25 Abnormally Large Animals That Really Exist

Posted by , Updated on March 23, 2024

While the thought of large animals may bring to mind images of dinosaurs or woolly mammoths, actually, there are a host of gigantic creatures that inhabit our world right now. Indeed, some of the most sizable animals from history are presently living. Brace yourself, as we will be exploring everything from rabbits as large as dogs to crabs that outsize humans, in this list of 25 Unusually Large Animals That Truly Exist!




HippopotamusSource: afw.org

You may find it hard to believe, but hippos are whales’ closest living relatives, and they still love the water. In fact, their name comes from an ancient Greek word meaning “river horse.”


Eastern Gorilla

Eastern GorillaSource: panda.org

Found in a small part of Africa, the eastern gorilla is the largest and most endangered primate on the planet.


Flemish Giant

Flemish GiantSource: flemish-giant.com

As big as a dog, this is the largest rabbit in the world. This old breed of rabbits was originally domesticated around the city of Ghent in Belgium.


Giant Squid

Giant SquidSource: nationalgeographic.com

Since they live so deep in the ocean, not much was known about giant squids until recently. In fact, it wasn’t until 2004 that Japanese researchers took the first pictures of a giant squid in its natural habitat.


Manta Ray

Manta RaySource: mantatrust.org

The largest ray in the world can reach nearly 8 meters across. Perhaps most surprisingly, it can jump straight out of the water.


Great White

Great WhiteSource: nationalgeographic.com

Reknowned for its size and aggression, the largest predatory fish in the world has no natural predators (except for the killer whale…nobody messes with killer whales. Nobody.)



CapybaraSource: sandiegozoo.org

If you thought rats were big, meet their oversized cousin. The capybara is the largest rodent in the world. They typically live in large groups and can be found in the southern regions of South America.


Green Anaconda

Green AnacondaSource: nationalgeographic.com

The largest snake in the world can reach nearly 8 meters (25 feet). The reticulated python can be longer but it is also thinner, so not as massive.


Nile Perch

Nile PerchSource: animalplanet.com

Found in Africa, the perch is one of the largest freshwater fish. In fact, in the Hausa language it is referred to as giwan ruwa, or “water elephant.”


Saltwater Crocodile

Saltwater CrocodileSource: nationalgeographic.com

These crocodiles are the largest reptiles in the world. Spread from Australia to India, the saltwater crocodile is an apex predator, meaning that they are at the top of their food chain. They have been known to attack just about anything that moves.


Giant Golden Crowned Flying Fox

Giant Golden Crowned Flying FoxSource: batworlds.com

This endangered fruit bat from the Philippines is part of the megabat family. As with some of the other animals on this list, they are presently endangered.


Like bats? Check out 25 Incredible Facts About Bats You Probably Didn’t Know.


Komodo Dragon

Komodo DragonSource: nationalzoo.si.edu

The largest lizard in the world, komodo dragons eat up to 80% of their body weight in one meal. In fact, their metabolism is so slow that they only require about 12 meals per year. Also, they are venomous.



CassowarySource: sandiegozoo.org

Cassowaries are the heaviest non-African birds. Although they are very shy, they have been known to kill people who wander too close.



OrcaSource: whales.org

Also called the “killer whale,” orcas are the largest member of the dolphin family. They are also highly intelligent and live in complex societies.


Sperm Whale

Sperm WhaleSource: nationalgeographic.com

Not only are sperm whales the largest toothed predator, they also have the biggest brain of any animal.


Japanese Spider Crab

Japanese Spider CrabSource: eol.org

They’re found in the waters around…you guessed it…Japan! These crabs are the largest known arthropods in the world and can weigh up to 19 kg (40 lbs). Another cool fact – they can live up to a century!


Southern Elephant Seal

Southern Elephant SealSource: nationalgeographic.com

These bad boys are one of the largest carnivores in the world. The biggest one on record was 5,000 kg (11,000 lbs).


Dalmatian Pelican

Dalmatian PelicanSource: sandiegozoo.org

Found from Europe to Asia, the dalmatian pelican has the largest average mass of any flying bird.



OstrichSource: sandiegozoo.org

This somewhat violent and flightless creature is also the largest bird in the world. They can run quite fast, however, at near 69.2 km/h (43 mph). This makes them the fastest birds on land and also the fastest two legged animals.



giraffeSource: sandiegozoo.org

We all know giraffes; they’re those things at the zoo. And as you may have suspected…they are the tallest land animal on our planet. Their necks can be up to 2 meters (6.5 feet) long, or about half of their height!


Ocean Sunfish

Ocean SunfishSource: nationalgeographic.com

This flat fish is the largest bony fish in the world. Note: bony fish are any fish that have bones rather than cartilage. Most fish fall into this category. It is also the largest group of vertebrates.


Chinese Giant Salamander

Chinese Giant SalamanderSource: bbc.com

You’ll never guess where this salamander lives….that’s right, China! Unfortunately, however, they are endangered because they are considered a delicacy. And also, they are hunted for use in traditional medicines.


Polar Bear

Polar BearSource: defenders.org

The polar bear is the largest land carnivore alive today. It’s followed very closely by the brown bear. Just remember though, if you meet a brown bear…play dead. If you meet a polar bear…well, run? Note: The saying goes, “If it’s brown lay down; if it’s black fight back; if it’s white good night.” (Don’t mess with polar bears.)


African Bush Elephant

African Bush ElephantSource: nature.org

The largest living land animal has no natural predators although the calves can be attacked by lions and crocodiles. As adults, they can grow up to 11 tons!


Blue Whale

Blue whaleSource: nationalgeographic.com

It’s the largest known animal in history. In fact, just its tongue weighs as much as an Asian Elephant (2.7 tons), and its heart is about the size and weight of a Mini Cooper.


If you enjoyed this list, be sure to check out 25 Larger Than Life Animals We Can’t Believe Are Real.

Photos: Feature Image: Takashi Hososhima via flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, text added,  25. pixabay.com (public domain), 24. Joe McKenna from San Diego, California, Eastern lowland gorilla, CC BY 2.0, 23. Stamatisclan, Runt and Paxie, CC BY-SA 3.0, 22. wikimedia commons (public domain), 21-19. pixabay.com (public domain), 18. Tserres34, Green Anaconda – Parana Madeirinha – AZ, CC BY-SA 4.0, 17. Pavel Zuber, Lates niloticus, CC BY-SA 3.0, 16. pixabay.com (public domain), 15. Gregg Yan, Acerodon jubatus by Gregg Yan, CC BY-SA 3.0, 14-12. pixabay.com (public domain), 11. Gabriel Barathieu, Mother and baby sperm whale, CC BY-SA 2.0, 10. Takashi Hososhima via flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, 9. Liam Quinn via flickrCC BY-SA 2.0, 8-6. pixabay.com (public domain), 5. Fred Hsu (Wikipedia:User:Fredhsu on en.wikipedia), Mola mola ocean sunfish Monterey Bay Aquarium 2, CC BY-SA 3.0, 4. Toby Jungen via flickr, CC BY 2.0, 3-1. pixabay.com (public domain)