Sep 9, 2016

15 Exceptionally Large Animals That Really Do Exist

Exceptionally large animals show just how weird Mother Nature can be sometimes. Our collection of big fauna includes everything that grows way beyond the proportions written in the zoology books.

Are you ready to see if such incredible animals live in your area? We will give you plenty of reasons never to go out of the house again.

1. Giant African Snail


via The Richest

Africa is a place for the extremes and exceptionally large animals found refuge in the vast wilderness. 

The Giant African Snail will remind you that animals are bigger in wet equatorial areas where there is plenty of food to chew on. There are unofficial reports of giant snail reaching lengths of 10 inches, bold enough to steal babies out of their cribs at night.

Having a giant snail as a pet is a trend that left many stray cats and dogs without a home and without a master to fill and rub their bellies. The giant snail is an invasive species and it already found a home in Florida, triggering the US authorities to institute a national quarantine.

2. Great Flying Fox


via Celebnco

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Superman! No! It is a flying-fox and it’s coming for you! 

Just joking with the attack part. Although having an official names that includes a reference to blood-sucking (Pteropus vampyrus), this animal feeds on flowers, fruits, and nectar, and ignores vulnerable human necks.

With a body length of up to 35 cm and a wingspan of up to 1.5 meters, this bat species looks like a fox wearing one of Leonardo da Vinci’s flying devices. No, we are not witnessing one law of evolution pushing foxes out of their normal terrestrial habitat.

The right comparison is with bats that never took diet too seriously.

50 km is the flight autonomy of this “vehicle,” and it might just to be the solution used by Amazon to send packages in South East Asia.

3. Coconut Crab


via Catalyst

We already talked about the Coconut Crab in the article where we tried to convince you that the photos you were seeing were indeed real. And they really were!

Next time you book a vacation to a remote paradise island in the Indian or the Pacific Ocean bring with you a tapeline. We all know how hard it is to convince your friends that the photo you’ve taken is not edited in Photoshop.

Adding the centimeters next to that giant Coconut Crab you found in your sleeping bag will make the difference. The man in the photo was so obsessed with sharing the experience that he used his body as a reference system.

We warn you! Although Coconut Crabs are not man-eaters, they do occasionally test the sharpness of pliers on human flesh.

4. Goliath Frog


via Tumblr

Imagine a frog so big and heavy, you need to hands to lift it. 

Well, we already helped you with this one, and the photo above shows the largest frog species currently existing in our wonderful world – the Goliath Frog.

Do not let yourself fooled by the gentle way in which the African kid is holding the giant amphibian. While crazy Westerners want the Goliath as their pet, this specimen is minutes away from the cooking pan, offering food for an entire week and making the whole family happy.

Although they might look big enough to swallow small mammals and even infants, Goliath Frogs settle for snakes, turtles, and even bats. Just imagine coming face to face with such a creature without knowing what it is capable of doing.

5. World’s Biggest Pig


via Oddee

Pigs are notorious for eating almost anything they throw at them and for gaining weight very fast. 

Calling fat people pigs therefore has a plausible explanation. However, the world’s biggest pig goes beyond anything you might expect.

This record holder owned by a Chinese farmer in Wafangdian City was fed quality food its entire life and became not only a local star but also a symbol of China. Forget about the Western free market philosophy. If reasonable communist practices can render such zoological wonders, who knows where lies the limit.

At close to 2,000 pounds, this specimen was not only hard to raise, but equally challenging to slaughter and transformed into goodies. Ham paradise is real!

6. Chinese Giant Salamander


via Aquapress Publishers

For the casual tourist, the Chinese Giant Salamander can cause something close to a heart attack. Just imagine stumbling upon such a giant animal. 

You have no idea how it’s called or how dangerous it might get.

Giant Salamanders really deserve the name. While your typical European creature rarely reaches more than 25 cm, its Chinese counterpart can go as big as a crocodile, with specimens reported to have 2 meters in length.

If you feel the slightest care towards biodiversity and the survival of our animal friends, it helps to know that the Chinese Giant Salamander is critically endangered due to habitat loss.

The strange creature also scores points for being a living fossil, which means it is very different from other related species and has preserved its body features intact for millions of years.

Yes, salamanders taste good and those wacky Asians do eat them in their restaurants. We can only hope they have the decency to put them down first and cook them properly.

7. Flemish Giant Rabbit


via Pet Mapz

The Belgians are indeed the craziest Europeans and this specie of giant rabbits originating from Flanders comes to show how much time they like to invest in unleashing the bizarre.

This rabbit is also known as the “Gentle Giant,” and it can work as a great babysitter if you are on a strict budget. Yes, your cat and dog will not see with good eyes your idea of bringing this unusually big creature at home. However, your arguments can quickly close their mouths.

The Flemish Giant rabbit is like a Swiss army knife and can be used as a pet, sideshow attraction, and source of delicious meat and fabulous fur. Whether you would kill and eat your children’s best friend is up to you to decide.

Do not believe the Internet when they tell you that they breed larger rabbits in Texas, big enough for a cowboy to ride them. The Flemish is the biggest you can get in real life. Men in creepy Easter bunny costumes are not included here.

8. Saltwater Crocodile


via National Geographic

For most people enjoying a refreshing bath in a muddy South Asian river delta, a splash of the water was the last sound they ever heard. 

The Saltwater Crocodile is the biggest type of crocodile currently existing on the planet and they are infamous man-eaters.

How long can a crocodile get is a question that puzzled scientists for quite some time. Reports go as far as indicating eight meters as the upper limit, although only 6-meter crocodiles were captured. We have to treat older chronicles with doubt, as people were more eager to make their story go viral.

Saltwater Crocodiles find perfect refuge in areas where the sea meets the inland rivers, offering a rich variety of prey. Even the mighty sharks fall victim to one of nature’s most savage carnivores.

Crocodiles might look cute when they allow small birds to clean their teeth. Trust us you do not want to share their generous belly with a still breathing shark that is eager to help with the digestion.

9. World’s Biggest Cow


via Oddee

Blossom might sound as an inappropriate name for the world’s largest cow, but we will not comment on that. The world definitely looks small for the 2-meter tall herbivore.

The guys at Guinness were smart enough to keep their distance and earn the animal’s trust, before using the tapeline to measure body proportions.

We do not know what triggers such an abnormal growth although we tend to believe it has something to do with breed and food quality. Orangeville, Illinois never reported higher levels of radioactivity, so we can safely exclude the most plausible theory.

10. Capybara


via Daily Mail

Owning a Capybara is the latest craze in the world of pets. 

If the parents did not allow you to have a hamster, guinea pig, or pet weasel, your adult self will most likely exaggerate the urge and give it the biggest proportions imaginable.

Native to South America, this odd and funny looking creature is one pet big enough to replace your dog at the table. Friendly, with a predictable behavior, and leaving behind scores of dump, the Capybara is like a pig your conscious will never allow you to eat.

We included the Capybara here as the biggest pet fit for a small apartment. Although less pretentious than other exotic animals, you should expect to wage bloody battles for the bathtub. Capybaras love water and they will do anything to institute a monopoly on the largest pond in the apartment.

11. Amazon Giant Centipede


via The Richest

They do not called them centipedes for nothing. Just imagine having your skin walked by so many legs at the same time, while your breath quickly gets their attention. This was one experience many jungle explorers went through, and it cannot get creepier than that.

They taught you in school that arthropods are no larger than 10 cm in length. They were wrong and obviously did not include species like the Amazon Giant Centipede.

The world of pets recently got even weird, as reports of people keeping giant centipedes as a more exotic replacement for children increased in numbers. Do not blame us if you cannot find your cat. Also, do not expect us to clarify whether your centipede can nurture feelings of love towards you.

12. Japanese Spider Crab


via Pawsaminute

We were not sure if one species of giant crabs is enough to scare you good, so we put another one just in case. 

The Japanese Spider Crab looks completely out of this world. Again, few people outside Japan know that such a species exists and their most likely first reaction would be to consider it an alien drone.

Photos like the one we used are not fake and Japanese Spider Crabs can measure close to 4 meters between the outstretched legs. Nevertheless, the most common measurement of crabs caught by fisherman is 1 meter.

While there are no reports of giant crabs attacking people, it is easy to imagine a horror movie scenario in which those legs keep you still.

13. Giant Freshwater Stingray


via National Geographic

A stingray weighing as much as a small car seems to be the product of an imagination generous with exaggerations. However, such a creature exists in reality and it is called the Giant Freshwater Stingray.

Found in large rivers and estuaries in Indochina and Borneo, the species is currently endangered due to excessive hunting and habitat destruction. With limited economic value, a stingray is usually a good target for occasional hunters that want to practice and feel the thrill of the action.

Just to give you a range, the biggest Giant Freshwater Stingrays grew 1.9 m in diameter and 600 kg in weight. Count the mud it uses to hide underneath and this is almost impossible to drag out of the outer by your average fisher.

You might hate stingrays because one of them killed Steve Irwin back in 2006. We will grant you that feeling, and it is perfectly normal to fear your life while swimming near such creatures.

14. Great Dane


via Pawsaminute

Imagine a dog big enough for children or small people to mount and ride. 

The Great Dane is exactly that and most people are completely shocked to see a dog measuring as much as 110 cm from ground to shoulders. This was the record size of Zeus, one Great Dane that passed away in 2014.

If you ever considered the idea of owning a Great Dane as your pet, it helps to know that you should not attach too much to it. This breed is particularly famous for the small lifespan (around eight years). Do not get fooled by scientists telling you to focus on the equivalent dog years.

You will certainly miss neighbors treating you with respect or making fun behind your back (your Great Dane has a shot at being taller than you).

Great Danes are found all throughout popular culture and inspired characters like The Hound of the Baskervilles.

15. Megalodon


via Sharkopedia

We know we promised only animals that really do exist, but a peek at creatures that once existed tempted us beyond resistant. The Great White Shark is the biggest shark currently existing on the planet. Well, take this reference and multiply it 4 times. Now you have the scale of the Megalodon, the biggest serial killers that ever roamed the oceans of our planet. Plenty of fossils, including a 18 cm long tooth, left no doubt about it.

We are born 2.6 million years too late to experience the Megalodon first hand. Despite the agreement in the scientific community, there are fans still convinced that the Megalodon is taking a paid vacation from terrorizing the shallow waters we so far explored and that will soon emerge to take the crown back.

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