Humans are accustomed to being at the top of the food chain while on land. Sure, we have a few creatures that may scare us – giant animals like bears, mountain lions, wolves and maybe some fellow bipeds.
Giants of the deep seem to be a whole lot scarier though. Just consider the success of the Jaws movies, for example. There are few things more terrifying while in the ocean than the word “shark.” Sharks are not the only giants of the deep though. You won’t believe these giant animals.
The ocean sunfish is a massive species of fish. The largest of the ocean sunfish is the Roundtailed or Common mola. These fish look like a sunfish you might catch in your neighborhood pond – except for the fact that they are bigger than you. The Roundtailed or Common mola is the largest known bony fish with one specimen being 10 feet long and weighing 4,927 pounds!
Other ocean sunfish include the Sharp-tailed mola, the Slender mola (a relatively small fish at only a few feet in length), and the Southern ocean sunfish. The “mola” part of the name for these fish comes from a Latin term describing their round shape. The “ocean sunfish” designation comes from the Roundtailed or Common mola’s habit of lying on its side atop of the water as if it were sunbathing.
The good news is if you see an ocean sunfish while swimming or diving this summer, they are not known to eat people, though they probably could with their size. That’s one reason they made our list of giant animals of the water.
Think the ocean sunfish are freakishly big? Blue Whales can reach nearly 100 feet in length and weigh about 200 tons. That’s like a living submarine.
Perhaps not as well-known as the slightly larger Blue Whale, the Fin Whale is still a giant of the deep. These whales can reach lengths of nearly 90 feet. Picture two city buses joined together and swimming past you and you have an idea of the size of a Fin Whale.
Yet another giant of the deep, the Sperm Whale may be smaller than the Blue Whale or the Fin Whale, but it is still a giant. Reaching lengths of nearly 70 feet, a Sperm Whale would about resemble a tractor-trailer swimming past you in the ocean.
The Giant Squid holds the record for being the largest known invertebrate. How big is giant? Try nearly 60 feet in length and weighing nearly one ton. This giant animal is the stuff from which horror movies could be made.
This giant of the deep outlives and outgrows any other type of octopus. Just how giant is a Giant Pacific Octopus? The largest known example was more than 30 feet wide and weighed over 600 pounds.
A relatively small fish compared to a whale, the Giant Oarfish still can grow to more than 30 feet in length.
No list of giants of the deep would be complete without mention of a shark. The Whale Shark can grow to more than 40 feet in length and may weigh more than 40,000 pounds.