Search for:
The 10 Absolute Strongest Animals on Earth: Pure Force
The 10 Absolute Strongest Animals on Earth: Pure Force

The 10 Absolute Strongest Animals on Earth: Pure Force

Key Points:

  • The strongest land animal in the world is the elephant. The typical Asian elephant has 100,000 muscles and tendons arranged along the length of the trunk, enabling it to lift almost 800 pounds.
  • The gorilla, the strongest as well as largest primate on the planet, is at least six times stronger than the average human. Its bite can also generate approximately 1,300 pounds of pressure per square inch.
  • While it may appear docile from a distance, the hippopotamus is one of the most dangerous beasts in the world, having a bite that exerts around 1,800 pounds of force per square inch.

In the constant war between predator and prey, size and strength can be decisive factors to help an animal survive the cruel whims of nature. However, there are several ways to measure strength, including lifting strength, bite strength, kick strength, and overall power.

How do we define a strong animal? For the purpose of this article, we will be defining strength in absolute terms, not in strength relative to body size (which would make insects some of the most powerful animals on the planet). Note that this article also lists animals in their general groups. A group may be defined as an entire order or just an individual species. Let’s have a look at some strong animals!

Exerts Most Absolute Force: Whales

Whales can claim the title of the strongest creature on the planet simply due to their enormous size. Although unable to lift, grip, or kick, they do need an enormous amount of force to power their massive bodies through the water.

This movement is facilitated by two large muscle groups near their tail: the epaxial muscles for the upstroke and the hypaxial muscles for the downstroke. The blue whale can generate a maximum force of around 60 kilonewtons (a single kilonewton is enough force to accelerate a 1,000-kilogram (2,200-pound) object at a rate of one meter per second).

Read more about the powerful, yet graceful blue whale here.

Most Powerful Land Animal: Elephants

Elephants are extremely powerful creatures, with size and strength varying among species. The African bush elephant holds the distinction of being the largest land animal on the planet. It has a maximum shoulder height of 12 feet and weighs up to 12,000 pounds. The closely related Asian elephant can weigh around 11,000 pounds.

The trunk is the elephant’s main tactile instrument. It is composed of muscles, nerves, and blood vessels with minimal amounts of fat and bone. The typical Asian elephant has 100,000 muscles and tendons arranged along the length of the trunk. This enables it to lift almost 800 pounds with relative ease — or about the size of a large tree.

The elephant’s trunk has many potential uses, including feeding, touching, cleaning, arranging objects, and communicating with others. It also has the ability to hold approximately two gallons of water at a time.

The elephant’s body is also specially adapted for strength. Whereas most mammals have small bone cavities, elephants have very dense bones that allow them to perform all kinds of impressive acts like standing on their hind legs. This allows some species to carry up to 14,000 pounds!

Strongest Primate: Gorillas

By any metric, the gorilla is one of the strongest animals on the planet. With such muscular and elongated arms, it is at least six times stronger than the average human. Its bite can also generate approximately 1,300 pounds of pressure per square inch. As the largest primate, a typical male gorilla can weigh anywhere between 200 and 500 pounds. Although largely herbivorous and not very aggressive, its intimidating display can scare off even the most dangerous animals.

Find out more about the intelligent and mighty gorilla.

Most Powerful Biter: Crocodiles

The crocodile has perhaps the strongest biting force on the planet. With its powerful jaws, the creature can instantly kill almost any prey by exerting up to 5,000 pounds of pressure per square inch (depending on the species). For comparison’s sake, a human can only bite with around 100 pounds per square inch. The key to the crocodile’s remarkable strength is its enormous jaw muscles. However, this ability does have one weakness: their mouths exhibit very little opening strength. It’s possible to keep the jaws clamped down with a rubber band.

Read more about the sneaky, strong crocodile.

Massively Strong: Bears

The bear is a familiar but intimidating presence throughout many of the world’s parks and ecosystems. They are swathed in huge muscles and powerful claws that enable them to dig and hunt with incredible expertise. Among all bear species, both the grizzly bear and polar bear take the crown as the strongest. Weighing more than around 800 pounds — the maximum recorded size is twice that figure — an individual male grizzly is equivalent to around five humans in strength … and even more when enraged. The key to the grizzly bear’s strength is the large mass of muscles attached directly to its backbone. This gives the bear a rounded, humped appearance. Polar bears are also massively strong, potentially weighing up to 1,600 pounds. They can also chomp down at around 1,200 pounds of pressure per square inch.

Forceful Hunter: Tigers

The tiger is one of the largest carnivores in the world, eclipsed only by the polar and grizzly bears. The most intimidating species, the Siberian tiger, can potentially weigh up to 800 pounds. As solitary hunters, tigers can swim, leap, and take down prey with amazing force. And unlike many other carnivores, it can easily stand and attack from its hind legs.

Tigers have night vision that is six times better than that of humans, which helps them hunt successfully in the dark. A tiger will mainly hunt pigs and deer but is capable of taking prey larger than itself

These remarkable abilities are enabled by the tiger’s incredibly dense muscular structure. It is estimated that their bite can exert around 1,000 pounds of force per square inch.

Learn more about the beautiful, yet dangerous tiger.

Surprisingly Strong Herbivore: Hippopotamuses

At first glance, the hippopotamus may seem like a placid, lumbering, veggie-munching softy, but when disturbed, it is one of the most dangerous creatures in the animal kingdom. To understand just how dangerous they are, it is necessary to fully appreciate the hippo’s sheer size. The average hippo can weigh anywhere between 3,000 and 4,000 pounds, and scientists have recorded some individuals with twice that weight. With the ability to open its mouth at a 180-degree angle, the hippopotamus has a bite that exerts around 1,800 pounds of force per square inch. It is a creature that can tussle with even the fiercest predators.

Learn more about the hippopotamus here.

Intense Defensive Strength: Rhinoceros

The rhinoceros is another fearsome herbivore with a penchant for rather violent displays of self-defense. Although under threat by humans, the white rhino is the world’s largest rhino species at around 13 feet long and weighing 5,000 pounds — sometimes much more. They can also make a harrowing charge of 30 to 40 mph. Although not particularly aggressive, these strong creatures will defend their territory from threats, and they have been known to rock or tip over entire vehicles. Their intimidating horn is composed of keratin — the same substance as hair, fingernails, and feathers.

Find out more interesting rhinoceros facts here!

Fiercely Strong Feline: Jaguars

The jaguar is a powerful cat native to an enormous range throughout Central and South America. Weighing up to 350 pounds at its maximum, the jaguar is not the largest cat, but with a powerful bite force of approximately 1,500 pounds per square inch, it only needs one quick strike to subdue its prey. The jaguar can open its mouth wide and pierce the skull or armored shell with its enormous teeth. It also has the strength to drag a huge carcass about equal to its own body size up into the trees. Jaguars will feed on almost anything, including deer, capybaras, boars, primates, and ungulates.

Read more about the hunting skills of the jaguar.

Unexpectedly Powerful Beast: Bovines

Bovines are defined as a group of ungulates that includes bison, buffalo, yaks, and cattle. Due to their immense strength, bovines were domesticated by humans thousands of years ago for the purpose of towing carts, plows, and other materials. As one of the largest bovines, the African buffalo is an immense beast that can weigh up to 2,000 pounds. When they feel threatened, buffaloes have been known to tip over large vehicles or charge at animals or people. With their powerful muscles, intimidating horns, and defensive posture, more people die of bovine attacks every year than almost any other animal.

Read more about the mighty buffalo here.

Most Powerful Bird: Harpy Eagle

 If you were wondering who the king of the air is, look no further than the harpy eagle. Experts have found that this fierce bird of prey is the strongest, pound for pound, in the world. The force of grip of its talons is incredible, able to crush the bones of its prey, which are typically monkeys, sloths, and opossums. The harpy eagle typically weighs in at 13 pounds, has a wingspan of 5.7 feet, and can fly up to 50mph. They’re found in rainforests in South America, but spotting one in the wild is rare.

The 10 Strongest Animals on Earth
The 10 Strongest Animals on Earth

The 10 Strongest Animals on Earth

When we talk about determining the strongest animal in the world, it’s hard to say definitively which animal wins. This is because there are so many different kinds of strength that it is nearly impossible to pick a single animal as the strongest of all.

Instead of trying to determine a single winner, this list features 10 amazing creatures that all possess their own impressive kind of strength, relative to their size. Some of the animals that made this list may surprise you, but you surely wouldn’t want to get on the bad side of any of them, no matter how small they are!

1. Strongest Mammal: Elephant — Can Carry Seven Tons

Elephants can carry up to 14,000 pounds, which is roughly around the weight of 130 adult humans.

When you think of sheer brute strength, you probably think of lions or gorillas. However, the reality is that the majestic and typically docile elephant wins the prize for the world’s strongest mammal.

An Asian elephant‘s trunk has more than 150,000 muscle fibers making up 40,000 distinct muscles. Comparatively, the trunk consists of very little fat and no bones or cartilage. In addition to being incredibly strong, elephant trunks’ tips have finger-like abilities. This allows elephants to use fine motor skills and manipulate very small objects with their trunks.

Yet elephants’ intense level of power also allows them to easily uproot fully grown trees or forcefully spray up to a gallon of water. In addition, elephants can carry up to 14,000 pounds, which is seven tons. To put that into perspective, that weight translates to about 130 adult humans.

Visit the elephant encyclopedia page to learn more about these strong herbivores.

2. Strongest Bird: Eagle — Carries Four Times Its Weight

The harpy eagle is the most powerful bird of prey in the world.

he beautiful and graceful eagle holds the title of the strongest bird. There are about 60 different species of eagle in the world today, and they are some of the largest birds of prey in existence.

Some eagle species prey on comparatively large animals like monkeys and sloths, so it should come as no surprise that they are able to easily lift things that are many times their own weight during flight.

For example, the amazingly powerful harpy eagle weighs about 11 pounds, yet it can carry away prey that weighs up to 35 pounds — that’s about the weight of a medium-sized dog, like a corgi.

Read more about eagles and their other behavioral traits here.

3. Strongest Fish: Goliath Grouper — Can Attack Adult Sharks

As soon as you take one good look at the Atlantic goliath grouper, you will likely understand how it got the title of “strongest fish.” They can grow to be up to nine feet long. And the largest recorded size of one of these massive fish is 800 pounds — that’s about the weight of a female moose!

They will eat just about anything in the ocean, and they are big and strong enough to even eat sharks. Goliath groupers have attacked octopuses, sea turtles, barracudas, and even human divers.

Fishermen who want a serious challenge often seek out goliath groupers because their enormous size and relative strength make them extremely difficult to land.

Currently, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) considers goliath groupers a critically endangered species due to overfishing. But conservation efforts over the past few decades have bolstered population numbers significantly.

Learn more about different species of fish here.

4. Strongest Animal Relative to Size: Dung Beetle — Lifts 1,141 Times Its Weight

When you search the internet for terms like “world’s strongest animal,” the dung beetle is almost always one of the top results.

The dung beetle certainly earns its place as one of the strongest animals in the world, especially when you consider its size versus how much it can carry. They typically grow to be up to one inch long and weigh less than an ounce, but they can carry an amazing 1,141 times their own body weight.

To put that kind of strength into perspective, if a human could move that much weight, it would be the same as one person pulling six full double-decker buses by themself.

Dung beetles use this super strength to roll enormous balls of dung back to their homes, but they also utilize their strength to defend against thieves and impress females during mating periods.

Learn more amazing beetle facts here.

5. Strongest Insect: Hercules Beetle — Moves 850 Times Its Own Weight

Technically, the strongest insect title also belongs to the dung beetle, but the Hercules beetle is a close runner-up and definitely worthy of notice as well.

Hercules beetles can grow to be up to seven inches long and weigh up to four ounces. The Hercules Beetle is a large and fairly impressive insect. They are known for their long horns which act as a defense against predators. They can be also used when males fight each other over a potential mate.

Male Hercules beetles maintain a territory during the mating season and fight to protect it from other males. The insects are named after Hercules, the hero of Ancient Greece mythology who was infamous for his strength.

While they cannot carry quite as much as a dung beetle relative to their size, these insects are still believed to be able to move a whopping 850 times their own body weight.

Find out more on the Hercules beetle encyclopedia page.

6. Strongest Bite: Saltwater Crocodile — Generates 3,700 Pounds of Force

Out of all of the big and powerful animals in the world, it might surprise you to learn that the saltwater crocodile takes the prize for the animal with the strongest bite. Interestingly, the saltwater crocodile is also the world’s heaviest reptile, weighing up to 2,200 pounds.

When measured, a saltwater crocodile’s immensely powerful jaws produced a bite that generated about 3,700 pounds of bite force. In comparison, our own jaws are capable of producing only 200 pounds of bite force, and even the mighty lion can only generate about 1,000 pounds of force with its bite.

Read more about crocodiles here.

7. Strongest Snake: Anaconda — Squeezes With the Power of 10 Humans

Anacondas are considered the strongest snakes in the world, and they can also grow to be some of the largest as well. In fact, the green anaconda also holds the title of the heaviest snake in the world at 1,100 pounds.

A big enough anaconda has been known to kill large deer, jaguars, and even black caimans (a reptile similar to an alligator). Anacondas can constrict around their prey with the strength of at least 10 powerful humans, so they are generally considered to be apex predators. Because they can kill and eat such large animals, a single meal can provide enough nourishment that an anaconda doesn’t have to eat again for weeks or months.

Read more about various snake species.

8. Strongest Vertebrate: Blue Whale — Can Move 30 Tons

The blue whale is not only the largest animal in the world, weighing in at about 200 tons, but it is one of the most powerful as well.

Blue whales can generate 600 horsepower, which is the same as many top-tier cars such as the Aston Martin DB11 and the Porsche 911 Turbo. In addition, they can travel easily at speeds up to 23 miles per hour for long distances, and they can move at least 30 tons through the water.

Find out more about the amazing blue whale.

9. Strongest Kick: Zebra — Kicks With About 3,000 Pounds of Force

Between the well-known force behind the kick of a red kangaroo and a giraffe, you might be surprised to read that the zebra beats them both.

When threatened, an adult zebra can kill a fully grown male African lion with a single blow to the body. Though it is difficult to get a precise measurement, it is thought that a zebra can kick with nearly 3,000 pounds of force.

Learn more about the beautiful, yet powerful zebra here.

10. Strongest Fighter: Grizzly Bear — Can Lift More Than Twice Its Own Weight

Despite their cuddly appearance, grizzly bears are strong and deadly creatures. They can weigh up to 500 pounds and reach top speeds of up to 30 miles per hour. Even though they are far smaller than their polar bear cousins, they are much more aggressive and far more likely to win a fight. They have immensely strong front legs and are built to take down large creatures like elk, musk ox, bison, and reindeer.

Find out more about this fearsome fighter on the grizzly bear encyclopedia page.

10 Facts About the Strongest Animals in the World

Here are a few fun facts about some of the strongest animals on Earth:

  1. Rhinoceroses are one of the strongest animals in the world, with a weight of over a ton and the ability to charge at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour.
  2. Elephants are known for their strength, being able to carry heavy loads and move large objects with their trunks.
  3. Gorillas are incredibly strong primates, capable of lifting objects weighing more than 1,000 pounds with ease.
  4. Bulls are known for their strength and aggressive behavior, often used in bullfighting.
  5. Hippopotamuses are considered to be the strongest swimmers and are known for their powerful jaws and teeth.
  6. Grizzly bears are known for their incredible strength and large size, able to stand up on their hind legs, and weigh up to 1,500 pounds.
  7. Kangaroos are surprisingly strong and capable of jumping up to 30 feet in a single leap.
  8. Snails are considered to be one of the strongest animals in the world, with a muscular foot that allows them to carry up to 100 times their own body weight.
  9. Ants are incredibly strong for their size and capable of lifting objects many times their own weight.
  10. The dung beetle is considered to be the strongest insect in the world, capable of rolling balls of dung that are many times its own weight.

Summary of the 10 Strongest Animals in the World

Strength comes in many shapes and sizes. When it comes to strength, there is no clear winner. So many creatures have their own amazing types of strength and power that it’s hard to pit them against each other to decide who is the all-around strongest. But, this top 10 list should have given you a better idea of all of the different kinds of strength that exist in the animal kingdom.