Bar-Tailed Godwits, as a species, hold the record for making the longest non-stop migratory flight, but one unlucky bird took an accidental detour and ended up setting the individual record. Godwits make their 7,000 mile journey from Alaska to New Zealand every year without ever stopping to rest, eat, or drink. This trip usually takes 8-10 days and nights of continuous wing flapping. In 2021, a male godwit with the tag code 4BBRW encountered some bad weather and got off-course on his way south, according to nytimes.com. He eventually landed in Australia after traveling 8,080 miles for 237 nonstop hours!
Some animal world records are oddly specific, giving dogs like Finley the recognition they deserve for their unique talents. Finley holds the world record for the most amount of tennis balls held in a dog’s mouth at one time, according to people.com. He can carry 6 tennis balls at once, one more than the previous record holder. Finley is simply being efficient by bringing back all the balls at one time when playing fetch with his owner. Good boy, Finley!
Do your ears hang low? Do they wobble to and fro? Lou’s do! Lou, the Coonhound has the record for the longest ears on a dog, according to mymodernmet.com. They measure 13.38 inches each! Hounds have adapted long ears to help them stir up scents from the ground when tracking. Lou’s impressive ears make her a local celebrity in her neighborhood. Who wouldn’t want to pet them?
It takes about 2.5 pounds of wool to make one comfy merino wool sweater, which means this record-breaker could make 35! Chris the sheep holds the record for the wooliest sheep before he was shorn, according to BBC News. When he was found, they had to call in the Australian national shearing champion, Ian Elkins to remove the 88 pounds of wool from the overgrown sheep. Chris had to be sedated for the team of 5 shearers to complete the job. I’m sure he feels a whole lot better after his haircut!
Sailfish has been widely regarded as the fastest swimming fish until now. An 800 pound Bluefin Tuna off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada has just “sailed” past the sailfish’s record, according to medium.com. The tuna clocked in at a top speed of 144mph! Compare that to the sailfish’s measly 78mph. The Bluefin Tuna that was tagged to find this data even shattered its tag! More research still needs to be done to see if there are other, faster swimmers out there in the vastness of the seas, but the tuna can hold onto the record for now.
Matching the noise level of a household refrigerator or air conditioner, Merlin the cat has the loudest purr ever recorded, according to ABC News. Most cats purr at an average of 25 decibels, but Merlin has a stunning 67.8 decibel purr! Merlin is famous for his TV Show appearance on “Cats Make You Laugh Out Loud 2.” His owner, Tracy Westwood of Torquay, England, says Merlin has previously been even louder than what was measured for the record.
A collector in Taiwan paid $1.9 million for a koi fish at a Japanese auction. The fish, named S Legend, is the most expensive fish ever bought, according to aquapparel.com. Koi fish are similar to pedigree dog or horse breeding. A good lineage and coloration means a more expensive fish. Winning at koi fish shows and competitions also increases the fish’s value. In Japan, koi fish have been given the title “living jewels” for their beauty and value.
Dogs pant a lot in the Arizona sun, giving Bisbee a chance to show off his record-breaking tongue. The English Setter has earned the record after the previous top dog passed away, according to people.com. Bisbee’s tongue measures 3.74 inches from below the tip of the snout to the end of the tongue. His owners say he is an amazing dog who loves to follow them around and stay active outdoors. Who wouldn’t want a kiss from this sweet pup?
What do you get when you cross a serval and a domestic house cat? A savannah cat! Just like Fenrir, the tallest domestic cat. Fenrir stands at a monumental 18.83 inches tall, according to allthatsinteresting.com. He is sometimes mistaken for an ocelot or puma. Fenrir’s owner is a physician and brings the big cat to work with him. Despite his intimidating size, Fenrir spends his days calming patients as a therapy cat at his owner’s hospital.
A Curly Tail Lizard in Florida holds what is, arguably, the least sought-after record that exists. Researchers found one of these lizards with the largest mass of poop (relative to body size) ever discovered in a living animal, according to allthatsinteresting.com. 80 percent of the animal’s body weight was fecal matter! The poop ball was so large that other organs were squished and began to atrophy. The curly tail lizard is an invasive species in Florida that will eat just about anything, which is dangerous to both Florida ecosystems and the curly tail lizard’s digestive systems.
The largest egg laid by a living bird was nearly 6 pounds! 5 pounds, 11.36 ounces, to be exact. It was laid by (you might have guessed it) an ostrich! In May 2008, an ostrich in Sweden laid the record breaking egg, according to Guinness World Records. Average ostrich eggs weigh around 3 pounds. Ostrich eggs have a hard, thick shell that is almost impossible to break by hand. In fact, it requires the same amount of force to break an ostrich egg as it does to break a human skull. Coming in at double the average, this hefty egg would make quite the omelet!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.