25 World’s Smallest Animals You Won’t Believe Are Real

Posted by , Updated on May 23, 2024

Are you deeply fascinated by the tiniest creatures on the planet? If so, you’ve come to the right place. You may be astonished to discover a myriad of incredibly small animals, ranging from frogs to horses. These miniature species can be found all over the world. What is truly remarkable is that many of these creatures have only been identified relatively recently by scientists and researchers. This might leave you pondering about other tiny beings that could be right under our noses. Excited to learn more about these intriguing little wonders we’ve discovered? Here are the 25 Smallest Animals in the World That Will Amaze You.




chihuahuaSource: http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/smallest-dog-living-(height)

Everyone knows chihuahua’s are tiny, but they might not realize just how tiny they can be. The Guinness Book of World Records named Milly the Chihuahua the smallest dog in the world. She measured to be 3.8 inches (9.6 cm) tall, the size of about a high-heeled shoe.


Pygmy Rabbit

pygmy rabbitSource: https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/pygmy-rabbit-facts-animals-of-north-america.html

The pygmy rabbit is the world’s smallest and rarest rabbit. On average, their size can range from 9 to 11 inches (22.8 to 27.9 cm), and they weigh a little less than a pound.


Pygmy Marmoset

pygmy marmosetSource: http://animals.sandiegozoo.org/animals/pygmy-marmoset

While the pygmy rabbit is the smallest rabbit, in the world of primates, the pygmy marmoset reigns as the tiny king. They reside in South America and look similar to a squirrel with no head. They’re so small, they could fit inside a human’s hand. They usually weigh 3 to 5 ounces and are only 6 inches (15.24 cm) tall.


Brookesia Micra Chameleon

brookesiaSource: https://www.livescience.com/18481-world-tiniest-chameleon-discovered.html

Found on the island of Madagascar, the Brookesia Micra Chameleon is the world’s tiniest chameleon ever discovered. It’s so small it can easily sit on top of the head of a match or the tip of a person’s index finger.


Miniature Horse

mini horseSource: http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/smallest-living-horse

Miniature horses can grow to be about the size of a medium-sized dog. However, the world’s smallest horse was named Thumbelina, a miniature brown mare measuring at only 17.5 inches (44.5cm). The Guinness Book of World Records made it official in 2006.


Smallest Lizard

small lizardSource: http://science.psu.edu/news-and-events/2001-news/Hedges11-2001.htm

Scientists discovered the world’s smallest lizard in the Dominican Republica. The species is called Sphaerodactylus ariasae and can comfortably curl up on a U.S. dime. They roughly grow to less than an inch long or 16 millimeters.


Smallest Cat

small catSource: http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/smallest-cat-ever

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the smallest cat ever was discovered in Taylorville, Illinois. A male blue point Himalayan-Persian named Tinker Toy, when it was full grown, it measured at 2.75 inches (7 cm) tall and 7.5 inches (19 cm) long.


Dwarf Lantern Shark

lantern sharkSource: http://ocean.si.edu/ocean-photos/dwarf-lantern-shark

The Dwarf Lantern Shark is rare, swimming roughly 1,440 feet (439 m) below the ocean’s surface near South America. Not much is known about it. What we do know is they are small enough to fit in a human hand.


Etruscan Shrew

etruscanSource: https://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/photos/11-of-the-smallest-mammals-in-the-world/etruscan-shrew

The Etruscan Shrew isn’t just the smallest shrew, it’s also the smallest mammal by mass. They usually weigh less than 2 grams and measure only 1.5 inches (4 cm). Even though they’re small, they have major appetities and eat twice their body weight every day.


Royal Antelope

Royal_antelopeSource: https://www.britannica.com/animal/royal-antelope

Living in the rainforests of Ghana and Sierra Leone, the Royal Antelope is the world’s smallest antelope, measuring around 10 inches (25 cm) and weighing about 5.5 pounds (2.5 kg). It’s very rare to see one due to its secretive and nocturnal nature.


Bumblebee Bat

bumblebee batSource: https://www.thefactsite.com/2012/12/bumblebee-bat-worlds-smallest-bat.html

The Bumblebee Bat has two records under its belt. Not only is it the smallest bat, but it’s also the smallest mammal. On average, they’re about 1.2 inches long (33 mm) and weigh a mere 2 grams.


Smallest Seahorse

seahorseSource: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3019899.stm

Marine biologists discovered the smallest seahorse in the western Pacific ocean. Known as Hippocampus denise, they originally thought it was a baby seahorse. Normally, the seahorse only measures at .6 inches long or 16 millimeters.


Speckled Padloper Tortoise

padloperSource: http://www.turtleholic.com/small-turtles/

The Speckled Padloper Tortoise is, you guessed it, is the smallest tortoise in the world. Measuring only 3 inches (7 cm) for males and 4 inches (10 cm) for females, these little creatures can be found slowly crawling on paths of South Africa.


Smallest Cow

dwarf cowSource: https://www.express.co.uk/news/weird/560148/The-smallest-cow-in-the-world

The world’s smallest cow is named Manikyam. While it doesn’t fit in the palm of your hand, it’s still small as far as cows go. Measuring only 24 inches (61.5 cm), the small cow is treated as a pet by family who owns her.


Paedophryne Amauensis Frog

tiny frogSource: https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/01/120111-smallest-frogs-vertebrates-new-species-science-animals/

A frog the size of a housefly, the Paedophryne Amauensis Frog is the smallest known animal with a backbone. It averages around 7.7 millimeters long and looks like a tiny speck on a U.S. dime.


Pygmy Mouse Lemur

pygmy lemurSource: https://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/photos/8-of-the-smallest-animals-of-their-kind/pygmy-mouse-lemur

Living in Madagascar, the Pygmy Mouse Lemur weighs only around 2 ounces. Together, its head and body measure at roughly 2 inches (5 cm) long. Its tail, however, is twice the length of its body.


Smallest Salamander

Thorius ArboreusSource: https://amphibiaweb.org/species/4203, http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/59407/0

One of the smallest kinds of salamander is the Thorius Arboreus, living specifically in Mexico. It measures only to a mere 17 millimeters with a slender body and a wide head. Unfortunately, they’re an endangered due to farming and logging.


Samoan Moss Spider

small spiderSource: http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/smallest-spider/

We all know spiders can get pretty small, not to mention terrifyingly gigantic, but in this case, a Samoan Moss Spider won the Guinness Book of World Record’s award for smallest spider. It measured at only .3 millimeters.



vaquitaSource: https://www.worldwildlife.org/stories/the-vaquita-5-facts-about-the-most-endangered-marine-mammal

The vaquita is the world’s smallest marine mammal but sadly, it’s critically endangered due to illegal fishing practices. These tiny cetaceans on average only measure to be five feet (1 m) long. As of recently, only thirty vaquita were known to be left in the wild, a 97% drop from the year before the data was taken.


Smallest Snake

threadsnakeSource: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080804100258.htm

The smallest snake in the world was discovered on the island of Barbados. Measuring at only 4 inches (10 cm) long and about as thin as a spaghetti noodle, it’s a kind of rare threadsnake. Sadly, most of its habitat has been destroyed by farms and buildings.


Paedocypris Fish

small fishSource: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2006/jan/25/indonesia.science

The Paedocypris Fish is the world’s smallest vertebrate. From head to tail it measures about 7.9 mm long and could fit comfortably on a human finger. But, that’s not the only interesting thing about it. It has the capablity to swim and live in highly acidic water.


Bee Hummingbird

Bee_hummingbird_(Mellisuga_helenae)_adult_male_in_flightSource: https://www.wired.com/2015/07/absurd-creature-of-the-week-bee-hummingbird/

The bee hummingbird makes its home on the island of Cuba. It’s the smallest bird in the world, weighing only a mere 1/15 of an ounce. Its eggs are the size of coffee beans and its nest the size of a quarter. Because of its size, it competes with other insects rather than other birds.


Musky Caiman Crocodile

Paleosuchus_palpebrosusSource: https://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/photos/8-of-the-smallest-animals-of-their-kind/musky-caiman-crocodile

The Musky Caiman Crocodile swims up and down South American waters looking for vertebrates to chow down on. While it’s stature of four and a half feet (1 meter) might not illicite fear, they’re still dangerous.


Long-Tailed Planigale

Long-Tailed Planigale photo used with permission from www.australianwildlife.orgSource: http://www.australianwildlife.org/wildlife/long-tailed-planigale.aspx

The Long-Tailed Planigale might look like a tiny rat, but it’s actually the world’s smallest marsupial. It’s about 2 inches (5.5 cm) in length with a tail about the same size or sometimes longer. They live primarily in the grasslands of Northern Australia.


Dwarf Three-Toed Jerboa

jerboaSource: https://www.onegreenplanet.org/news/pygmy-jerboa-the-smallest-rodent-and-cutest-rodent-in-the-world-video/

It looks like a cotton ball with two eyes and giant legs, but the Dwarf Three-Toed Jerboa is actually the world’s smallest rodent. It weights less than an ounce and has a body length of 1.7 inches (4 cm). Be careful, look at it for too long, and you might want to take the cute thing home with you.


Enjoy this list? Check out 25 Abnormally Large Animals That Really Exist.

Photo: 1. shutterstock (not actual pygmy...illustrative purposes only), 2. Photo used with permission from www.australianwildlife.org, 3. WikipediaCommons.com (Public Domain), 4. Charlesjsharp, Bee hummingbird (Mellisuga helenae) adult male in flight, CC BY-SA 4.0 , 5. Aquaristikhaus, Paedocypris progenetica 001, CC BY-SA 3.0 DE , 6. WikipediaCommons.com (Public Domain), 7. WikipediaCommons.com (Public Domain), 8. Pxhere.com (Public Domain), 9. Pixino.com (Public Domain), 10. WikipediaCommons.com (Public Domain), 11. Rittmeyer EN, Allison A, Gründler MC, Thompson DK, Austin CC, Paratype of Paedophryne amauensis (LSUMZ 95004), CC BY 2.5 , 12. Balakrishnan, കാസർഗോഡ് കുള്ളൻ Kasaragod dwarf cattle, CC BY-SA 3.0 , 13. Abu Shawka, Speckled Padloper - Homopus Signatus 1, CC BY-SA 3.0 , 14. Reijnen BT, van der Meij SET, van Ofwegen LP, Hippocampus denise on Muricella - ZooKeys-103-001-g013, CC BY 3.0 , 15. Leonardoancillotto86, Pipistrellus kuhlii adult, CC BY 3.0 , 16. Mirko Raner, Royal antelope, CC BY-SA 3.0 , 17. Trebol-a, Suncus etruscus, CC BY-SA 3.0 , 18. Javontaevious, Dwarf Lanternshark, CC BY-SA 3.0 , 19. Pixabay.com (Public Domain), 20. WikipediaCommons.com (Public Domain), 21. WikipediaCommons.com (Public Domain), 22. Frank Glaw, Jörn Köhler, Ted M. Townsend, Miguel Vences, Brookesia micra on a match head, CC BY 2.5 , 23. Pixabay.com (Public Domain), 24. WikipediaCommons.com (Public Domain), 25. Pixabay.com (Public Domain)