2.2 pounds of organic hay, sunflower seeds, two dog bowl-sized containers of barley, and broccoli stems. His owners, Annette and Rob Edwards, who breed the giant rabbits, credits broccoli stalks for their size and health.
The Edwards’ have been breeding large bunnies for over a decade and love how bright and full of character they are. They say that their bunnies get plenty of good food, exercise, and are even house-trained to sit on the couch with them and watch TV.
When Jeff and the other rabbits aren’t hopping around the house, they are hanging out in their $5,100 double-glazed log cabin.
Jeff may hold the title of the world’s largest rabbit but watch this space. Annette and Rob say Jeff’s sister, five-month-old Enya, already stands at three feet, three inches, and could break the five feet mark.
5. World’s Largest Recorded Rodent
If the sight of any rodent sends shivers up your spine, then it’s time to turn away. A small one could send you running for cover, but a large one could have you screaming in fear!
Gary is the world’s largest recorded capybara from the world’s largest rodent species. He’s a South American rodent that weighs 112 pounds and lives in Texas, with Melanie Typaldos and Richard Loveman.
Melanie and Richard fell in love with capybaras while on holiday in Venezuela. Upon returning home, they discovered a breeder in Arkansas and immediately decided to purchase one.
While this giant rodent may not be for everyone, Melanie and Richard believe they would surprise you. They say Gary is intelligent, affectionate, and not all that much different from a cat and dog. They have taught him to shake, turn in a circle, jump, and stand on his hind legs.
Gary is also quick to socialize with the other animals that the pair own. They have tortoises, rabbits, a dog, a cat, and a horse. While Gary chases the rabbits and can get annoyed with the tortoises, he is generally easy-going.
However, Melanie and Richard say that’s not the case with all capybaras. They say they can be aggressive animals, even if Gary isn’t, and their teeth are sharp and can cause severe damage.
For fun, Gary likes to educate children at the local schools and hang out in the above-ground pool they have for him at home.
4. Biggest Domestic Cat
What do you do when your significant other wants a cat, but you want a dog? You compromise and get a cat the size of the dog. Introducing the longest cat in the world – a Maine Coon from Italy called Barivel! Barivel became the longest cat in the world in 2018, at three feet, 11 inches long.
Barivel lives with his owners Edgar Scandurra and Cinzia Tinnirello of Italy. When he’s not lounging around the home living in cat paradise, he’s out and about with his owners in his buggy.
You might think it’s unusual for a cat to be this large, but it certainly helps that Barivel is a Maine Coon. A Maine Coon originally from Maine, is the largest cat in the world and is often known as a gentle giant. They have extra-thick fur for insulation and usually stand at around 40 inches long and up to 16 inches high. Most moggies are about 9-10 inches tall in comparison.
It is thought that Barivel and his relatives get their size from living in cold climates. They grow bigger to reduce heat loss, which would be true when you compare them to their equally large counterparts, such as the Norwegian forest cat. Some breeders also purposefully breed two large cats together to increase the likelihood of large offspring.
3. Biggest Dog in the World
A regular-sized dog can be a lot of hard work. But imagine a giant one? Freddy the Great Dane is the tallest dog alive, standing at three feet, 4.17 inches.
Freddy lives in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, with Claire Stoneman, his owner. She has had Freddy since he was a puppy and said he showed no signs of growing larger than the breed can normally expect.
Given his great size, Claire has to spend around $13,000 per year on food. He eats around half a pound of casserole stick, 0.7 pounds of liver, and 2.2 pounds of raw mince daily. If that’s not enough, he has also chewed his way through 26 sofas and counting, with the help of his dog friend Fleur. Regardless of his naughty habits and expensive diet, Claire wouldn’t have Freddy the Great Dane any other way.
2. Hercules the Largest Liger
What do you get when you cross a male lion and a female tiger? There’s no punchline to this joke, you get a liger and a pretty big one too! Hercules is the largest liger in existence, and he lives at the Myrtle Beach Safari wildlife reserve in South Carolina. He’s 131 inches long, 49 inches tall, and weighs a whopping 922 pounds.
To sustain that heft, you’d need a fairly expansive menu, and Hercules gets it. He eats as much meat as the average two-year-old weighs, around 30 pounds. He also drinks several liters of water every day.
Ligers are not animals you will find in the wild. They are the hybrid children of a tigress and a male lion and normally grow much, much larger than their parents. To put it into relative terms, they are about 100 times larger than a house cat! You wouldn’t want Hercules sleeping at the end of your bed, that’s for sure.
1. Brutus the Largest Living Crocodile
Most crocodiles will have you in awe. They are as close as you are going to get to see a dinosaur, and they’re terrifyingly large. But you haven’t seen a really large dinosaur until you’ve seen Brutus.
Brutus is a famous crocodile in the Adelaide River of the Northern Territory of Australia. He’s around 80 years old, weighs two tonnes, and is about 18 feet long. Brutus is a common sight on river cruise tours, and cruise hosts will throw meat out to him so tourists can see him up close and personal.
Brutus is not only a massive croc, but he’s missing a foreleg too. Most believe it’s from a run-in with a shark, which could be true considering he dines on bull sharks from time to time.
This giant croc the highlight of many traveler’s trips, and the companies that run river cruises constantly field calls from people asking if they will likely see Brutus on their journey. Very rarely does this massive river monster miss a chance to dine on free kangaroo meat!
If you thought animals had to stick within the “averages” of their species, then you’d be wrong! These animals are huge! Which one surprised you the most? Do you have an extra-large pet? Also, check out our other cool stuff showing up on the screen now. See you next time.