Now That the Rare 8-Ft Russian Eagle Has Been Found, We’ve Tracked Down the Largest Animals of Their Kind

Thu Apr 14 2022

In recent news, birdwatchers flocked to Boothbay Harbor, Maine, to see a majestic sea eagle with a wingspan of around 8 feet. It got us thinking – what are the largest animals of their kind that people have accidentally stumbled upon? We went on a mission to find real photos of the gigantic creatures living among us, and we weren’t disappointed.

These abnormally large beasts are possibly the largest of their species to ever grace this earth. From towering mammals to monstrous amphibians, there seem to be behemoths of every single species popping up all over the world. We’ve collected the particular sightings that you can’t afford to miss.

A Giant Moose Worthy of Game of Thrones

Those of you who live in the northern parts of North America and Canada will know that moose aren’t aggressive creatures unless otherwise provoked. That being said, if we were one of the unsuspecting onlookers who witnessed this magnificent beast in broad daylight, we’d be running for our lives in the opposite direction.

If you were one of those people who thought that moose were approximately the same size as reindeer, you’d be sorely mistaken. Moose have been known to reach heights up to 7ft 8″ from the bottom of their hooves to the top of their shoulders. But their antlers are just as impressive, with an ability to reach a span of 6ft 6″ all on their own.

The Most Glorious Donkey In All the Land

Who would have thought that a giant donkey could be one of the most adorable creatures on this planet? “He’s just like a big dog, follows you around all the time and wants to be by your side,” said donkey sanctuary owner Tracy Garton. At the time of this photo (2019) he was well on his way to becoming the largest donkey on record. But at only five years old, he still had a few years worth of growing to do.

Currently, the world record holder for the tallest donkey is Texan-based Romulus, who stands at 5ft 8″ tall. But five-year-old Derrick — an American Mammoth Jackstock donkey – was only an inch behind. Despite having not made the book of Guiness World Records just yet, he makes for the cutest runner up of all time.

A Jumbo Jellyfish That Dwarfs Divers and Sea Creatures Alike

Divers were stunned when they saw a barrel jellyfish the size of a fully grown adult on the south-western coast of England in 2019. Typical barrel jellyfish are known to grow up to 3ft 2″ in size, but this one noticeably exceeded that estimate. “It was the best thing I’ve ever done,” admitted diver and biologist Lizzie Daly.

Her odds of catching such a mature and gigantic version of the British jellyfish species were against her, making this sighting all the more incredible. “What an unforgettable experience,” she explained in a video. “I know barrel jellyfish get really big in size but I have never seen anything like it before!”

An Oversized Cow That Would Out-intimidate a Herding Dog

This abnormally large cow’s life was spared from the slaughterhouse in Australia due to its immense size. It towered above the other cows, standing at 6ft 4″ tall and weighing a whopping 3,000 lbs. His owner explained that this magnificent beast, “was too heavy. I wouldn’t be able to put [him] through a processing facility, so I think [he] will just live happily ever after.”

This magnificent beast is a Holstein-Friesian and was bought for less than $300. He was given the name Knickers (the British term for underwear) for a pretty funny reason: “When he was young, when we first got him, we had a Brahman steer which was a friend of his. …His name was bra… so we [had] bra and knickers. We never thought he would turn into big knickers.” Not only is Knickers a big cow, but he’s the biggest steer in all of Australia.

The Rarely Spotted Maned Wolf Looks Far Too Much Like a Humungous Fox

You might be wondering what on God’s green earth this creature is. It looks a lot like a common fox, except for the fact that it’s much, much larger. If this creature isn’t a fox, then perhaps you might be thinking that it’s some kind of wolf… Some kind of tall and bow-legged wolf with similar colorings to a fox.

In reality, it’s neither. It belongs to the genus Chrysocyon (which translates to “golden dog”) and is often thought to be a mythical “Chupacabra” when seen by witnesses in South America. These rare creatures are, however, related to the canine species, and they make up the largest canines in South America. There’s no doubt that if we came across one of these majestic mammals, we’d stop dead in our tracks.

The Colossal “Sea Worm” Has More in Common With People Than Jellyfish

This marine invertebrate took scientists in Tasmania by surprise a few years back when they saw just how huge it was. Dr. Lisa-Ann Gershwin from The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) said “It’s not only huge and big enough to scuba dive through but it’s a weird, weird creature.” And they’re not so far from home: “Believe it or not, they’re actually more closely related to us than they are to jellyfish.”

Known as pyrosomes, these tubular “sea worms” are actually colonies that contain thousands of Zooids. Basically, there are a bunch of individual animals that make up a bigger colonial animal. They appear part jellyfish and part snake, and when touched these cylindrical entities give out a bioluminescent light. Pyrosomes can grow to gangling 30 meters, and have since earned themselves a new nickname as ‘the unicorn of the sea’.

An Enormous Alligator That Avoided Human Contact To Grow So Big

In 2019 a wildlife biologist stumbled upon one of the biggest alligators ever seen. The Georgian Department of Natural Resources estimated the gator to weigh about 700lbs and be around 13ft and 4″ in length. It was, however, found in bad condition and nearing the end of its undoubtedly majestic life. Incredibly, male alligators come even bigger than this guy right here.

Alligators as long as 16ft have been seen before, with the largest ever gator in Georgia holding the record at around 14ft 1″. That being said, seeing an alligator that’s over 13ft is very rare. According to the biologist pictured in the photo, this gator only managed to get to such a colossal size by avoiding people entirely. “This guy was hiding pretty good to get that big,” he said.

The World’s Largest Pig Was Consuming Outdated Dairy Products

“Big Norm,” the world’s biggest pig, took less than four years to get to this immense size. Standing at 4ft high, he was 8ft long and weighed a shocking 1600lbs – that’s about three times heavier than your average healthy male pig. New Yorker Robert Peterson didn’t realize how special of a pig Norm would turn out to be at first feed, he knew something was up.

“He just started growing into this super-sized pig,” recalls Robert. By the time Norm had reached maturity, however, his diet changed. He was getting 10lbs of hog feed, a nutritious dose of milk replacement, and outdated dairy products. “Big Norm” did achieve international recognition before his death for his gargantuan proportions, and was eventually reported as being the world’s biggest pig.

The World-Record Holding Spider Crab May Just Continue Growing

This is the stuff nightmares are made of. This Japanese spider crab was adopted by the Sea Life Centre in Blackpool, England, due to its excessively long claws of around 9ft long. They named him after pro wrestler “Big Daddy” (AKA Shirley Crabtree) and have hopes of passing his extra-large genes on to the next generation by finding him a suitable mate.

Guinness World Records declared him to be the world’s largest marine crustacean in 2015 for their 60th-anniversary edition book, so you know it’s legit. “Big Daddy” is capable of living till 100 years old, and amazingly, his claws may keep growing until their 12ft long. But that would make him even more immobile. Aquarium worker Scott Blacker revealed: “He’s actually had his arms out of the tank, but he can’t hold his body weight outside the tank so he can’t get out.”

The Elephantine Proportions of a Southern Elephant Seal Are Not To Be Underestimated

You don’t need us to tell you that elephant seals get to… well, elephantine proportions. But you do need to see this photo in which a huge elephant seal absolutely dwarfs his caretaker. He’s so big, it’s hard to believe that this is an actual undoctored image of such a magnificent creature. This particular gentle giant is called Minazo, and he’s thought to be one of the biggest elephant seals in recent times.

He’s a southern elephant seal, making him about 40% heavier than his male northern elephant seal cousins. Incredibly, southern elephant seal bulls have been known to reach a weight of 8,800 lb and a height of 19ft – which is around five to six times heftier than the females! Minazo lived most of his life in Japan’s Enoshima Aquarium, where he became famous for his affinity with a blue feeding bucket.

A Hefty Salamander That’s Been Hiding in the Rivers of East Asia for Millions of Years

When we think of salamanders, we think of small lizard-like amphibians, no bigger than the size of our hand. But in in the natural streams of China and Japan lives this freakishly enormous salamander that traces all the way back to prehistoric times. And unbelievably, its immense size isn’t even the most surprising thing about it.

The giant salamander is said to smell a lot like pepper! It also has incredible speed that helps them catch fish at the bottom of river banks, and hilariously makes noises that are similar to the sounds that small children make. Which is just as well, as it’s literally the same size as a not-so-small child… However, this great amphibian is around 6ft long, and that’s considerably larger than most kids.

The “Colossal Cockerel” From Kosova Knows How to Charm the Ladies

A video showing a rooster the size of a small person was posted online, and it unsurprisingly went viral. People accused the footage of being fake, but it wasn’t a lie whatsoever. This cockerel goes by the name Merakli, weighs a hefty 17lbs, and stands 3ft tall. By comparison, most male cockerels hit around the 2.3ft mark.

Living out his days on a farm in Kosovo, his caretakers have since revealed that he’s in a polyamorous relationship with two other hens on the premises. According to owner Fitim Sejfijaj, his giant Brahma chicken is “a very loving and happy bird” who enjoys a life of absolute luxury. “He has two hens with him and is very well treated,” Sejfijaj confirmed.

The Californian Oarfish Responsible for the Legend of the Sea Serpent

This creature is thought to be responsible for the legend of “sea serpents” and it’s not hard to see why. A snorkeler was busy exploring the coast of California when he came across a shockingly long oarfish that had only recently bit the dust. After bringing the body to shore, the local group measured the marine animal and discovered it was 18ft long! Usually, oarfish are found to be around the 10ft mark.

According to the diver, the oarfish was so heavy that it took 15 people to adequately carry it. While this particular “sea snake” is predicted to have weighed up to 300lbs, there’s something even more shocking about the monstrous oarfish. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration claim they have the ability to grow past 50ft… thank goodness those ones don’t surface!

The Megabat That DNA Profiling Essentially Confirmed To Be a Fox With Wings

The giant golden-crowned flying fox bat is a mouthful to say, and rightly so. It’s the biggest bat species in the world and is defined as a “megabat”, but it is endemic only to the Philippines. Locals know it for having an unpleasant odor, which is said to help them better communicate with each other. But the freakiest thing about this terrifying megabat is who it’s related to, with a clue being in the name.

Yep, these guys are genetically related to foxes, so they essentially are flying foxes. There’s no doubt that these guys would be frightening to come across, but the truth is we needn’t worry. Despite weighing up to 3.1lbs, they are completely harmless to humans. But after the last couple of years, it’s probably best to take that tidbit with a pinch of salt.

The World’s Largest Liger Is the Closest We’ll Ever Get to a Sabre-tooth Tiger

Video clips of this mighty liger went viral on TikTok when people saw just how big it was. This beast is called Apollo, he weighs a total of 705lbs, and he’s thought to be “the biggest cat on the planet.” Large male lions and tigers don’t come anywhere close to that weight category, with lions growing to around 330 to 570lbs and tigers anywhere between 220 to 660lbs.

Perhaps it’s got something to do with his mixed background – one of his parents was a tiger, and the other a lion. But people online were quick to point out the physical resemblance to extinct prehistoric saber-tooth tigers, who were also bigger than their lion and tiger cousins of today. It’s been 42,000 years since they roamed the earth, but you wouldn’t know it with Apollo here.

The Largest Bunny in the World Has Maintained His Title for Over a Decade

Annette Edwards couldn’t believe her luck her beloved pet rabbit Darius was awarded the title of world’s biggest rabbit by the Guinness Book of World Records back in 2010. Darius was a Flemish Giant rabbit, a breed known for its powerful back legs and unusually long bodies.

Darius was all of 4ft 3″ long and has been holding down the title ever since, but sadly his whereabouts today are completely unknown. In 2021, he was stolen from his home with Annette and despite her offer of a $1,375 award, was never turned in. Wherever he might be today, we hope he’s living his best bunny life.

The Elusive Ocean Sunfish Is Taller Than the Guys You Meet on Tinder

The great ocean sunfish, also known as mola, is the world’s largest bony fish. They can grow to around 11ft in length and weigh up to 2.5 tons… but on average, these giant fish out-measure the fully-grown adults who go scuba diving to try and see them. Weirdly, these ghostly giants have flat bodies, bulbous eyes, and very small fins.

This diver was lucky to find such an enormous specimen during his underwater expedition. He was in the shallow waters near San Diego, California, which is an unlikely location to find the mysterious mola. But we’re sure glad he did, as this stunning photo truly captures their intimidating size. Just the sunfish’s eyeball is as big as the diver’s hand!

The Tallest Dog in the World Was Often Confused for a Small Horse

Meet Zeus, the world’s tallest dog, who’s got such long legs he can easily sit on the family couch! This Michigan-born beauty was described as a “gentle giant” by his owner, but he towered above everyone he met. When standing on his hind legs, he was 7ft 4″ tall and pushing close to 4ft tall when standing on all fours.

Zeus was a great dane – the largest dog breed – and weighed 155lbs. But what his owners remember most about Zeus was his sweet personality. “He’d sit on people’s laps. I loved to see people’s reactions when he’d sit down,” his owner remarked, adding “He just seemed to want to make people smile and happy and… he was just a very sweet dog.”

The Enormous Moth That’s So Beautiful, You Almost Forget It’s an Insect

Not many people would be brave enough to let an Atticus Atlas Moth rest on their face, but this woman is. This gigantic moth is about as large as a moth can get, and with its wing spread out it covers most of the model’s face and then some. But ironically, it doesn’t spend a lot of its time flying.

That’s in a large part due to the huge strain that flying puts on their energy reserves. Relying too much on their gorgeous great wings can reduce their lifespan from anywhere between one day to a fortnight. So it’s much better off just sitting pretty on someone’s nose and letting the colorful wing pattern do the talking. As long as it’s not on our face, we’re totally fine with that.

An Oversized Brown Bear Makes for the Perfect Cuddle Buddy

A lot of people think Susan and Jim Kowalczik are crazy for keeping a pet brown bear at home. But this Otisville, New York-based couple has had Jimmy since he was just a tiny cub. They didn’t know he would grow into one of the biggest bears that anyone had ever seen. He stands proud at 9ft tall, but it’s the sheer size of his head that we can’t stop looking at.

Jimmy’s skull must be about 30 times the size of an average human skull, judging by the photo. But it didn’t come from nowhere – Susan and Jim feed their beloved fur baby around 30 lbs of food every single day, which includes a lot of raw meat, dog food, and fruit. But like us, Jimmy likes the occasional sweet treat and frequently nibbles on marshmallows.

The Biggest Crab in the World Won’t Eat You but Will Rob You

We’re sorry to be the ones that have to tell you this, but the coconut crab pictured below, attempting to open a trashcan, is very much real. You’d be forgiven for thinking that that gigantic crustacean is a danger to humans, but in reality, it hardly ever eats other animals let alone people.

As their name suggests, these terrifying creatures are especially skilled at opening and consuming coconuts. They’re considered to be the world’s biggest arthropods that live on land (yikes) and they’re mainly contained to the islands in the Pacific and Indian oceans. Funnily enough, these giants are also known as robber crabs or palm thieves, which is especially fitting considering this photo.

The Komodo Dragon Is Like a Lizard on Steroids

“Just me getting far too close to a Komodo dragon” wrote Reddit user Rebecca, and we think she has a point. This creature is the largest living lizard alive with us today and lives on the Indonesian islands. As a general rule, these types of dragons can grow to 10ft long and weigh 150lbs.

The largest Komodo dragon to ever be recorded was one that reached 10.3ft length-wise and weighed 366lbs – something tells us they looked an awful lot like this one here. But don’t let their low-to-the-ground bodies fool you into thinking that they move at a leisurely pace – these hulking lizards are incredibly fast and would totally catch a person in a game of cat and mouse.

The Tallest Horse in the World Was Born to Two Very Average Parents

Big Jake got himself the reputation as the most enormous horse in Wisconsin until the Guinness Book of World Records caught on and named him the tallest horse in the world circa 2010. He was an incredible 6ft 11″ tall and weighed 2600lbs – that’s big even for the red flaxen Belgian gelding breed. 

It may be hard to believe, but Big Jake’s parents were actually of normal size and weight. However, because of Big Jake’s extraordinary stature, he had to be housed in specially built stables that could accommodate his great height – his stable was about twice the size of any of the other large horses on the farm.

A Cyclopean Snail That Chews Through Plaster

People online couldn’t believe this image when it started making the rounds on the internet. Could a snail really get to be this big? Comments ranged from “THAT SNAIL IS HUGE. IT’S SO GLORIOUS,” to “I can’t decide whether that is totally gross or the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.”

Whether it delights or horrifies you, this shelled gastropod is in fact real. It’s a giant African land snail, capable of growing up to 20cm in length! Unsurprisingly, these slimy beasts have big appetites, so it’s just as well that they can eat more than 500 different types of plants. They’ve even been known to eat through building materials, so they’re definately as gnarly as they look.

A Stupendous Sting Ray That’s So Huge, Experts Didn’t Even Attempt To Weigh It

You might be thinking that a stingray this huge must be from another planet. Found in the Mae Klong River in Thailand, this freshwater stingray is about the size of a smart car and is thought by some to be the world’s biggest living freshwater fish. Interestingly, this guy was so big that it was impossible for the team to adequately weigh him.

“It’s really hard to weigh these things without hurting them, because they are such big, awkward animals,” admitted one of the team members, biologist Zeb Hogan. At 8ft across and 14ft long, this guy was described in detail. “Certainly [this] was a huge fish, even compared to other giant freshwater stingrays, and definitely ranks among the largest freshwater fish in the world,” Hogan confirmed.

The Monstrously Massive Frog That Wouldn’t Look Out of Place at Infant Daycare

One islander living in the Pacific was shocked to find the biggest frog he’d ever seen – or anyone had ever seen, for that matter. Seen in Honaira, the capital of the Solomon Islands, it belongs to one of the largest classes of frogs that we know of – Cornufer guppyi. When this man posted his pictures on social media, this frog started to go viral in the area.

He wrote, “I was very surprised to see how people reacted to the picture,” before adding, “At first, I thought only a few people would see it and then suddenly I saw lots and lots of people commenting, surprised, and they were thinking this frog is from PNG.” These unedited photos prove that our amphibian friends really can grow to extreme sizes.

A Cyclopean Giant Octopus That Looks Way Too Alien for Planet Earth

The giant Pacific octopus (also known as the North Pacific giant octopus) is the largest octopus species in the world. As we can see in this photo, they can get to gigantic proportions and can be found in the waters around the United States all the way to Japan.

The largest-ever giant octopus on record was measured to be 30ft long and weighing a whopping 600 pounds. That’s significantly larger than most other cephalopods found, and is an example of the kind of deep-sea gigantism we’re only now starting to understand. Let’s hope we get to understanding these sea giants quickly before they take over the world…

A Colossal Burmese Python That Can Eat a Whole Farm’s Worth of Animals

This diabolically large snake is an 18ft long Burmese python called Hexxie, who lives in a three-bedroom family home. She belongs to Marcus Hobbs, who keeps the 238lb reptile well-fed with deer and goats. Actually, Marcus feeds her a lot more than that – rabbits, stillborn deer, calves, and pigs also make it into the snake’s diet.

But despite her hefty diet, she only defecates once a month. Marcus is convinced that he’s got the largest Burmese python in the world: “I’m friendly with a reptile specialist… When I sent him a picture he said she was the biggest Burmese python he had ever seen, and he’s seen them in the wild.” You’ve convinced us, Marcus.

An Immense Starfish That Reminds Us Why We Never Go to Australia

Take a look at the giant starfish that people came across in one of Australia’s marine parks. Just the center of it is bigger than your average adult’s face. It’s been identified as a Pintaceraster gracilis, one of the largest sea starfishes around! It was returned to the ocean after being found, so it’s not known exactly how large it is.

But we’re not just taken aback by the sheer size of this five-legged creature, it also has an incredible texture and color combination. We can see everything from purple to orange to yellow, and the hundreds of spiky dots are dizzying to take in. If you didn’t suffer from trypophobia before, you might feel triggered now.

The Largest Rodent in the World Is Actually Very Needy

This isn’t quite a giant hamster, but it sort of is. It’s a capybara, which is a giant cave-dwelling rodent and does in fact share a lot with our common house pets, hamsters. However, it’s more closely related to beavers and wild pigs. We think you’ll agree, it’s also far more adorable than a lot of the other giants that made it on this list.

We’re not surprised the woman in the picture is leaning in for a kiss. That is, if you can separate the fact that the capybara is still a rodent and a gigantic one at that… This guy is called Caplin Rous, and he’s thought to be the biggest rodent in the world. According to his owner (pictured): “He loves to lick my face and forehead and just follow me around everywhere.”

A Tremendous Catfish That Could Feed a Family of Four for Weeks on End

Here we have a humungous catfish that’s far bigger than your average housepet. It’s a Bagarius yarrelli and hails from the freshwaters of the eastern part of the Himalayas. Amazingly, these magnificent marine creatures actually come even bigger than the one we have pictured.

The largest freshwater fish ever documented was an incredible 9ft long and weighed 646lbs. It was found in 2005 in Thailand, and it has continued to hold the title ever since. But even the sight of this catfish is enough to instill within us a deep and profound respect for marine life and the deep unknown.

A Hulking Kangaroo That’s Been Honing in His Kickboxing Skills

This muscular kangaroo is called Roger, and he lives in a Kangaroo Sanctuary in the Northern Territory of Australia. He’s as athletic as he seems in the photos, and he stands as tall as a full-grown adult male. Basically, he’s not one to mess with, not least of all because he’s been trained in hand-to-hand combat.

Roger spends his days crushing metal buckets to warm up his muscles, before sparring with other male kangaroo rivals. Occasionally, he even tries to kickbox with his adopted mom in the sanctuary… As the sanctuary manager Chris Barnes explained, “His daily exercise regime is sparring [kickboxing] his rivals and chasing his human ‘Mum’, me.” Better you than us, Chris!

A Gargantuan Goat That Resembles the Mythical Yeti

Take a look at this epic Rocky Mountain goat. It’s so different looking from the animals we usually come into contact with, that we wouldn’t be surprised if people confused it with the Abominable Snowman (AKA a Yeti). This hoofed mammal grows to a great size and is endemic to regions in North America.

The largest mountain goat on record was hunted in 2011 in British Columbia. It received a score of 57-4/8 Boone and Crockett points which, if that means anything to you, should tell you that it’s the largest of its kind ever found. The horns alone are enough to tell us that we should stay far away from these noble mammals.

An Enormous Whale Shark Probably Wouldn’t Mind a Human-sized Treat

Perhaps you’re someone who has been tempted to visit Kenya and dive in the gorgeous blue waters of Diani Beach. Well, maybe this photo of a massive whale shark will make you think twice about booking that holiday. These incredible marine creatures usually grow between 18 to 33ft and on average weigh around 21 tons.

But the largest ever whale shark was recorded as being an astounding 66ft long and weighing 46 tons! That’s more than double the average across the whole fish species. While their diet usually consists of small sea creatures like planktonic, krill, jellyfish, and crab larvae, we bet one this big would make the exception for one of us.