The tallest man in recorded history was Robert Wadlow (1918 – 1940) from Alton, Illinois, who reached the height of 8 ft 11.1 in (2.72 m). The heaviest man in recorded history was Jon Brower Minnoch (1941 – 1983) from Bainbridge Island, Washington, who, at his peak weight, weighed in at approximately 1,400 lb (635 kg). These numbers sound really incredible, but humans are not the only species that has produced some gargantuan specimens. In fact, some forms of gigantism have been recorded in many animal species as well. Enormously sized animals have been often reported to live on islands where so called “island gigantism” frequently occurs. If an animal evolves on an isolated island with few predators to restrict its growth, it can reach a really stunning size. However, disturbingly oversized animals have been recorded on the mainland, too. There can be many reasons for gigantism in animals including genetic diseases and hormone disorders. To show you how large some specimens of individual animal species can actually be, we compiled a list with 25 Larger Than Life Animals That We Can’t Believe are Real. From a 417 kg (919 lb) tortoise and a 37 m (121 ft) jellyfish to a 25 lb (11.3 kg) rat and a 20 kg (44 lb) lobster, you will be astounded to find out how gigantic creatures can actually be out there.
At 210.2 cm (82.75 in) at the withers, a Belgian gelding named Big Jake stood as the world’s tallest horse in September 2012. Weighing in at 1,180 kg (2600 lb), the horse was raised by Jerry Gilbert of Smokey Hollow Farm in Ostego, Michigan.
Great White Shark
Nicknamed Deep Blue, the gigantic great white shark caught on camera off the coast of Mexico´s Guadalupe Island in 2013 is considered the largest Great White shark ever caught on camera. Deep Blue is estimated to be over 6.1 m (20 ft) long and it might weigh about 2,268 kg (5,000 lb).
The largest living cat is Hercules, an adult male liger (lion x tigress hybrid) currently housed at Myrtle Beach Safari, a wildlife reserve in South Carolina. He measures a staggering 3.33 m (131 in) long, stands 1.25 m (49 in) at the shoulder, and weighs 418.2 kg (922 lb).
The largest American alligator ever recorded was caught by the Stokes family in Mill Creek, Alabama in August 2014. The mammoth beast measured 4.8 m (15 ft 9 in) long and weighed 459 kg (1,011.5 lb). The alligator was mounted and put on display in a local museum.
The world’s largest winged cockroach is the Megaloblatta Longipennis found in Peru, Ecuador and Panama. A preserved female in the collection of Akira Yokokura of Yamagata, Japan measures 97 mm (3.8 in) in length and 45 mm (1.75 in) across.
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The largest and heaviest tortoise ever recorded was the Galapagos tortoise aptly named Goliath. It was 135.8 cm (4 ft 5 in) long, 102 cm (3 ft 4 in) wide, 68.5 cm (2 ft 3 in) high, and weighed 417 kg (919 lb). Goliath passed away in Florida in November 2002.
The largest recorded specimen of a jellyfish was the lion´s mane jellyfish (also known as hair jelly), which washed up on the shore of Massachusetts Bay in 1870. The jellyfish had a bell with a diameter of 2.3 m (7 ft 6 in) and tentacles 37 m (121 ft) long.
The world’s largest known spider is a male goliath bird-eating spider (Theraphosa Blondi) collected by members of the Pablo San Martin Expedition at Rio Cavro, Venezuela in April 1965. It had a record leg-span of 28 cm (11 in) – enough to cover an entire dinner plate.
The largest stingray (and possibly also the largest freshwater fish) ever recorded was a stingray caught on the Mae Klong River in Thailand in 2015. The gigantic flat fish was 244 cm (8 ft) wide, 427 cm (14 ft) long and weighed about 363 kg (800 lb).
Coming in at 1.3 m (4 ft 4 in) long and weighing 22.2 kg (49 lb), Darius is the biggest rabbit in the world. Owned by Annette Edwards from Worcestershire, UK, the rabbit is a member of the Continental Giant Breed, which was originally bred for meat but is now prized as a loving pet.
The title of the world´s largest sheep goes to an overgrown Australian sheep called Chris. Due to its enormous bundle of wool that weighed in at 40 kg (88 lb), Chris was four to five times a sheep´s normal size before the wool was cut down.
Named Giant George, the tallest dog ever was a blue Great Dane owned by Dave Nasser from Tuscon, Arizona. Standing over 213 cm (7 ft) on his hind legs, Giant George measured 109 cm (43 in) tall from paw to shoulders and weighed 111 kg (245 lb).
The largest elephant ever recorded was a male African elephant shot in Angola in 1974. The specimen weighed in at 13.5 tons (27,000 lb) and stood 4 m (13 ft) tall at the shoulder. Usually, African elephant males weigh “just” between 4,700–6,048 kg (10,360–13,330 lb).
In March 2016, a worker found what is arguably the largest rat ever at a playground in East London, UK. The rat was estimated to be about 123 cm (4 ft) long, and it might have weighed up to 11.3 kg (25 lb). The rat was probably a Gambian pouched rat, the world´s largest rat species.
Himmy who lived in Cairns, Queensland, Australia, is the heaviest recorded cat, weighing in at a staggering 21.3 kg (46.8 lb). Himmy, a desexed tabby cat, died of respiratory failure at the age of ten.
The longest snake ever kept in captivity is Medusa, a reticulated python owned by Full Moon Productions Inc. in Kansas City, Missouri. When measured in 2011, she was found to be 7.67 m (25 ft 2 in) long and weighed 158.8 kg (350 lbs). However, larger specimens might live in the wild.
In 2007, a fishing crew caught what is probably the largest squid ever recorded. Captured off the southern coast of New Zealand, the colossal squid specimen measured 11.9 m (39 ft) long, and it was estimated to weigh about 450 kg (990 lb).
The captive lowland gorilla named Gargantua is considered the largest gorilla ever recorded. Captured in Africa as a baby, the gorilla spent most of his life as a circus attraction. Gargantua’s weight estimates vary greatly, but he might have weighed up to 272 kg (600 lb).
The largest known land gastropod is the African giant snail. The largest recorded specimen of this species measured 39.3 cm (15.5 in) from snout to tail when fully extended. Its shell length was 27.3 cm (10.75 in), and it weighed exactly 900 gm (2 lbs).
The largest whale ever recorded was a specimen of the blue whale that measured 33.8 m (111 ft) long. In fact, the blue whale is the largest animal that has ever existed on Earth; it is even bigger than all the dinosaurs that roamed our planet millions of years ago.
The size record for an octopus is held by a specimen of the giant Pacific octopus that was 9.1 m (30 ft) across and weighed more than 272 kg (600 lb). The species is native to the coastal North Pacific, along California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, Alaska, Russia, Japan, and Korea.
The largest lobster ever caught was the one captured in Nova Scotia in 1977, weighing 20.15 kg (44.4 lb) and measuring 107 cm (3 ft 6 in) from the end of the tail to the tip of the largest claw. Estimated to be 50 years old, the lobster was sold to a restaurant in New York City.
The Female Holstein named Blosom owned by Patty Meads-Hanson from Orangeville, Illinois was recognized as the tallest cow ever. Blosom reached a staggering height of 190 cm (74.8 in/6.2 ft) at the withers. The cow passed away in 2015 after sustaining an irreparable leg injury.
The largest polar bear was a male shot in northwestern Alaska in 1960 who weighed in at 1,002 kg (2,209 lb) and stood 3.39 m (11 ft 1 in) tall on its hind legs. With an average weight between 350–700 kg (772–1,543 lb) for adult males, the polar bear is also the largest living land carnivore.
The largest orca (also known as killer whale) ever recorded was a male caught off the coast of Japan, measuring 9.7 m (32 ft) long and weighing 10 tons. One of the fastest marine mammals, an orca is able to reach speeds of over 56 km/h (35 mph).