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11 Most Powerful Animals in the World

by Dan Cuesta
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It is difficult to declare absolutely which animal is the most powerful animal in the world that you do not want to come across in the wild. This is due to the fact that there are so many distinct types of strength that identifying a single species as the most powerful is practically impossible. Rather than attempting to pick a popular vote, this list covers eleven, from least to most powerful and incredible creatures, each of which possesses an outstanding level of strength in relation to its size.

Here are the top eleven most powerful animals spoken by the world.

  1. Rhinoceros

Rhinos come in five different varieties, three of them are found in Africa and two in Asia, and all of them are extremely robust. Rhinos weigh at least 2,000 pounds and occasionally as much as 4,000 pounds, have a thick, almost armored skin, and a massive horn capable of goring any animal foolish enough to attack. Adult rhinos have no natural predators because of these factors—except, tragically, humans. Rhinos are among the most endangered creatures on the planet, with African species disappearing at an exceptionally rapid rate, and if we don’t fix the problem quickly, they won’t be there to make this list in a decade.

  1. Saltwater Crocodile


Crocodiles are technically aquatic species, so they aren’t qualified for our list, but they spend a lot of time on land—and frequently prey on terrestrial animals—so that’s good enough for us (after all this entire list is purely subjective). It’s undeniable that they’re tough. Saltwater crocs are the largest living predators on land and in non-ocean environments, reaching heights of 17 feet and 2,000 pounds and possessing the most powerful bite ever measured in a laboratory—strong enough to smash a cow’s head in one chomp. Saltwater crocodiles will occasionally seek people as prey since they are enormous and violent, and they are native to locations with dense human populations, such as India, China, Bangladesh, and Malaysia, yet the number of actual deaths per year is still relatively low.

  1. Hippopotamus

Hippos would definitely be at the top of any list of cute things that you should actually be afraid of. Hippos kill more humans in Africa than any other animal, not because they are intrinsically furious or aggressive—though they can be both—but because they kill more humans than any other species. Why? Because they’re large and unpredictable, they prefer to spend their time submerged in the rivers where people fish, bathe and play. Male hippos can be territorial, and female hippos will go to great lengths to protect their young, but hippos frequently cause havoc by surfacing under boats, knocking people overboard, and causing panic, which can quickly turn ugly when a 3,000-pound animal with 20-inch teeth that moves well in water and can run up to 20 miles per hour is suddenly freaked out.

  1. Komodo Dragon

This is the closest thing we have to a dinosaur—a massive armored lizard, the world’s largest, that roams the Indonesian archipelago, pursuing anything it can capture and biting with monstrous, bacteria-laced jaws. Komodo dragons can grow to be 10 feet long and weigh 150 pounds, giving them free rein over these islands with no predators except humans, who have historically murdered dragons out of fear—to be fair, komodo dragons have killed people on several occasions. Because a Komodo’s mouth is brimming with germs, its bite can be septic, and the dragons will consume up to 80% of their body weight in a single meal, regurgitating all of the indigestible portions (bone, hair, feathers, and scales) in a foul-smelling “gastric pellet.”

  1. Tasmanian Devil

The devil—an ugly-cute animal that lives exclusively on the Australian island of Tasmania—has some valid bragging rights as the world’s largest carnivorous marsupial. According to a study, the devil possesses the hardest bite of any predator on the planet when size is taken into account. Devils weigh roughly 20 pounds on average but can apply 94 pounds of pressure, giving them a “Bite Force Quotient” of 181, about double that of a hyena and 60 points greater than a lion. It’s strong enough to break bones and bite through metal traps. According to National Geographic, the Tasmanian devil-inspired Loony Toons persona is not entirely exaggerated. “Has a notably cantankerous disposition and will jump into a manic rage when attacked by a predator, battling for a mate, or guarding a meal,” Nat Geo states of this creature.

  1. Cape Buffalo

The Cape buffalo (also known as the African buffalo) has never been domesticated for a reason. It’s a vicious, unpredictable animal that isn’t frightened of confrontation and is responsible for up to 200 human deaths in Africa each year. Hunters revere the buffalo as one of Africa’s “Big Five,” but they also fear it more than any other animal, because poor aim can make for an entertaining afternoon. When a buffalo is injured, it often runs toward, rather than away from, its assailant.


  1. African Elephant

The African elephant, which can reach a height of 13 feet at the shoulder and weigh almost 14,000 pounds, is the largest living land animal. Elephants are gentle giants when it comes to other creatures, but they are terrible on the environment, destroying trees and ingesting more than 500 pounds of leaves and branches in a single day. An elephant is considered the most deadly animal living when furious or scared, as it can run 15 miles per hour and easily overturn a car or truck. Its trunk can raise 700 pounds on its own. It’s difficult to envision the elephant not being the last one standing if all of these creatures were crowded into a boxing ring.

  1. Polar Bear

Polar bears are the world’s biggest and most carnivorous bears, as well as the world’s largest land carnivores overall, despite the fact that they don’t spend much time on land. Polar bears spend much of the winter on the Arctic pack ice, traveling thousands of kilometers in a single year in search of their favorite food – seals. Polar bears will hunt walrus and even small whales if the opportunity comes, and have been known to swim up to 100 miles through icy Arctic seas in search of prey.


  1. Tardigrade “Water Bear”

This is not a Star Wars monster, by its looks. The Tardigrade is one of the world’s tiniest animals, measuring about 1.5mm in length and only visible under a microscope. Though there are over 900 species of Tardigrades, they can be found in practically every corner of the planet and in every possible environment, which is what makes them so tough. They’ve been found in the bottom of the ocean, inside hot springs, and even on Mount Everest. Scientists loaded a lot of Tardigrades on a spacecraft and launched it into orbit to see how tough they are. Many of them were still alive when they returned, despite having been exposed to an environment capable of killing a human in seconds. How do they manage to do it? Tardigrades, like yeast, can withstand prolonged drying. They can lose nearly all of their water and enter a state of suspended animation until rehydrated, which could take hours or months.

  1. Emperor Penguin

The emperor is the tallest and heaviest penguin, which makes it the hardest of these strange, flightless birds by default. But why is the emperor penguin so high on this list? Weighing 80 pounds and swimming like a torpedo aren’t enough to compensate for clumsy waddling and a lack of teeth or claws. Because emperor penguins reside in Antarctica, the harshest and most inhospitable climate on the planet. Emperor penguins go up to 75 kilometers over ice to mate during the mating season, which is, of course, winter. Males then sit vigil for weeks over a fertilized egg, braving blizzards and 100-mile-per-hour gusts, not to mention temperatures as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit. Meanwhile, their females are out foraging for goodies in below-freezing seas (the water temperature is usually just about 29 degrees), diving up to 1755 feet for snacks that they’ll bring home by walking back across the ice, amid the wind and snow.

  1. Honey Badger

The honey badger has been dubbed “the world’s most courageous animal” by the Guinness Book of World Records. It resembles a strange skunk or, from the front, a tiny bear wearing an old man’s toupée, and it has the personality to match. These are the savannah’s psychopaths—smallish omnivores who live in holes. These vicious cousins of the weasel will kill and eat anything smaller than themselves (rabbits, rodents, lizards), but they’re also known for attacking anything that steps on or near their dens, such as horses, large antelope, and even Cape buffalo. Honey badgers have been seen driving lions away from prey, killing and eating cobras, and not wasting anything – they’ve evolved to consume whole creatures, even bones, and feathers. And, of course, they don’t give a rat’s ass

Some of the animals on this list surprised you, but you certainly do not want to get on the wrong side of any of them, no matter how small they are. Strength comes in a variety of forms. There is no clear best when it comes to strength and power. It is difficult to pit them against one other to see who is the all-around most powerful because so many species have their own incredible sorts of strength and power. However, this top eleven list should have given you a better concept of the various types of strength seen in the animal kingdom.

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