Life on Earth emerged billions of years ago as cellular organisms evolved into some really weird things. It went through the childhood phase of trilobites and those swirly ammonites, followed by the awkward fish phase, the amphibian phase, the rebellious dino era, the big fluffy adult mammal years, and now we’re here — the geriatric hairless monkey era.
Throughout all these epochs, nature has experimented with extraordinary monsters, and now we’ll show you some of its scariest creations.
1. Gigantic Danger Noodle — Titanoboa
Did you know that the largest modern snake (in captivity) measures 25 feet and weighs 350 lbs? Now compare that to the Titanoboa: according to the fossils found, this 42-feet-long danger noodle could possibly weigh around 2,500 pounds. We don’t know for sure what their diet consisted of, but scientists believe Titanoboa primarily fed on fish. It could certainly swallow a few adult humans without even dislocating its giant jaw.
2. Anvilhead Shark — Stethacanthus
Speaking of sharks, there’s another weirdo you have probably never heard of — Stethacantus. Most of the representatives of this fishy family look very similar to each other, even when you compare today’s species with the extinct ones. But there were a few notable outliers that just don’t feel real. The Stethacantus had a dorsal fin shaped like an anvil. Why would they ever need something this cumbersome? We will never know.
3. Monster Shark — Megalodon
If you thought sharks were scary, you really don’t want to let a Megalodon catch you by the ankles. Yes, it is extinct, but you never really know what’s swimming right under your feet. Just so you can imagine what this thing was like, think of a Great White shark and now make it bigger. When you reach 70 feet, back up a little. That’s around 20m in length for all you metric fans. Researchers say that if it wanted to, a Meg could have opened its killer jaws so wide, it would easily swallow Shaq whole.
4. Sea Scorpion God — Jaekelopterus
As if land scorpions weren’t freaky enough, there used to be these gigantic sea scorpions that lived in ancient lakes and rivers. Jaekelopterus was much more ferocious than its modern cousins, not to mention it was a hundred times larger. According to the archaeological findings, the largest species of this monstrous sea scorpion measured over 8 feet long. It’s a good thing they went extinct.
5. Terror in the Sky — Quetzalcoatlus
Say hello to the largest flying reptile that ever existed — Quetzalcoatlus. These ace fliers terrorized smaller animals during the Late Cretaceous with a sharp stork-like beak and a wingspan of 36 feet. Still not convinced? Quetzalcoatlus measured 10 feet in height when chilling on the ground. Absolute units!
6. Extreme Millipede — Arthropleura
Millipedes are very creepy, but they would become horrifying if some mad scientist decided to make them a thousand times larger. That’s basically what the 8-feet-long Arthopluera was like 290 million years ago. As you can imagine, this nightmare bug was so big it didn’t have a single natural predator. The Arthropleura was not big on hunting either and preferred munching on juicy fruits and seeds on the ground.
7. Giant Dragonfly — Meganeuropsis
Insects are annoying, and many are terrifying even in their smaller forms. Enter the Meganeuropsis — a dragonfly with a two-feet-long wingspan. This terrifying creature was the largest flying insect that ever existed. Not only were these bugs enormous, but they were also predators who loved snacking on small lizards and frogs.
8. Arthropod With a Snout — Opabinia
During the Cambrian era, life on the planet exploded into millions of the most bizarre forms, one of which was Opabinia. This arthropod was only a few centimeters in length with five big eyes and one huge snout, making it look like an underwater elephant.