What’s the Strongest Animal in the World?


Brains might be humankind’s secret to success, but in the animal kingdom, brute force is the real winner.

In many species, only the strongest get to mate, making muscle power essential.

But which animals are the strongest?

The Biggest and Strongest Animals

Grizzly Bears

These massive creatures are incredibly powerful.

In a National Geographic documentary, scientists found that a grizzly bear could toss a 700-pound dumpster like it was a beach ball.

They estimate that an average adult grizzly has the strength of 2.5 to 5 humans.

However, they believe an angry grizzly could exert even more force.

Grizzlies are built for power, with strong forelimbs and massive claws that allow them to dig and hunt effectively.

Silverback Gorillas

Known for their powerful arms used for walking, climbing, and swinging, silverback gorillas can lift up to 1,763 pounds of dead weight, making them stronger than any bear.

These great apes have incredibly muscular upper bodies, which they use to navigate their forest homes and display dominance.

Their strength is also a key factor in their social structure, with the strongest males often leading the group.

African Bush Elephants

These giants are the strongest of all.

They can carry up to 19,800 pounds, using their trunks, which contain over 40,000 muscles and tendons.

They can lift cars and knock down trees with ease.

Elephants use their immense strength for foraging, moving large objects, and even social interactions.

Their ability to manipulate their environment with their trunks is unparalleled in the animal kingdom.

Blue Whales

Despite being the largest animals ever, blue whales are not the strongest.

Researchers found that they can exert around 13,900 pounds of force, less than the African bush elephant.

Blue whales use their strength primarily for swimming across vast oceans, propelled by their powerful tails.

Their size and muscle mass are adapted for long-distance travel rather than lifting heavy objects.

Small but Mighty

While the African bush elephant can lift more weight, it can only carry about one-and-a-half times its own body weight.

In comparison, some insects are far stronger relative to their size.

Taurus Scarab (Dung Beetle)

This tiny beetle can pull 1,141 times its own body weight, making it the strongest animal on the planet.

For perspective, this is equivalent to a human lifting six double-decker buses.

Taurus scarabs use this incredible strength to roll large balls of dung, which they use for food and breeding purposes.

Their powerful legs and tough exoskeleton allow them to achieve these impressive feats.

Leaf Cutter Ants

These ants can carry objects up to 50 times their body weight.

They use their powerful jaws to cut leaves, which they then transport back to their nests to cultivate fungus, their primary food source.

The strength of leaf cutter ants is vital for the survival of their colonies, enabling them to harvest enough resources to sustain large populations.

Rhinoceros Beetles

These beetles can lift objects that are 850 times their body weight.

They use their horns to fight for territory and mates, demonstrating their strength in dramatic battles.

The exoskeleton of rhinoceros beetles provides the structural support needed for their powerful muscles to exert such tremendous force.


In the animal kingdom, strength varies greatly depending on the context.

The African bush elephant holds the title for lifting the heaviest loads, while the taurus scarab is the strongest relative to its size.

Whether through massive size or incredible power-to-weight ratios, these animals showcase the diverse ways strength has evolved across species.