There are so many interesting things about the earth that will make one respect the planet. One of them is the fact that the earth has hosted an unimaginable number of species. Humans might be the popular inhabitants of the earth today, but millions of years ago, no human would have survived on this earth because of the terrifying things that walked the planet. With the earth hosting animals weighing approximately (or more than) 20 tons, giant sea scorpions that grew up to 5 feet long, and carnivorous birds that reached approximately 3 m in height and weighed up to 400 kg, it was a dangerous world for some millions of years ago. Humans would have stood no chance, and even though extinction is usually considered by many to be a sad thing, the entire world today has extinction to thank for being able to live peacefully and not have to be worried about being eaten whole or trampled to death by some colossal beast. While these creatures may have gone extinct millions of years ago, proof of their existence can still be found around the world. Due to the long years since their extinction, only the remains of these extinct creatures can be seen today, and the most terrifying ones are in these museums around the world.
8 Helicoprion – Idaho Museum Of Natural History, Idaho, United States
The Ocean has always been a terrifying place. It is terrifying now but not nearly as terrifying as it was millions of years ago when a creature known as the Helicoprion inhabited it. This terrifying shark-like creature is known to have a mouth with saw-like teeth. The animal went extinct approximately 225 million years ago, and up to 50% of its fossils can be found in the Idaho Museum of Natural History. Although its method of hunting is still subject to the imagination, there’s no denying that the Helicoprion’s prey must have experienced hell.
7 Giganotosaurus – Carmen Funes Museum, Neuquen, Argentina
So many large dinosaur-like creatures inhabited the world long ago, and their traces can still be seen in different parts of the world today. While many were just extremely large, others were both large and vicious. The Giganotosaurus is one of such extinct reptile-like creatures that was considered the most dangerous due to its large size and hunger for meat. The Giganotosaurus inhabited a part of South America, now recognized as Argentina, about 97 million years ago. It weighed up to 10 tons and had a length of up to 13 m, making it the largest meat-eating Dinosaur in South America during its existence, even larger than Tyrannosaurus Rex. While its weight is one terrifying fact about this creature, its teeth were also a cause of concern as they were sharp and the size of spears. The original fossils of Giganotosaurus can be found in Carmen Funes Museum in Neuquen, Argentina, and they are worth exploring.
6 Arthropleura – Sedgwick Museum Of Earth And Sciences, Cambridge, UK
Arthropods are scary and creepy creatures to look at, and even the smallest one will send many people into extreme panic if it ever touches them. However, not many people know that approximately 290 million years ago, an arthropod-like creature that measured up to 2.6 m long and 50 cm wide, used to inhabit parts of what is now known as North America and Europe. It is also known as the largest invertebrate that has ever walked the earth, and its fossils are extremely rare. Recent evidence of this creature was found in a broken sandstone on a beach in Howick Bay, Northumberland, and is now on display in Sedgwick Museum, Cambridge. Imagine waking up in the middle of the night and discovering such a creature crawling through the window into the house. That scene would have freaked out anybody even though the Arthropleura were not carnivorous creatures.
5 Brontornis Burmeisteri – La Plata Museum Of Natural History, Argentina
For many, birds are cute creatures that are often harmless and cute to watch. Well not the teriffying Brontornis Burmeisteri. With a height of up to 2.8 m and a weight of approximately 400 kg (1,100 pounds), this terror bird is considered to be one of the largest birds to ever walk this earth. The bird is known to be flightless, which means it actively chased its prey and brought it down with sheer force. The bird inhabited a part of the South American continent now identified as Argentina about 11 and 17 million years ago. Fossils of this bird were first discovered in the Miocene deposit of Patagonia and possible fossils can be found in La Plata Museum of Natural History, Argentina. Other possible museums to find fossils of this extinct bird include – the Bernardino Rivadavia Natural Sciences Museum and the Francisco Moreno Museum of Patagonia.
4 Smilodon – La Brea Tar Pits And Museum, Los Angeles, United States
The cats that can be found in the world today are not nearly as terrifying as those that have gone extinct. One such terrifying extinct cat is the Smilodon, also known as the Sabre-toothed cat. This tiger-like creature went extinct approximately 10,000 years ago, and it is characterized by long canine teeth of up to seven inches and a weight of up to 436 kg (961 pounds). Remains of these animals can be found in natural history museums all over North and South America, but La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles holds the largest number of Smilodon remains.
3 Jaekelopterus – Natural History Museum, Mainz, Germany
As small as scorpions can be, their presence is a threat to humans as their stings can be extremely painful. The fearsome nature of scorpions, however, is nothing compared to Jaekelopterus, which lived approximately 400 million years ago. This creature, also called the giant sea scorpion, is the largest known eurypterid to ever inhabit the earth. It had a length of 2.6 m and giant claws. A fossil of this creature can be found in the Naural History Museum in Mainz.
2 Titanoboa, Florida Museum Of Natural History, Florida, United States
No one fancies being attacked by a snake physically, large or small, but when it comes to Titanoboa, no one fancies being attacked by it even in a dream, as it can be a person’s worst nightmare. This large snake lived approximately 50 million years ago and is said to have a length of 13 meters and a weight of approximately 1,135 kg. Due to its enormous size, the Titanoboa is now called – the largest snake that has ever existed. Its hunting tactics were even as terrifying as its great size as it is said to stalk its prey and attack it in one quick and fierce move. After the successful hunt, it was said to then swallow the prey whole into its large belly. The snake is believed to have lived in a part of South America now known as Colombia, and one can find a specimen of this mighty beast at the Florida Museum of Natural History.
1 Beelzebufo Ampinga – Stony Brook University Medical Center, New York, United States
Beelzebufo Ampinga is a prehistoric frog so ruthless that it has now been nicknamed “the devil frog” or “the Frog from Hell.” This large frog is considered one of the largest to have ever existed on this earth as it measured 16 inches and weighed up to 10 pounds. Fossils suggest that this animal lived in Madagascar between 65 and 70 million years ago. The frog had a huge mouth, strong teeth, and a strong bite force that allowed it to eat large prey like small dinosaurs, lizards, and other small vertebrates. After years of collecting and studying the animal, its specimen was finally put on display at the Stony Brook University Medical Center in Long Island, where it can still be seen today.