Nature

Australia doesn’t just have Knickers – check out these other absolute units

In the land down under, sticking out in a crowd is rarely a good thing. Australians have a habit of cutting “tall poppies” down to size, frowning on those overachievers who are too big for their own boots.

An exception has been made for Knickers the giant cow, long may he reign. Right now, Knickers is the talk of the town and all because of his sheer size.

Okay, so technically Knickers is a steer (a neutered male), but the fact that he is giant is no lie. Check him out in all his glory.

Standing at 1.94 metres (6 ft, 4 in) – just centimetres short of the Guinness World Record for tallest living steer – and weighing in at 1,270 kilograms (2,800 pounds), Knickers is by far the biggest steer in Australia.

But don’t worry, this exceptional creature isn’t going to end up on a dinner plate anytime soon. Knickers has managed to evade the fate of many of his peers, simply because he is just too darn big for the meat cutters at the slaughterhouse to handle.

 

That’s quite the achievement, and Australians are not the only ones who are marvelling over this great escape. The rest of the world is just as fascinated, and Knickers has rapidly become internet famous.

The story was even picked up by The New York Times, where it was accurately pointed out that: ”Knickers looks the way you feel when you don’t know anyone at a party”.

And sure, he might come across as awkward, but there’s no need to feel bad for this steer. Far from being a misfit, Knickers has plenty of company in Australia.

After all, he isn’t the first giant animal to emerge from the land down under, and it’s doubtful that he will be the last. Australia has a habit of producing some absolutely monstrous animals, which range from utterly adorable to downright terrifying.

On one end of this spectrum is the chubby wombat. Patrick was the world’s oldest captive wombat, living to the ripe old age of 31. And boy, did this fella flourish in captivity. In his day, old Patty was an absolute monstrosity, weighing 38 kg (89 pounds), which at the time made him the largest known wombat on record.

And also, an absolute catch. Patrick was so large and famous he even had his own Tinder there for a while.

That’s pretty much the last adorable example on the party list. The rest of these animals, like most creatures in Australia, are not exactly cuddle-worthy and are best avoided.

For a little gross factor, there’s always the cane toad, an invasive species that can sometimes grow to epic proportions. In 2007, a cane toad the size of a small dog was discovered in Darwin, and in Cairns, another of these pests was found to weigh a whopping 649 grams (1.4 pounds), falling just centimetres short of the largest toad ever found in the state of Queensland.

Then, there’s the animals that inspire. Roger the kangaroo has more bulk than the Hulk, with 200 pounds of muscle that he can use to literally crush metal.

This guy is a total beefcake, and apparently, one of the ten most famous animals in the world.

And who could forget Australia’s freakishly large spiders? The Australian huntsman has a tendency for growing way too big - so large, in fact, that they can eat a lizard on a living room window and drag a mouse up a refrigerator and into your nightmares.

These gigantic spiders may look downright terrifying, but they are actually quite harmless to humans. A great white shark, however, is not so innocuous.

In 1985, the Australian shark hunter Vic Hislop delivered up what may be the greatest great white shark ever caught, measuring 6.6 metres (almost 22 ft) in length.

On land and on water, Australia has an obvious propensity for nursing king-sized creatures. Along with plenty of massive great white sharks, several colossal crocodiles also call Australia home.

Out of all 23 species of crocodylians around the world, the salties in Australia are the largest that exist.

Given the sheer size of these ancient beasts, you’d think they’d be easy to catch. But one of the most notorious crocodiles on record – over 4.7 metres long (15 feet) and weighing over 600 kilograms (1,300 pounds) – managed to evade capture for over a decade.

So there you have it. Knickers may stay out in a crowd, but at home in Australia, he has plenty of equally giant friends.

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