We may be the undisputed kings of the food chain, but when it comes to being pant-soilingly huge, we come up a bit short. We can hang out with tiny dogs and house cats until we feel like the T-Rex of our home -- but in the back of our mind, we know. Nature has produced terrifyingly huge and horrific organisms that could kill us without noticing, either by stepping on us, accidentally swallowing us the way we might swallow a fly or simply stopping our heart with sheer terror.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words.
Via Wikimedia Commons
In this case, almost all of them are some variation of AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
Japanese spider crabs, in what we can only assume is a cruel joke from God, possess all the most terrifying qualities of each of its namesakes. Lets just make a list, shall we? From spiders it has:
- Long spindly legs to help it creep through your nightmares.
- A terrifyingly disproportionate body just to freak you out.
- The ability to trigger the primal arachnophobe inside us all.
And from crabs it has:
- A hammer-proof body.
- Claws perfectly shaped for attacking soft human limbs.
- Years of pent up anger from seeing its family served with lemon butter.
These things can grow to sizes of just under 13 feet, or if you prefer, the size of a family car.
"For me? Awww, Tim Burton -- you shouldn't have!"
Luckily though they are only found in Japan and even then you have to go pretty deep underwater to find one. If you ever do venture that deep, you're on the crabs' home turf, but at least you could prepare properly -- those underwater flamethrower modifications are bound to work. And then you've got crab legs for the rest of the year, baby!
For being the biggest animals in the ocean, whales are usually nothing more than floating islands, filter-feeding on tiny shrimp. But set your time machine back far enough, and you'll find the waters full of insanity:
That thing could eat humans by the handful like popcorn.
Yep, Moby Dick had nothing on Livyatan Melvilli. If you haven't guessed, this thing was named after Herman Melville, and a giant sea monster from the Bible.
Via Dino Rider
That's not the whole animal. That's just its freaking skull.
This thing was the same size and shape of a modern sperm whale (that is, four times as long as the largest great white sharks), with a head built like a battering ram and a tail as big as a small car. Only with one major difference: while the sperm whale's mouth is built for gently swallowing animals with no skeleton, Livyatan had teeth up to 14-inches long.
Via Dino Rider
Those are individual teeth. Holy. Shit.
What could a katana-toothed sperm whale eat, though? Whatever the hell it wanted to.
Via Dino Rider
Artist's rendition of evolution just flipping the hell out.
The Livyatan lived in a time when the ocean's whale species were growing larger and diversifying, which means Moby Monster feasted mainly on other whales. It was a hypercarnivore, which means it got 70 percent of its sustenance from meat, which puts it in the same category as big cats, eagles and sharks. Though we prefer to think "hypercarnivore" means it hunted like Gary Busey with a pound of stimulants and a mouthful of steak knives.
Via Discover Magazine
Honestly, it doesn't even need the teeth. It could just swallow you like a pill.
It shared the same oceans as another giant thank-God-for-extinction-events horror, the Megalodon. So if you decide to go swimming during your time travel adventure, your fate will either be "eaten by giant shark" or "eaten by murderous sperm whale," and in both cases, it'd probably happen because the monster accidentally devoured you while trying to eat the comparatively smaller creature that was in the process of eating you.
Picture the biggest of the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park (specifically, the Brachiosaurus, aka the gigantic dinosaur with the long neck). Now let's use it to give you some sense of scale as to just how huge the Amphicoelias Fragillimus was. Here's Dr. Ian Malcolm, naked, standing next to a Brachiosaurus ...
Via Matt Martyniuk
Yeah, that's pretty big.
... which was apparently just this bigger dinosaur's pet:
Via Matt Martyniuk
This giant was the single largest land-based life form -- never mind dinosaur -- on record.
The femur alone is estimated to be bigger than a grown man.
Although paleontologists have nothing to work with other than a drawing of one bone from this monster, it was large enough to give us a rough idea of the obscene size of it. Do you remember this scene from King Kong?
The one where Kong's fully erect penis crushes that woman?
Amphicoelias Fragillimus was not only taller than King Kong or that 'rex, it was tall enough to have walked over them. This beast was big enough to have eaten you out of a six-story window. It stretched roughly 30-feet longer than Godzilla was tall, which according to Homeland Security, registers it as a class-G movie monster.
Dude was taller than a Rancor with King Kong on its shoulders.
But why are we looking to the distant past and Japan for monstrous creatures that can bite you in half? They didn't all go extinct, you know. Some of them are just being invented. Like the liger.
A liger, as Napoleon Dynamite fans know, is what happens when a lion and a tiger end up in the same cage and they make the ultimate choice. When the offspring stands on its hind legs, it's twice as tall as a man:
And considers women on stepladders to be "meat-fruit."
Ligers are like the Blade of the big cat world; they possess all of the strengths of both parent animals and have none of their weaknesses. And "big cat" is an understatement: It's a half-ton, 12-foot-long snarling mass of muscle capable of fitting your entire screaming head in its mouth. Oh, and it moves as fast as your car goes on the highway.
That's right; it's reportedly capable of running 60 miles per hour. Can you run that fast? Just imagine being hit by half a ton traveling at that speed, then remember it has this attached to the end.
Via Virgin Media
Not pictured: screaming.
Which is Roman for, "OH MY DEAR GOD, IT'S GOT MY LEG!"
Look at the scale there. Compare the lady's head with the liger's mouth.
Hercules happened as a result of a lion and tiger getting their freak on because scientists accidentally let them breed (sure ... "accidentally"). In just three short years Hercules already massively outgrew both of his parents, presumably right before eating them.