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

Updated December 23, 2019 48.1k votes 6.8k voters 435.0k 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: 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?
  • 2


    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?
  • 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. 

    Is this a scary monster?
  • 4


    Photo: James St. John / flickr / CC-BY 2.0

    Size: 26 to 32 feet long

    When They Lived: Late Devonian (roughly 360-370 million years ago)

    Distinguishing Features: These large, angry fish were built to hunt. They were some of the meanest predators in the water, and with their protected heads, they were hard to take down. Dunkleosteus didn't have actual teeth; however, it did have giant, sharp bones protruding from its mouth that were ready to chomp whatever was in front of the fish. 

    Is this a scary monster?