When we talk about strength, it's hard to say definitively which animal wins. This is because there are so many different kinds of strength that it is nearly impossible to pick a single animal out as the strongest of all.
Instead of trying to determine a single winner, this list features 10 amazing creatures that all possess their own impressive kind of strength, relative to their size. You might be surprised by some of the animals that made this list, but you surely wouldn't want to get on the bad side of any of them, no matter how small they are!
Strongest Mammal: Elephant - Can Carry 7 Tons
When you think of sheer brute strength, you probably think of lions or gorillas. However, the reality is that the majestic and typically docile elephant wins the prize for the world's strongest mammal.
An Asian elephant has more than 150,000 muscle units in its trunk alone, and this level of power allows it to easily uproot fully grown trees or forcefully spray up to a gallon of water. In addition, elephants can carry up to 14,000 pounds, which is 7 tons. To put that into perspective, that translates to about 130 adult humans.
Visit the elephant encyclopedia page to learn more about these strong herbivores.
Strongest Bird: Eagle - Carries Four Times Its Weight
The beautiful and graceful eagle holds the title of the strongest bird. There are about 60 different species of eagle in the world today, and they are some of the largest birds of prey in existence.
Some eagle species are known to prey on comparatively large animals like monkeys and sloths, so it should come as no surprise that they are able to easily lift things that are many times their own weight during flight.
For example, the amazingly powerful harpy eagle weighs about 11 pounds, yet it can carry away prey that weighs up to 35 pounds - that's about the weight of a medium-sized dog, like a corgi.
Read more about eagles and their other behavioral traits here.
Strongest Fish: Goliath Grouper - Can Attack Adult Sharks
As soon as you take one good look at the Atlantic goliath grouper, you will likely understand how it got the title of "strongest fish." They can grow to be up to nine feet long. And the largest recorded size of one of these massive fish is 800 pounds - that's about the weight of a female moose!
They are known to eat just about anything in the ocean, and they are big and strong enough to even eat sharks. Goliath groupers have been known to attack octopuses, sea turtles, barracudas, and even human divers.
Fishermen who want a serious challenge often seek out goliath groupers because their enormous size and relative strength makes them extremely difficult to land.
Currently, goliath groupers are considered a critically endangered species by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) due to overfishing. But conservation efforts over the past few decades have bolstered population numbers significantly.
Learn more about different species of fish here.
Strongest Animal Relative to Size: Dung Beetle - Lifts 1,141 Times Its Weight
When you search the internet for terms like "world's strongest animal," the dung beetle is almost always one of the top results.
The dung beetle certainly earns its place as one of the strongest animals in the world, especially when you consider its size versus how much it can carry. They typically grow to be up to one inch long and weigh less than an ounce, but they can carry an amazing 1,141 times their own body weight.
To put that kind of strength into perspective, if a human could move that much weight, it would be the same as one person pulling six full double-decker buses by themself.
Dung beetles use this super strength to roll enormous balls of dung back to their homes, but they also utilize their strength to defend against thieves and impress females during mating periods.
Learn more amazing beetle facts here.
Strongest Insect: Hercules Beetle - Moves 850 Times Its Own Weight
Technically, the strongest insect title also belongs to the dung beetle, but the Hercules beetle is a close runner-up and definitely worthy of notice as well.
Hercules beetles can grow to be up to seven inches long and weigh up to four ounces, and it's no mistake that they are named after the famously strong demigod Hercules. While they cannot carry quite as much as a dung beetle relative to their size, these insects are still believed to be able to move a whopping 850 times their own body weight.
Find out more on the hercules beetle encyclopedia page.
Strongest Bite: Saltwater Crocodile - Generates 3,700 Pounds of Force
Out of all of the big and powerful animals in the world, it might surprise you to learn that the saltwater crocodile takes the prize for the animal with the strongest bite. Interestingly, the saltwater crocodile is also the world's heaviest reptile, weighing up to 2,200 pounds.
When measured, a saltwater crocodile's immensely powerful jaws produced a bite that generated about 3,700 pounds of bite force. In comparison, our own jaws are capable of producing only 200 pounds of bite force, and even the mighty lion can only generate about 1,000 pounds of force with its bite.
Read more about crocodiles here.
Strongest Snake: Anaconda - Squeezes With the Power of 10 Men
Anacondas are considered the strongest snakes in the world, and they can also grow to be some of the largest as well. In fact, the green anaconda also holds the title of the heaviest snake in the world at 1,100 pounds.
A big enough anaconda has been known to kill large deer, jaguars, and even black caimans (a reptile similar to an alligator). Anacondas can constrict around their prey with the strength of at least 10 powerful men, so they are generally considered to be apex predators. Because they can kill and eat such large animals, a single meal can provide enough nourishment that an anaconda doesn't have to eat again for weeks or months.
Read more about various snake species.
Strongest Vertebrate: Blue Whale - Can Move 30 Tons
The blue whale is not only the largest animal in the world, weighing in at about 200 tons, but it is one of the most powerful as well.
Blue whales can generate 600 horsepower, which is the same as many top-tier cars such as the Aston Martin DB11 and the Porsche 911 Turbo. In addition, they can travel easily at speeds up to 23 miles per hour for long distances, and they can move at least 30 tons through the water.
Find out more about the amazing blue whale.
Strongest Kick: Zebra - Kicks with About 3,000 Pounds of Force
When threatened, an adult zebra can kill a fully grown male African lion with a single blow to the body. Though it is difficult to get a precise measurement, it is thought that a zebra can kick with nearly 3,000 pounds of force.
Learn more about the beautiful, yet powerful zebra here.
Strongest Fighter: Grizzly Bear - Can Lift More than Twice Its Own Weight
Despite their cuddly appearance, grizzly bears are strong and deadly creatures.
They can weigh up to 500 pounds and reach top speeds of up to 30 miles per hour. Even though they are far smaller than their polar bear cousins, they are much more aggressive and far more likely to win a fight. They have immensely strong front legs and are built to take down large creatures like elk, musk ox, bison, and reindeer.
Find out more about this fearsome fighter on the grizzly bear encyclopedia page.
Strength comes in many shapes and sizes. When it comes to strength, there is no clear winner. So many creatures have their own amazing types of strength and power that it's hard to pit them against each other to decide who is the all-around strongest. But, this top 10 list should have given you a better idea of all of the different kinds of strength that exist in the animal kingdom.