5 Absurdly Strong Animals More Powerful Than A Silverback

Silverback intimidate his own reflection
© Andreas Rose/Shutterstock.com

Written by Jennifer Gaeng

Updated: October 3, 2023

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Males of the Mountain gorilla species that have reached maturity are called silverbacks. The strength-to-weight ratio of Silverback gorillas is among the highest of any living animal. You would think of a gorilla’s strength in terms of its ability to lift or move, but these rainforest giants also boast one of the strongest bites in the world. The mountain gorilla can bite with 1300 psi of force, giving it a weapon it can keep hidden until needed. What’s more, they’re even more formidable in terms of raw strength!

A gorilla’s strength is roughly ten times its weight, and the combined strength of just two mature silverbacks is greater than that of twenty human beings. On the bench press, a Silverback gorilla could indeed bench press 4,000 pounds, whereas a highly trained human male has a maximum of 885 pounds. One gorilla was able to hoist up to 1800 pounds, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

So, how does the strength of a Silverback Gorilla stack up against the rest of the animal kingdom? Below we will be exploring 5 absurdly strong animals more powerful than a silverback gorilla! Strength can be quantified in various ways, and this generalization holds true throughout the animal kingdom. This article will focus on several factors, such as strength-to-weight ratio, bite force, grip, and overall power!

1. African Bush Elephant (Strongest Overall)


African elephants are the biggest animals that walk the earth at present.

©Volodymyr Burdiak/Shutterstock.com

African bush elephants can lift 1,300 lbs., or 9,000 kg. Not only are they the largest land animals, reaching up to 4.5 meters in height and 12 tons in weight, but their trunks include 40,000 tendons and muscles and can carry over 660 lbs., or 300 kg! This makes them the strongest animal on earth! In addition to their massive size, African bush elephants remain infamous for their impressively long tusks, which may reach lengths of more than 2 meters and are utilized for excavating, fending off predators, and settling territorial disputes.

2. Saltwater Crocodile (Strongest Bite Force)

Heaviest Animals: Saltwater Crocodile

Saltwater crocodiles are the largest


species and also the largest living reptile in the world.


The biggest of the crocodilian species, Saltwater crocodiles, or Crocodylus porosus, can weigh up to 1,000 pounds. They have the strongest bite of any animal and are one of the world’s deadliest creatures. In fact, Saltwater crocodiles are responsible for up to 1,000 annual human fatalities. This crocodile can reach up to 23 feet long and has a biting force of 3,700 PSI! These terrible killers can weigh more than a ton and are even deadlier than sharks, including the Great White!

3. Polar Bear (Strongest Land-Based Carnivore)

Polar Bear vs Grizzly - Polar Bear

Polar Bears are the most deadly bears in the world, more powerful than a Grizzly!


Due to the Polar bear’s superior size and strength, it is the world’s largest and most powerful land carnivore. The polar bear would almost certainly kill the gorilla if the two ever met. The Polar bear is a top predator that lives only above the Arctic Circle and has previously been linked to a few fatal attacks on people.

Depending on their size, male Polar bears can reach anywhere from 770 to 1,700 pounds and are as tall as 7.8 feet while standing on their hind legs! With just its jaws, a Polar bear might kill a gorilla. A Polar bear would also have the upper hand against a gorilla if it could use its mass to exert force or toss the ape off balance.

4. Dung Beetle (Highest Strength-to-Weight Ratio)

Dung Beetle pushing its ball of dung in the sand.

The horned dung beetle can lift 1141 times its weight and commonly rolls dung balls that are 50 times its weight!


Even when compared to larger creatures, some little animals are quite impressive due to their high strength-to-weight ratio. Considering this, the Dung beetle emerges as the strongest animal, with the ability to lift more than a thousand times its own weight! They utilize their horns to defend themselves from rival Dung beetles, which may be where they gain their formidable strength. Dung beetles are common all over the world, and they get their name because they feast on the waste of other creatures.

5. Coconut Crab (Strongest Overall Grip)

Animals With Exoskeletons-Coconut Crab

The coconut crab is also known as the robber crab or palm thief. It has the strongest grip strength of any animal.


Coconut crabs are the largest land-dwelling crustaceans on earth, reaching lengths of up to a meter. The largest coconut crab ever caught weighed a whopping 4 kg or almost 9 pounds. Strong enough to lift over 66 lbs., they got their moniker by tearing apart coconuts for food. Until recently, it was unknown just how powerful a grip from this crab’s claw can be.

It has now been established that the coconut crab possesses the strongest grip of any known species. The Okinawa Churashima Foundation in Japan found that the pinching power of a Coconut crab is directly proportional to its size. Scientists extrapolated their findings to suggest that this crab could pinch with a pressure of 3,300 Newtons! That equals almost 750 pound-force, which is over 10 times stronger than a human hand. Ouch!

In Conclusion

Close up of a male silverback Eastern gorilla isolated on white

The silverback gorilla’s incredibly muscular and long arms give it an advantage in strength that exceeds six times that of a human

©Carine06 from UK / CC BY-SA 2.0 – Original / License

If strength is a criterion, the Silverback gorilla must be considered one of the strongest animals on earth overall. Its incredibly muscular and long arms give it an advantage in strength that exceeds six times that of a human. However, there are clearly a lot of variables to think about when assessing strength. For instance, it can get tricky even if you only consider grip strength. For example, a full-grown anaconda or boa constrictor would have the strongest overall body grasp. However, the Silverback chimpanzee comes out on top for the strongest finger grip strength when it comes to creatures with fingers.

Then there is fight strength, which would need to include the animal’s general stamina, size, and ability to use its weapons (i.e., teeth and claws). With this in consideration, hopefully, you could learn more about the extraordinary power of Silverback mountain gorillas and other creatures that can hold their own against the gorilla in various strength categories!

Summary Of The 5 Absurdly Strong Animals More Powerful Than A Silverback

1African Bush ElephantStrongest Overall
2Saltwater CrocodileStrongest Bite Force
3Polar BearStrongest Land-Based Carnivore
4Dung BeetleHighest Strength-to-Weight Ratio
5Coconut CrabStrongest Overall Grip

Honorable Mention: King Kong Takes the Prize in Strength

King Kong can bench press an estimated 16.6 million pounds, making him the strongest animal of all time (even if he is fictitious).

©Warner Bros currently owns the rights to the 1933 version of “King Kong”, following the demise of RKO in 1959., Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons – Original / License

Even if the 5 animals we looked at can compete with a silverback gorilla in terms of strength, none of them are a match for the largest animal of all time–King Kong!

Since its first appearance in 1933, the giant monster primate King Kong has entertained movie-goers for decades. King Kong has even been referred to as The Eighth Wonder of the World. A list of the King Kong movies includes:

  • King Kong (1933)
  • The Son of Kong (1933)
  • King Kong vs Godzilla (1962)
  • King Kong Escapes (1967)
  • King Kong (1976) [Remake]
  • King Kong Lives (1986)
  • King Kong (2005) [2nd Remake]
  • Kong: Skull Island (2017)
  • Godzilla vs Kong (2021)

King Kong’s creator, Merian C. Cooper, saw him as a gorilla. When he was only 6 years old, he developed a fascination for gorillas after being given a book in 1899 called Explorations and Adventures in Equatorial Africa. The book documented the journeys of the French-American anthropologist, zoologist, and traveler Paul Du Chaillu to Africa. There were stories in the book of gorillas, including an exceptionally large one, which the African natives viewed as the invincible King of the African Forest. Also in the book, the author described an encounter with a gorilla as a “hellish dream creature, half man, half beast.”   

As an adult, Cooper got involved in the Hollywood film industry, and set about creating what he called a “terror gorilla picture.” He created a giant gorilla who would fight with warplanes and climb the tallest building in New York–the Empire State Building. He developed the end of the movie before the entire story had been fleshed out, saying of it: “Without any conscious effort of thought I immediately saw in my mind’s eye a giant gorilla on top of the building.”

It was determined by a fan of the amazingly powerful King Kong (with superior mathematical skills) that if a normal full-grown gorilla is capable of bench pressing 4,000 pounds, then a ratio comparison to the size of King Kong would come out to him being able to bench press 16.6 million pounds! That is one strong gorilla (even if he is fictitious)!

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About the Author

Jennifer Gaeng is a writer at A-Z-Animals focused on animals, lakes, and fishing. With over 15 years of collective experience in writing and researching, Jennifer has honed her skills in various niches, including nature, animals, family care, and self-care. Hailing from Missouri, Jennifer finds inspiration in spending quality time with her loved ones. Her creative spirit extends beyond her writing endeavors, as she finds joy in the art of drawing and immersing herself in the beauty of nature.

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