25 Things That Are Bigger Than They Seem

The world is full of things that are bigger than they seem.
From the vastness of the universe to the microscopic world of bacteria, there are many things that we can’t see with the naked eye that are quite large.
We have seen that the universe is so big that it is impossible to comprehend and that bacteria can be so small that they can only be seen with a microscope.
We have also seen that some animals, such as the blue whale and the giant squid, are much larger than we would expect.

Driftwood

Driftwood is wood that has been washed ashore by waves, tides, or currents.
It can come from trees, boats, or other wooden objects that have been in the water for a long time.
Driftwood can vary in size, shape, and color, but some pieces can be very large and heavy.
For example, the world’s over 200 tons and measures over 40 meters long.
It was found on a beach in Washington state, USA, in 2011.

Gorilla’s hand

Gorillas are the largest living primates, and they have very strong and muscular hands.
Their hands are similar to human hands but with longer fingers and shorter thumbs.
A gorilla’s hand can span up to 28 centimeters across, which is about twice the size of a human hand.
A gorilla can grasp, manipulate, and peel fruits, nuts, and leaves.
It can also use its hand to make gestures, communicate, and groom itself and others.

Megalodon tooth

Megalodon was a giant prehistoric shark that lived between 23 and 3.6 million years ago.
It was one of the largest and most powerful predators ever to exist, reaching lengths of up to 18 meters and weights of up to 60 tons.
Megalodon had a massive jaw with rows of serrated teeth that could bite through bones and shells.
A single megalodon tooth could measure up to 18 centimeters long and 12 centimeters wide. This is about the size of a human hand or a banana.

Blue whale’s heart

The blue whale is the largest animal ever to live on Earth, reaching lengths of up to 30 meters and weights of up to 200 tons.
It has a huge heart that pumps blood throughout its body and helps it dive deep into the ocean.
A blue whale’s heart can weigh up to 400 kilograms and measure up to 1.5 meters in diameter, which is about the size of a small car or a bathtub.
A blue whale’s heart beats only about eight times per minute when resting, and up to 37 times per minute when swimming fast.

A prop ring used for close-ups in the Lord of the Rings movies

The Lord of the Rings, based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s novels, is a famous fantasy film trilogy.
It follows a group of heroes on a mission to destroy a powerful and corrupt ring.
To achieve realistic close-up shots, filmmakers used a prop ring much larger than a regular one, measuring about 16 centimeters across, similar in size to a CD or a saucer.
This prop ring plays a significant role in the movie’s plot and appears frequently throughout the trilogy.
The prop ring was specifically designed for the movies and was made from a combination of rubber, metal, and plastic.
The ring was painted with a copper finish to give it a realistic look.
It was also embedded with a tracking device so that it could be followed throughout the movie.

Wind turbine blade

Wind turbines are a common sight in many places, especially in areas that use renewable energy sources.
But do you know how big a wind turbine blade is?
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average length of a wind turbine blade in 2019 was 63 meters or about 207 feet. That’s longer than two school buses or four blue whales!

Ostrich egg

Ostriches are the largest and heaviest living birds, so it makes sense that they lay the largest eggs of any bird species.
An ostrich egg can weigh up to 1.5 kilograms, or about 3.3 pounds, and measure up to 15 centimeters, or about 6 inches, in diameter.
Due to its size and distinct appearance, ostrich eggs have been utilized in various cultural and artistic expressions throughout history.

Giant anteater’s tongue

Giant anteaters are mammals that live in Central and South America and feed on ants and termites.
To catch their prey, they use their long and sticky tongues, which can extend up to 60 centimeters, or about 24 inches, out of their mouths.
That’s longer than a human arm or a baseball bat!

Traffic light

Traffic lights are ubiquitous in urban areas and help regulate the flow of traffic and pedestrians.
But have you ever wondered how big a traffic light is?
A standard traffic light in the U.S. has a diameter of 30 centimeters, or about 12 inches, for each of its three colors (red, yellow, and green).
One of the primary reasons for their size is visibility.
These lights need to be easily seen by drivers from a distance, especially in adverse weather conditions or during nighttime.
A larger size ensures better visibility, reducing the risk of accidents.

Adult male walrus’s tusks

Walruses are large marine mammals that live in the Arctic and have distinctive tusks that protrude from their upper lips.
These tusks are modified canine teeth that can grow up to 1 meter, or about 3 feet long in adult males.
That’s longer than a golf club or a yardstick!

Modern cruise ship

Cruise ships are floating resorts that offer various amenities and entertainment options for their passengers.
But do you know how big a modern cruise ship is?
According to CruiseMapper, the largest cruise ship in the world as of 2021 is the Symphony of the Seas, which has a length of 362 meters, or about 1,188 feet, and a width of 66 meters, or about 217 feet. That’s longer than four football fields or eight Boeing 747s!

Adult male hippopotamus’s mouth

Hippopotamuses are semi-aquatic mammals that live in Africa and have powerful jaws and teeth that can crush bones and fight off predators.
When fully opened, an adult hippo’s mouth can stretch to a jaw-dropping width of about 4 feet (approximately 1.2 meters) or even more, depending on the individual.
To put this into perspective, imagine a hippopotamus’s mouth being larger than the width of a standard doorway.
It is about the size of a small car’s hood or a large dining room table.
When fully extended, the hippo’s mouth can easily engulf a full-grown adult human, highlighting the immense size and power of this incredible creature.

Adult male giraffe’s neck

Giraffes are the tallest living animals on land and have long necks that help them reach leaves on tall trees.
On average, an adult giraffe’s neck can measure around 6 to 7 feet (approximately 1.8 to 2.1 meters) in length, which is longer than most adult humans are tall.
Comparatively, a giraffe’s neck is about the same height as a standard basketball hoop or the length of a small ladder.
When a giraffe extends its neck fully upward, it can reach heights equivalent to a single-story building’s roofline.
The giraffe’s neck is a remarkable adaptation that allows it to access leaves and vegetation high up in trees, which other animals cannot reach.
This unique feature enables giraffes to feed on their preferred diet and thrive in their natural habitat.

The Great Pyramids

The Great Pyramids are iconic ancient monuments constructed by ancient Egyptians (allegedly) as large tombs for their pharaohs and queens.
Among the three pyramids at Giza, the Pyramid of Khufu stands as the largest and oldest.
With an impressive base length of approximately 230 meters (755 feet) and a soaring height of about 146 meters (479 feet), it stands taller than both the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower.
Additionally, the Pyramid of Khufu is estimated to have been built around 2580–2560 BC and is a testament to the incredible engineering and architectural skills of the ancient Egyptians.
It was originally covered in smooth white Tura limestone, which has mostly eroded over time, leaving behind the awe-inspiring structure we see today.

A billion (in terms of quantity)

A billion is a very large number that we often hear in statistics, economics, science, and other fields.
But do you know how big a billion really is?
If you were to stack one million one-dollar bills, it would be approximately 358 feet tall, which is about the height of a 35-story building.
If you had a billion dollars in one-dollar bills and stacked them up, they would reach a height of about 105 kilometers, or about 65 miles.
That’s higher than the altitude of most commercial airplanes or the boundary of outer space!

Road signs

When you drive on the highway, you probably don’t pay much attention to the road signs, except to read them and follow their directions.
But did you know that road signs are actually bigger than they look from your car?
For example, a standard Interstate sign in the US is 72 inches (183 cm) tall and 36 inches (91 cm) wide, which is about the size of a queen-size bed.
A large interstate sign can be as big as 144 inches (366 cm) tall and 240 inches (610 cm) wide, which is significantly larger than a billboard.
Road signs need to be big so that drivers can see them clearly from far away and at high speeds.

Australia

Australia is often depicted as a small continent on world maps, but it is actually much larger than most people think.
Australia covers an area of 7.7 million square kilometers (3 million square miles), which is almost as big as the continental US, and larger than Europe, China, or India.
Australia is also the world’s sixth-largest country by land area, and the only one that occupies an entire continent.
Australia’s size makes it home to a diverse range of landscapes, climates, and wildlife.

The General Sherman Tree

The General Sherman Tree is the largest living tree in the world by volume.
It is located in Sequoia National Park in California, and it is estimated to be about 2,300 years old.
The General Sherman Tree stands at 83.8 meters (275 feet) tall, which is equivalent to a 27-story building.
Its trunk has a diameter of 7.7 meters (25 feet) at the base, which is wider than a two-lane road.
Its largest branch has a diameter of 2 meters (6.8 feet), which is bigger than most tree trunks.
The General Sherman Tree has a volume of 1,487 cubic meters (52,500 cubic feet), which is enough to fill more than 15 standard-sized swimming pools.

The Mars rover

The Mars rover is a robotic vehicle that explores the surface of Mars.
There have been four successful Mars rovers so far: Sojourner, Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity.
The latest and most advanced one is Curiosity, which landed on Mars in 2012 and is still operating today.
Curiosity is about the size of a small car, measuring 2.9 meters (9.5 feet) long, 2.7 meters (8.9 feet) wide, and 2.2 meters (7.2 feet) tall.
It weighs 899 kilograms (1,982 pounds), which is more than twice as heavy as a grand piano.
Curiosity has six wheels, each with its own motor and suspension system, that allow it to traverse rough terrain and climb slopes up to 45 degrees.
Curiosity also has a mast that extends 2.1 meters (6.9 feet) above the ground, which carries a camera and a laser that can analyze rocks from a distance.

An eagle talon (compared to a human hand)

Eagles are powerful birds of prey that can hunt animals much larger than themselves.
One of their weapons is their sharp and strong talons, which are the claws on their feet.
An eagle’s talon can be as long as 10 centimeters (4 inches), which is longer than a human finger.
An eagle’s talon can also exert a force of up to 440 pounds per square inch (psi), which is more than four times the pressure of a human bite.
An eagle’s talon can easily pierce through the skin, bone, and organs of its prey, and even crush skulls.

Satellite

Satellites are artificial objects that orbit around the Earth or other celestial bodies for various purposes, such as communication, navigation, observation, or exploration.
There are thousands of satellites in orbit around Earth right now, but most of them are too small or too far away to be seen with the naked eye.
However, some satellites are much bigger than they seem from the ground.
For example, the International Space Station (ISS) is the largest human-made object in space, with a length of 109 meters (357 feet), a width of 73 meters (240 feet), and a height of 20 meters (66 feet).
The ISS weighs about 420 tons (380 metric tons), which is more than three times the weight of a Boeing 747 airplane.
The ISS can accommodate up to six astronauts at a time and has more living space than a six-bedroom house.

Oil tankers

Oil tankers are ships that transport oil or other liquid cargo across the oceans.
Oil tankers vary in size, but some of them are among the largest and heaviest vessels ever built.
The largest oil tanker in service today is the TI Europe, which has a length of 380 meters (1,247 feet), a width of 68 meters (223 feet), and a height of 34 meters (112 feet).
The TI Europe can carry up to 3.2 million barrels of oil, which is enough to fill more than 200 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
The TI Europe weighs about 234,000 tons (212,000 metric tons) when empty, and about 657,000 tons (595,000 metric tons) when fully loaded, which is more than the weight of the Empire State Building.

Inflated horse lungs

Horses are large and powerful animals that can run at speeds of up to 88 kilometers per hour (55 miles per hour).
To support their high metabolism and oxygen demand, horses have very large and efficient lungs.
A horse’s lungs can hold up to 55 liters (14.5 gallons) of air, which is more than 10 times the lung capacity of a human.
A horse’s lungs can also inflate and deflate up to 150 times per minute during intense exercise, which is more than twice the breathing rate of a human.
If you were to inflate a horse’s lungs to their maximum capacity and lay them flat on the ground, they would cover an area of about 2 square meters (21.5 square feet), which is bigger than a twin-size mattress.

400,000 Volt Underground Cable

Electricity is transmitted through wires or cables that carry electric current from power plants to homes and businesses.
Some of these cables are buried underground to avoid interference or damage from weather, animals, or humans.
One of the most powerful underground cables in the world is the Western Link, which connects Scotland and Wales in the UK.
The Western Link has a voltage of 400,000 volts (400 kV), which is enough to power more than 4 million homes.
The Western Link has a diameter of 16 centimeters (6.3 inches), which is thicker than a human arm.
The Western Link also has a length of 385 kilometers (239 miles), which is longer than the distance between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Quetzalcoatlus Northropi

Quetzalcoatlus Northropi was a species of pterosaur that lived about 66 million years ago, during the late Cretaceous period.
It was one of the largest flying animals ever known, with a wingspan of up to 11 meters (36 feet), which is longer than a school bus.
Quetzalcoatlus Northropi had a height of up to 5.5 meters (18 feet), which is taller than a giraffe. Quetzalcoatlus Northropi had a weight of up to 250 kilograms (550 pounds), which is heavier than a polar bear.
Quetzalcoatlus Northropi was probably able to fly at speeds of up to 130 kilometers per hour (80 miles per hour) and could travel long distances without landing.

Bear’s paw

A bear’s paw may look cute and cuddly, but it is actually a powerful weapon that can inflict serious damage.
A grizzly bear’s paw can measure up to 30 cm (12 inches) across, and its claws can be 10 cm (4 inches) long. That’s bigger than a human hand or foot!

Lion’s mane

A lion’s mane is not just a fluffy decoration, but a sign of dominance and health.
The mane can grow up to 40 cm (16 inches) long, and cover the lion’s head, neck, chest, and shoulders.
The mane can also change color depending on the lion’s age, mood, and environment.

Ice berg

An iceberg is a large piece of ice that breaks off from a glacier or an ice shelf and floats in the ocean.
Icebergs can vary in size, shape, and color, but they all have one thing in common: they are much bigger than they appear.
Only about 10% of an iceberg is visible above the water, while the rest is submerged.
The largest iceberg ever recorded was B-15, which measured 295 km (183 miles) long and 37 km (23 miles) wide, with a surface area of 11,000 km2 (4,200 square miles). That’s bigger than the island of Jamaica!

Teletubbies

Teletubbies are colorful characters from a children’s TV show that live in a grassy valley with their friends.
They may look small and adorable on the screen, but in reality, they are quite tall.
The actors who wore the Teletubby costumes were between 1.8 m (5 ft 11 in) and 3 m (10 ft) tall, depending on the character. That’s taller than most humans!

Pillars of ancient greek temples

Ancient Greek temples are famous for their elegant architecture and impressive columns.
The columns were designed to support the roof and create a sense of harmony and proportion.
However, they were also much larger than they seem from afar. The columns of the Parthenon, for example, were 10.4 m (34 ft) high and 1.9 m (6 ft 3 in) in diameter at the base.
That’s as tall as a three-story building and as wide as a car!

Oil rig

An oil rig is a structure that drills for oil and gas on the ocean floor.
Oil rigs can be fixed or floating, depending on the depth and location of the reservoir.
Oil rigs can also be very large and complex, with multiple decks, cranes, pipes, pumps, and other equipment.
The largest oil rig in the world is the Berkut platform in Russia, which stands 144 m (472 ft) above the water and weighs 200,000 tons.
That’s taller than the Statue of Liberty and heavier than the Eiffel Tower!

Sun

The sun is the star at the center of our solar system, and the source of light and heat for all life on Earth.
The sun is also much bigger than it looks in the sky because it is very far away from us.
The sun has a diameter of about 1.4 million km (870,000 miles), which is 109 times larger than Earth’s diameter.
That means you could fit about 1.3 million Earths inside the sun!

Statue of unity

The Statue of Unity is a monument dedicated to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, one of the founding fathers of India.
It is located in Gujarat, India, on the banks of the Narmada River.
The statue is the tallest statue in the world, with a height of 182 m (597 ft), including the base.
That’s twice as tall as the Statue of Liberty and four times as tall as Christ the Redeemer!

Large wave

A large wave is a powerful surge of water that can be caused by wind, storms, earthquakes or landslides.
Large waves can travel across oceans and reach incredible heights when they approach shallow waters or coasts.
The largest wave ever recorded was a rogue wave that hit a ship in the North Atlantic Ocean in 1995.
The wave measured 29 m (95 ft) high, which is as tall as a nine-story building!

Pacific Ocean

The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest ocean on Earth, covering about one-third of its surface area.
It stretches from Asia to Australia to America, and from the Arctic to the Antarctic.
The Pacific Ocean has an average depth of 4,028 m (13,215 ft), and a maximum depth of 10,911 m (35,797 ft) at the Mariana Trench. That’s deeper than Mount Everest is tall!

These are just a few examples of the many things that are bigger than you think.
From the microscopic organisms that make up our bodies to the vastness of the universe, there is always more to discover and explore.
By taking a closer look at the world around us, we can gain a deeper understanding of the complexities and wonders of our existence.
Whether it’s the power of our minds or the mysteries of the natural world, there is always something new to learn and discover.
So let us continue to marvel at the things bigger and embrace the endless possibilities that await us.
The next time you think that something is small, remember that it might be bigger than you think.

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