How big are animals compared to us? We’ve all seen the charts that attempt to show an animal’s size compared to that of an average human, but it’s very hard to truly comprehend an animal’s relative size based on shaded figures.
Pictures tell a much better story, but the size of objects in photos can be misleading if there isn’t a familiar object in there for scale.
The animals in these pictures aren’t necessarily even considered bigger than average for their species, but when you see them next to a person, your jaw just might drop to the floor. Get ready for some shocking images that might make you rethink why humans are at the top of the food chain!
1. Tiger: A lot of us love cats: they’re small and, for the most part, friendly. But if you take a look at some of their predatory cousins, like tigers, you know just how enormous the cat family can get. Here kitty, kitty…
2. Manta ray: Some people love going to the beach to swim, but others have a fear of the deep blue sea. All sorts of strange creatures can be found lurking below the surface of the water, and this manta ray is one of them!
3. Tiger sharks: Sharks are definitely the dominant species of the ocean. Their speed and aggression immediately put them on top of the underwater food chain. Tiger sharks are especially aggressive, so this diver had better hope the one he’s facing has already eaten today!
4. Grizzly bears: While camping can be a very rewarding outdoor activity, spending time outside in the thick of nature can make for some potentially scary encounters. If you’re not careful, you may just end up running into one of these grizzly fellows.
5. Hippopotamus: When you think of the most dangerous animal in the world, not much thought is ever given to the hippo. But they are, in fact, extremely territorial and will do whatever it takes to ward off a threat.
6. Japanese spider crab: If you like seafood, you’ve probably ordered crab legs before. Still, you might not have thought about what the animal looked like before it was caught by fishermen. If you did, maybe you’d think twice before indulging!
7. Killer whale: If you’ve ever been to Sea World in Florida, then you’re probably familiar with their popular killer whale show. Here, trained workers swim in the same enclosure as these enormous creatures. This guy just popped up real quick to say hello to the audience!
8. Moose: You may have never seen a moose in real life, but if you ever do, you’ll immediately realize how intimidating they are. They may not be known to attack humans, but their sheer size lets you know that you’d better not get in their way.
9. Sperm whale: While they aren’t the biggest whales in existence, let’s face it: they’re still whales! Seeing this behemoth swimming towards you would be enough to get anyone out of the water. Well, except for maybe this diver…
10. Lion: Like tigers, lions are another beautiful member of the cat family that are predatory hunters with speed, stealth, and unrelenting force. Not to mention their size! It takes a brave person to bathe with the king of the jungle.
11. Oarfish: You might not have heard of an oarfish before, but if you saw one, you’d likely never step foot into a body of water again! It looks like a huge eel and can move at fast speeds. Plus, it takes more than 10 people just to pick one up!
12. Ostrich: The ostrich is a very interesting creature. It’s an enormous bird, though it can’t really fly. But what it can do is scare the living daylights out of you if you bother it. That long neck gives it very intimidating height!
13. Polar bear: You probably don’t have a vacation planned to the Arctic Circle any time soon, but if you or someone you know does, warn them of polar bears. Aggressive, large, and protective of their offspring, a polar bear won’t hesitate to make you an afternoon plaything.
14. Saltwater crocodile: These guys are basically the closest thing to dinosaurs that we have on our planet. Luckily, they’re not found in most parts of the world, but in the places where they are, locals have to be extremely careful not to let one of these scaly Goliaths get too close.
15. Buffalo: “Oh give me a home, where the buffalo roam…” Well, after looking at this picture, you may want to rethink that song lyric a bit. It wouldn’t be a problem living with the buffalo as long as they weren’t bigger than sedans!
16. Blue marlin: Trophy fishing is a sport for the brave and powerful. You’re dealing with oversized fish that can put up a brutal fight if you’re not prepared. Marlins are one of the largest and most difficult fish to reel in.
17. Nomura’s jellyfish: When we’re kids, we all learn that if we’re ever in the ocean, we need to be on the lookout for jellyfish. Their stings can irritate our skin and cause swelling. But you may never recover from a sting from this big guy!
18. African elephant: The word “humongous” is pretty much synonymous with “elephant.” These guys are the size of trucks, and their offspring are the size of small vehicles. Who knows how this Volkswagen ended up in this situation, but the driver is definitely regretting that he took a wrong turn somewhere!
19. Liger: A lion/tiger hybrid (and Napoleon Dynamite’s favorite animal), this species doesn’t even sound like it’s real, but you’d better believe that it is! Ligers can weigh up to 700 or 800 pounds and are just as aggressive as their parents if you get too close.
20. Python: Some people don’t mind snakes while others think they’re the creepiest creatures in the world. Even if you’re an enthusiast, just pray that one this big guy doesn’t find his way into your home!
21. Spotted hyena: Hyenas aren’t know for being the friendliest of animals. Anyone who was a child (or a parent) in the 1990s might remember the elephant graveyard scene from The Lion King. They hunt in packs, and their impressive size makes them one of Africa’s most dangerous animals.
22. Great white shark: Now these are the guys who really rule the shark world. They’re fierce, they’re fast, and they grow to be many times the size of a fully grown human! Where is this scuba diver’s cage? What a courageous person.
23. Giraffe: Giraffes’ long necks give them such a unique look that they’re impossible not to notice. Luckily, these guys are herbivores, meaning that they only munch on the greenery that dangles from high trees. Phew!
24. Whale shark: You probably think that you can’t get any scarier than a shark as big as a full grown whale, but to be honest, this is the one species that you don’t need to be fearful of. Still, you might want to steer clear of their wide mouths… just in case.
25. Freshwater stingray: If you think that avoiding an animal that has the word “sting” in its name would be advisable, you’d be correct. Although not known to be aggressive toward humans, that’s still one deadly tail that you don’t want to come into contact with.
26. Tuna: These guys may be known as the “chicken of the sea,” but based on this picture, they’re more like the elephants of the sea. If you’ve ever been to a Japanese restaurant, you’ve probably seen the enormous chunks of tuna meat that the chefs use for sashimi. Those chunks are courtesy of these giants.
27. Blue whale: This is the largest animal on earth, and it dwarfs anything else on this list. It looks like a submarine from above, doesn’t it? Who knows if the people aboard this boat realize they’re so close to one of the planet’s largest and most beautiful mammals, but they’re about to find out!
28. Elephant seal: There’s a good reason the word “elephant” is in this guy’s name. If you gave him legs and big floppy ears, he’d basically be one. This trainer better hope that he doesn’t run out of fish until this seal is full!
29. Wolf: From a distance, wolves can look like a pack of large dogs. But if you’ve ever seen one up close, you know how much more mesmerizing they are than their canine counterparts. It’ll take more than a bowl of Kibbles ‘n’ Bits to satisfy this guy’s appetite!
30. Rhinoceros: The armored plating on their skin basically makes them walking military tanks. It doesn’t look like they can move very quickly with that thick exterior, but when provoked, they can charge fast enough to scare away enemies.
31. Leatherback sea turtle: Sea turtles seem to be those elusive animals that everyone hopes they can one day encounter in the ocean. If you’ve only ever seen them on television, then you really have no idea how large they truly are.
32. Grouper: You may have never heard of a grouper before, but after looking at this picture, you probably won’t forget them! You’d have to be a daring soul to get yourself so close to a fish that large, but this fisherman seems to be having the time of his life showing off his new catch!
33. Catfish: Have you ever heard of a little sport called “noodling?” Basically, you swim to the bottom of murky rivers and wrestle catfish this big to the surface to show them off to your friends. It’s probably safe to assume that this guy won.