The world is full of fascinating animals.
The ocean is a weird but wonderful place, and there are creatures living in it that we still have yet to discover. The average size of a fish is around three feet long, but some fish grow to be much larger than that.
The biggest fish in the world are some of the most impressive and fantastic creatures on the planet. These aquatic animals can weigh hundreds or even thousands of pounds and often live in dangerous and challenging environments. You might be surprised to learn that some of the biggest marine life in the world are actually quite friendly, while others are extremely dangerous.
Here are 10 of the biggest fish in the world, based on their weight and length.
1. Whale Shark
The whale shark is the largest fish species in the world and can reach up to 60 feet long at maximum length. These gentle giants are plankton-eating sharks, so they do not threaten humans. Whale sharks are found in tropical and subtropical waters worldwide and are a popular tourist attraction in many areas. Some whale sharks have been known to live up to 130 years. If you ever have the chance to swim alongside a whale shark, it’s an experience you’ll never forget.
2. Basking Shark
Another shark species is named one of the biggest fish in the world, and that is the basking shark. These fish can grow up to 40 feet long and weigh up to 7 tons. Basking sharks are also filter feeders and eat small marine creatures like plankton and fish eggs.
They are often seen swimming near the shoreline in temperate waters. They are believed to bask in the sun to warm their bodies or get rid of parasites. But they are a vulnerable species because people seek to extract its shark liver oil.
3. Great White Shark
The great white shark is one of the most feared predators in the world. These massive fish can grow up to 23 feet long and weigh up to 5,000 pounds. They are known for their aggression, and they have been known to attack and kill humans. These sharks are found in waters worldwide and typically live for around 70 years. The most famous great white shark is probably Bruce, the main character in the movie Jaws.
4. Tiger Shark
The tiger shark or the sea tiger is another large and dangerous predator. These fish can grow up to 25 feet long and weigh up to 1,400 pounds. Tiger sharks are found in tropical and subtropical waters worldwide. They get their name from the dark stripes on their body as juveniles, which fade as they grow older.
Tiger sharks are known for being aggressive and are often involved in attacks on humans.
5. Giant Oceanic Manta Ray
Giant oceanic manta rays are the largest species of the ray family. Many people believe these very large fish are sharks, but they are actually related to stingrays. They can grow up to 23 feet long and weigh up to 3,000 pounds. Their wingspan can also reach up to 29 feet across.
They like spending their time in deeper waters away from coral reefs, in contrast to the reef manta ray species that live near the coastline. This ray species are gentle giants and are not known to be aggressive towards humans.
6. Ocean Sunfish (mola)
One weird but fascinating fish is the ocean sunfish, also known as the mola. This fish is the heaviest bony fish in the world, weighing around 5,000 pounds. The ocean sunfish is also the largest bony fish, measuring up to 10 feet long horizontally and 14 feet long vertically.
They are usually mistaken for sharks because of their dorsal fin, which looks like a shark fin on the water’s surface.
7. Sharptail Mola
Like the ocean sunfish, the sharptail mola is a large and weird-looking tailless fish. These fish can weigh up to 4,400 pounds and reach lengths of up to 10 feet. Sharptail mola is found in tropical and temperate waters worldwide.
They get their name from the long, sharp tail that protrudes from their body, distinguishing them from other mola species.
8. Hoodwinker Sunfish
The hoodwinker sunfish is one of the newest species of fish to be discovered. People only recently identified this strange-looking creature in 2017.
It’s similar to other sunfish but can be distinguished by its dark coloring and smaller size. Hoodwinker sunfish grow to be around 7 feet long and weigh up to 2 tons. These fish are found in temperate waters off the coast of Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.
9. Beluga Sturgeon
This a large fish that can grow up to 25 feet long and weigh up to 3,500 pounds. These fish are found in the Caspian and Black Seas. They are an endangered species due to overfishing, but their eggs are highly valued as caviar.
Caviar is a delicacy made from fish eggs, often used as a spread on toast or crackers. Because of the high demand for beluga caviar, beluga sturgeons are often illegally fished.
10. Mekong Giant Catfish
Finally, we have the Mekong giant catfish. This is the largest freshwater fish in the world which can grow up to 10 feet long and weigh up to 650 pounds. This giant catfish is found in the Mekong River in Southeast Asia.
They eat plants and small animals, and their population has been declining due to overfishing. These vulnerable species are also an essential part of local culture and religion.
So there you have it, the ten biggest living fish in the world today. These creatures are all fascinating in their own way and show the incredible diversity of the animal kingdom. These species on the list and many other fish are becoming rarer due to overfishing, so we must be mindful of the fish we consume.
Next time you’re at the grocery store, think about which fish you’re buying and whether it’s sustainable.
And don’t forget to always practice catch and release if you’re lucky enough to go fishing for any of these giants! The International Game Fish Association is an excellent resource for information on responsible fishing. Let’s help preserve these amazing creatures for future generations to enjoy.