Graveyard Shift
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Massive Extinct Animals, Ranked By How Horrifying They Are

Updated December 23, 2019 42.5k votes 5.9k voters 352.7k views20 items

List RulesVote up the most terrifying extinct beasts.

If you think the modern animal kingdom is frightening, then wait until you get a load of the animals that existed millions of years ago. Most of the scariest creatures that used to really exist are related to animals we live with now; however, the animals we're glad are extinct were bigger and scarier - and for some reason, most of them had buzzsaw-like teeth. 

Many of the scariest extinct animals are similar to dinosaurs. Some existed alongside the T-Rex, while others arrived post-asteroid and exhibited some of the dinosaur’s most frightening attributes. Many of the massive extinct animals have descendants alive today (a large number of them live in Australia), although they’re hardly as dangerous as their ancestors from millions of years ago. 

  • 1


    Photo: Gunnar Ries zwo / flickr / CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

    Size: 50 feet long

    When They Lived: 400 million years ago

    Distinguishing Features: Megalodons were big boys. Not only were they 50 feet in length, but they also weighed up to 50 tons. Because sharks are made of cartilage, they don't leave fossils behind. Instead, researchers have to use tooth size as a comparison tool. 

    Is this a scary monster?
  • 2


    Photo: Ryan Somma / flickr / CC-BY 2.0

    Size: 40 feet long

    When They Lived: 58 million years ago

    Distinguishing Features: Obviously this is a very large snake. Not only did it grow to 40 feet in length, but it also weighed more than a ton. These giant snakes ruled the jungle and moved through swamps with ease.

    Is this a scary monster?
  • 3


    Photo: joncutrer / flickr / CC-BY 2.0

    Size: 36 feet long

    When They Lived: 72-83 million years ago

    Distinguishing Features: This huge alligator weighed about 7 tons and feasted on dinosaurs similar in size, which means their jaws had enough power to take down a gigantic screaming lizard. 

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  • 4


    Photo: MrTopher / flickr / CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

    Size: 40 feet long

    When They Lived: 110 million years ago

    Distinguishing Features: Crocodiles of the prehistoric era were absolutely terrifying. This specific creature had 132 conical teeth that have been compared to "railroad spikes." Unlike many carnivores who have narrow teeth that are made for slashing, Sarcosuchus's teeth were designed to grip its prey. While Sarcosuchus wasn't flexible, it was covered with bony armor that helped protect it from enemies. 

    Is this a scary monster?