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These Record-Breaking Animals Defy Science
Photo credit: Guinness World Records

Tallest Dog

Everything’s bigger in Texas… Including this record-breaking dog! Zeus is a Great Dane from Texas who holds the record for the World’s Tallest Living Dog, according to CNN. At only 2 years old, Zeus stands 3 feet 5.18 inches. Owner Brittany Davis received him as a gift when the puppy was only 8 weeks old. She knew he was going to be big, but couldn’t have guessed he would break records for his size. Oddly enough, while Zeus is the tallest dog alive, the tallest dog ever recorded by Guinness World Records was also a Great Dane named Zeus who stood about 5 inches taller than this one.

These Record-Breaking Animals Defy Science

Most Legs

The word “millipede” means “thousand legs” but the insect was falsely named, until now. Researchers have found a millipede with a record-breaking 1,306 legs, the most on any animal ever found, according to sciencenews.org. The millipede, along with the rest of its now-named species, Eumillipes persephone, was found in Western Australia and sent to Virginia Tech for further inspection. Virginia Tech entomologist Paul Marek counted each tiny leg under a microscope and was the lucky insect-enthusiast to find the first true millipede.

These Record-Breaking Animals Defy Science
Photo credit: The Pope Family

Longest Steer Horns

A steer named Poncho Via has broken the record for longest horns on a steer ever, according to NPR. Poncho is a pet steer in Alabama whose horns measured 10 ft 7.4 in. when the record was confirmed in 2019. Amazingly, longhorn steer’s horns can span up to 6 feet (1.8 meters) from tip to tip, which is wider than the average width of a compact car. At the time, Poncho was about 7 years old, while previous record holders were all much older. Even though his horn growth has slowed down now that he’s an adult, they will still continue to slowly grow, meaning he could keep beating his own record!

These Record-Breaking Animals Defy Science
Photo credit: Amber Selman

Tallest Cow

Not only is Blosom the World’s Tallest Cow, she’s also the first one to ever apply for the title with the Guinness World Records, according to agupdate.com. Blosom stands at 6 ft 4 in., sharing a height with Abraham Lincoln, Snoop Dogg and Tom Brady. She was originally acquired by the Meads family for their dairy farm, but was reproductively incomplete and couldn’t produce milk. She had already won the hearts of the family and was kept as a pet and animal ambassador for their women’s retreat center, Memory Lane.

These Record-Breaking Animals Defy Science

Hardiest Animal

Not an official record, but tardigrades are, by far, the hardiest animal on Earth. They can survive boiling water, temperatures of absolute zero, pressure of the deep ocean, the vacuum of space, decades without water, and much more! In extreme conditions, tardigrades enter a state called cryptobiosis where they tuck in their legs and expel the moisture from their bodies, according to vox.com. They expel substances that create a type of nearly indestructible cocoon around themselves and reduce their metabolism by 99.99%. Tardigrades can last decades in this state, waiting until the environment is more hospitable. A group of physicists explored the reaches of what it would take to wipe out all life on Earth, including tardigrades, and came to the conclusion that there really isn’t much that could kill them all.

These Record-Breaking Animals Defy Science
Photo credit: Paul Starosta/Getty Images

Largest Genome Ever Sequenced

The axolotl currently has the record for the largest genome ever sequenced. Why does this matter? It could be the secret to regeneration of body parts. The axolotl can heal and regrow parts of its body in ways that no other animal can. It has the ability to regrow amputated limbs complete with bones, muscles and nerves, heal wounds without producing scar tissue, and even regenerate damaged internal organs, according to the NY Times. It can even heal a crushed spinal cord and have it function just like it did before it was damaged. Researchers have not yet cracked the code on regeneration superpowers, but the axolotl genome holds the possibility.