With a 12ft leg span, Japanese spider crabs are truly formidable crustaceans. Their spindly legs are the reason behind their name, giving them the appearance of a humongous, tough-shelled underwater spider.
Appropriately known as ‘megabats’, flying foxes are much bigger than the miniature bats you get in your garden. Their fox-like faces and fluffy bodies make them pretty cute, although the largest varieties can reach a mighty wingspan of 1.5m.
Titan beetles are 6.5 inches long, with mandibles powerful enough to cut pencils in half and dig into human flesh. Hercules beetles are technically larger due to their long horns, but the Titan’s enormous body makes it appear much bigger.
Mekong giant catfish
This aquatic giant holds the Guinness Book of World Records title of largest freshwater fish. It grows incredibly quickly, reaching a weight of 200kg in just six years. The largest one ever caught was 2.7m long and weighed a whopping 293kg.
This huge amphibian is the largest frog in the world, often reaching 32cm in length—that’s larger than the average house cat! Found in the rainforests of western Africa, they need their giant webbed feet to paddle through the fast flowing rivers they call home.
Giant Chinese Salamander
Forget the brightly coloured newt-like creatures you know as salamanders; this critically endangered river beast can reach nearly 2m in length. Its prehistoric appearance fits with its reputation as a ‘living fossil’, with family members dating back 170 million years.
Breed the two best-known big cats in the animal kingdom together and you end up with this colossal feline. The liger (part lion, part tiger) only exists in captivity but easily outsizes the largest wild cats, Siberian tigers. This record-breaking liger living in South Carolina called Hercules (perhaps after the beetle?) weighs a mighty 418kg.
Flemish Giant rabbit
Flemish Giant rabbits prove you don’t have to be small to be adorable. Generally bred as pets and for animal shows, their docile personality combined with their massive size (the largest recorded was over 80cm in length) means the big softies are commonly referred to as gentle giants.
You really don’t want to get stung by one of these guys: they’re bigger than the average man when fully grown. When a ten-tonne fishing trawler caught a net full of Nomura’s jellyfish off the coast of Japan, the three men on board had to be rescued after capsizing trying to haul them in.
Goliath Birdeater Spider
Despite its name, the Goliath birdeater rarely preys on birds. Weighing in at over 170g, they do regularly take down frogs, lizards, snakes and rodents for dinner. Its fangs are also large enough to break human skin (arachnophobes, we’re sorry).