What is the biggest living organism ever recorded? The Elephant is massive, its entire length from trunk to tail almost 30 feet. The Blue Whale, measured at an average of 109 feet long for fully grown adults, is no doubt one of the first creatures that comes to mind. Still, the criteria is the largest animal on record ever. Was it one of our massive cretaceous cousins? The answer will surprise you.
Diplodocus Hallorum, also known as the Seismosaurus, was measured 112 feet from head to tail. Its massive jaws were able to pluck leaves from trees, though contrary to popular belief it did not raise its head all the way up. It is speculated that this creature, when taken into consideration of size and stature, would have required a six ton heart in order to be able to pump blood with enough pressure for it to reach its brain. It is suspected that the creature had secondary hearts in its neck pumping blood up to the brain.
Still, the Diplodocus Hallorum pales in size to the true largest creature on Earth. Could it be the some form of giant squid? Squid have for years been said to be able to pull massive sea vessels underwater with their massive size. And in recent years we have discovered that this is indeed true. In 1878, a group of fishermen came across a massive squid, measuring twenty feet from end to end. This doesn’t even come close to the Seismosaurus.
General Sherman is a massively tall tree at 280 feet tall aboveground, it towers above many buildings, dwarfing all other redwoods around it. It was discovered named after the civil war general William Tecumseh Sherman, by naturalist James Wolverton. The tree’s roots likely run another hundred feet into the ground, possibly more. In 2006 one of the last of its large branches was destroyed by weather. The massive size of the General Sherman is somehow, however, still dwarfed by the largest known organism in the world.
The largest known organism was discovered when a series of mysterious tree deaths were reported in Eastern Oregon in Malheur National Park. The culprit was discovered after a long investigation. A massive honey mushroom, over 1500 acres in diameter was spreading all across the forest floor beneath the soil. It was heavier and wider than any known creature ever to have existed on Earth before. Only recently an incredibly large mushroom was discovered, weighing twenty pounds, yet it still paled in comparison to the humongous fungus discovered in Eastern Oregon. The reason? A lack of competition in the fungus’ path, and general widespread nutrition with sufficient moisture and nutrients allowed it to burrow and consume vast swaths of land. Unfortunately for the trees, the fungus was taking much of its nutrition from the same place they were. Changing climate ultimately killed the fungus off.
Of course that’s the largest we’ve ever discovered. Perhaps there is another creature deep beneath the oceans, or deep beneath the earth where pressure is far different than it is on the surface. Perhaps such a creature can survive in conditions that not only allow for, but require massive size in order to survive the high pressure environment.