25. THE AMERICAN ALLIGATOR
While dieting on birds, rodents, and marsh dwellers, the American alligator is practically a modern dinosaur. Weighing approximately 1,000 pounds and reaching up to 12 feet in length, the American alligator is truly a terror to behold. These guys are found on golf courses, in backyards, and even in parking lots. Could you keep it cool as a carnivorous beast, twice your size, strolls by?
24. THE WHITE RHINOCEROS
The white rhinoceros is rare—really rare. Scaling in at a little smaller than a hippopotamus, the white rhinoceros is often sought for its horn. Today, only five rhinoceros species are in existence—making the white rhinoceros a truly rare specimen to see.
23. THE OCEAN SUNFISH
That’s right, small fish aren’t always so small. The ocean sunfish reaches up to four meters, and its interesting shape makes it, by far, one of the most interesting large-animal specimens to see. Heavy, kind, and colorful, the ocean sunfish has a diet consisting mostly of jellyfish. In fact, they’ve been spotted in jellyfish fields, scooping up their prey.
22. THE CHINESE RAT SNAKE
The Chinese rat snake can reach lengths of five meters, and its abundant, rat-filled diet is totally responsible for its size. Bright, heavy and long, the Chinese rat snake is a terror to come across if one isn’t watching.
21. THE POLAR BEAR
One of the world's largest land carnivores, the polar bear’s massive size is attributed to its heavyweight diet. Measuring approximately 5.2 feet tall and 10 feet long, the polar bear isn’t a mammal to be crossed with. The heaviest polar bear weight recorded was 2,210 pounds—which matches the weight of some small cars. While polar bears are frequently presumed to be running about snowy landscapes, they’re highly capable swimmers. They’re also recognized as being more dangerous than grizzly bears.
20. THE KODIAK BEAR
Similar to the polar bear, the Kodiak bear reaches astounding sizes at about 2,500 pounds. A subspecies of brown bear, the Kodiak bear measures about 5.2 feet tall and 10 feet long. While reportedly not as vicious as polar bears, Kodiak bears are certainly dangerous.
19. THE GIANT CHINESE SALAMANDER
These bad boys grow up to six feet long, and they’ve come a long way against pollution, habitat loss and over-collecting. While mostly docile, giant Chinese salamanders have been greatly feared for their ominous appearance. The giant Chinese salamander, typically found in rocky mountain streams, is often utilized for traditional Chinese medicine recipes.
18. THE FLEMISH GIANT
It’s a rabbit. More importantly: It’s a dog-sized rabbit. The Flemish giant is a domesticated rabbit breed centric to the Flemish region. Originally bred as 16th-century pets, the Flemish giant can reach weights of 28 pounds.
17. THE GIANT GOLDEN-CROWNED FLYING FOX
An endangered fruit bat residing in Philippine rainforests, the giant golden-crowned flying fox is a specimen reaching a two-meter-long wingspan. Well-protected, the giant golden-crowned flying fox eats mostly fruit.
16. THE CAPYBARA
The capybara is the world’s largest rodent, and it resides, mostly, in tropical South American regions. Typically found east of the Andes, near water, full-grown capybaras can be up to 1.5 meters in length and weigh up to 232 pounds. Capybaras are incredibly social, and it isn’t uncommon to see “packs” of these large rodents meandering small fields.
15. THE JAPANESE SPIDER CRAB
The Japanese spider crab truly appears alien when examined closely. This marine crab resides in Japanese waters and can reach lengths of 3.8 meters. Much of the Japanese spider crab’s length is derived from its long, spindly legs. Feeding on animal carcasses and shellfish, the Japanese spider crab can live up to 100 years.
14. THE DALMATIAN PELICAN
The Dalmatian pelican is the world’s heaviest bird. Bred from southeastern Europe to China and India, the Dalmatian pelican is typically found in shallow lakes and swamps. The colossal bird weighs approximately 30 pounds and its 10-foot wingspan exceeds that of many other species.
13. THE GREEN ANACONDA
You do not want to come across this river-way monster. The green anaconda is the world’s largest snake, and it weighs in at about 550 pounds. Slender, long and deadly, the green anaconda is one of Southeast Asia’s most rumored snake. To this day, experts believe larger green anacondas still lurk in rivers, yet to be documented.
12. THE SOUTHERN ELEPHANT EEL
The southern elephant eel is one of the world’s largest carnivores. Displaying a massive size difference between males and females, the elephant eel remains one of the world’s most-talked-about mammals. The largest southern elephant eel recorded, shot in Possession Bay, weighed 11,000 pounds and was 22.5 feet long.
10. THE AFRICAN BUSH ELEPHANT
The African bush elephant is one of the world’s largest recorded terrestrial animals. Weighing in at 6,600 pounds, it’s also the heaviest. Adult African bush elephants typically have no natural predators due to their size, and their calves are frequently only vulnerable to crocodile and lion attacks.
9. THE OSTRICH
Male ostriches grow up to a height of 9.2 feet, and they can weigh 345 pounds! Ostrich eggs alone weigh three pounds, and they’re recorded as the largest eggs on the planet. Fast runners, ostriches definitely make up for their lack of flight.
8. THE COLOSSAL SQUID
Sure, the giant squid might seem like it’d be the biggest squid around, but the colossal squid makes it look like a bite-sized shark meal. The colossal squid’s eye, alone, is larger than a human’s head. Highly rare, the colossal squid is a sight to behold.
7. THE BELUGA STURGEON
The beluga sturgeon can live up to 120 years, and their maximum length caps out at around seven meters. Another aquatic animal, the beluga sturgeon is relatively docile. That said, their size alone ranks them among some of the world’s largest water-bound beings.
6. THE ORCA
A Hollywood favorite, the Orca isn’t as safe as many assume. Orca whales, also known as the Killer whale can grow up to 31 feet long. Technically, the orca whale isn’t a whale at all. It’s the world’s largest dolphin.
5. THE GREAT WHITE SHARK
Another aquatic monster, the great white shark can grow over six meters in length. They’ve reportedly attacked boats, trash and humans in the past. Rather aggressive, great whites are known for their “target anything moving” personality. While not the ocean’s largest being, the great white shark still holds its own as one of the world’s largest animals.
4. BAIRD’S BEAKED WHALE
One of the sea’s largest animals, the beaked whale reaches a massive 13 meters in length. Sure, it might look like an oversized dolphin, but the beaked whale is entirely its own being. Reports of beaked wales frequently report the diver’s inability to see its entire body. Due to their slightly curved structure, beaked whales are typically hard to get around, visually.
3. THE SPERM WHALE
The sperm whale is named after the waxy substance secreted from its spout. Called spermaceti, the material has been hunted for centuries for soap, candle, and machine oil creation. Of the world’s largest creatures, the sperm whale’s brain is the largest in proportional size. Because of this, the sperm whale is also one of the smartest world titans. Growing to a length of over 20.5 meters, and feeding on colossal squid, the sperm whale remains one of the world’s most colossal beings.
2. THE NORTH PACIFIC RIGHT WHALE
Slightly larger than the sperm whale, the North Pacific right whale can reach up to 18.3 meters in length. They are, however, typically wider. Unfortunately, about 50 North Pacific right whales still exist, yet the world, at one time, held tens of thousands. Whaling has diminished the species, yet its remaining members are well-regarded and even protected by authorities.
1. THE BLUE WHALE
Winning the roundup with a 30-meter length and a 180-ton weight, the blue whale can swallow a mass comparable to three school busses. Its size is massive, and it’s yet to be trumped as the world’s largest animal. Surprisingly, blue whales are relatively elusive. Submerged for long periods of time, blue whales are rarely spotted. That said, they dominate ocean surfaces when they do.