Royal BC Museum

15+ Things That Are A Lot Bigger Than Expected

Ryan Ford 21 Jun 2019

Much of what we see in life comes through a filter, be it perspective or television or the internet. We just don't always get to see things how they really are, or get an accurate sense of scale.

So, with that in mind, here are some things that are definitely bigger than you'd think they would be.

1. The Mars rovers were not built as cute little cartoon robots.

Reddit | ObserverOfReddit

They're not interplanetary Roombas. They're a lot closer to cars in actual size.

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2. If you're used to seeing bamboo in the form of floor mats or blinds, this is mind-blowing.

Reddit | fakenewsisfake

That stuff can grow to positively enormous sizes, and it does so remarkably quickly.

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3. Siamese cats are by no means a small breed.

Reddit | AJSTOOBE

Which is what makes you realize just how large Maine coons can grow. That's some monster fluff!

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4. I want to know what these tires are going on.

Reddit | Morty_Goldman

You'd have to think they're for one of those massive mining dump trucks. If it takes an 18-wheeler to haul three of those tires, it's a huge piece of machinery.

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5. This is the largest jellyfish in the world, a lion's mane jellyfish.

Scotty's Action Sports Network

And it doesn't look that large next to the diver because of perspective. Their tentacles can extend up to 120 feet in length.

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6. Ammonites are all extinct, but their fossils still turn up fairly commonly.

Reddit | dreamygeek

And they're commonly found as tiny specimens, no more than 20 mm in size. But they can also be the size of a person.

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7. Reminder: wolves are not dogs.

Reddit | MrBonelessPizza24

Not by a long shot. Wolves are much larger, as a wolf print in the snow with a human hand for scale illustrates.

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8. Also, grizzly bear paws are bigger than your head.

Reddit | Pacific22

Well, bigger than her head, and she seems to have a pretty average-sized noodle. Look at the claws on that beast!

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9. The snapping turtle you see sunning itself on a log at your local pond probably isn't fully grown.

Turtle Survival Alliance

A fully grown snapper looks like a freaking dinosaur.

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10. When they're overhead, traffic lights seem like a reasonable size.

Reddit | JonnyBoiiii

At ground level, they're almost as tall as an adult. Makes sense though — you want people to be able to see them!

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11. Even if the apple here is on the small size for an apple, that's still a huge strawberry.

Reddit | KikiNZ

That's a strawberry that eats like a meal, holy smokes.

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12. Like traffic lights, those balls you see on power lines are also larger than you'd think.

Reddit | Gamedragon89

Considering the idea is to make the lines more visible for aircraft, bigger is definitely better.

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13. These guys are walking over some ridiculous chains.

Reddit | JKang99

They're the sort of chains that secure an oil rig in place, so they have a big job, which requires big chains!

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14. I never get tired of seeing just what a huge guy Shaq is.

Reddit | ajhidell63

Most of us can't even get a hand around a basketball, but his shoe is twice as large as one. Crazy.

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15. Nobody thinks moose are small.

Reddit | ill_have_number_9s

But this absolute unit looks bigger than the van those folks are quite reasonably retreating to.

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16. It's always worth reminding yourself of just how large a T. rex's tooth was.

Reddit | ILOVETOSUCKCATS

It really makes you appreciate not living in the same era as them, doesn't it?

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17. But then, this is just the leg of one dinosaur, the Argentinosaurus.

Reddit | 50sAnd100s

Among the largest known dinosaurs, Argentinosaurs were estimated to have been up to 115 feet long and weigh up to 100 tons.

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18. When you think of a wombat, you probably imagine it being small.

Instagram | @ballaratwildlifepark

But full-grown ones can be as much as 80 lbs and now, unfortunately, I’m forced to reimagine the size of their famously cube-shaped droppings.

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19. The specific flag that inspired the American national anthem wasn’t your typical backyard flag.

Imgur

The star-spangled banner flew during the War of 1812, over Fort McHenry in Baltimore Harbor.

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20. Logically, we all know that the pyramids of Giza are huge, but it’s hard to visualize if you’ve never been there.

Reddit | Alec935

It’s only when you place an average human in front of one of the blocks that make up the structure that you truly understand why they are considered one of the wonders of the world.

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21. The Sphinx is also something I always imagine as smaller than it actually is.

Reddit | redbaron62yt

Sure, maybe it’s puny compared to the pyramids, but it’s no slouch in the world wonder department either.

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22. Sometimes things are given the moniker of “giant” without truly living up to it.

Reddit | sverdrupian

That’s not the case with the Giant African Land Snail. Is it just me, or does this one kind of look like an alien rabbit?

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23. For some reason, when we think of mining, we still often picture men with pickaxes and lights on their helmets.

Reddit | FlyingBearCrap

And while there is still a lot of that, there are also tools like this Bagger 288 excavator. It looks like a giant saw, but those “blades” are actually massive buckets.

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24. When they tell you that a million Earths can fit inside the sun, it’s hard to imagine.

I mean, it’s already hard to visualize the size of Earth when you’re standing on it. This model does a pretty good job of showing the scale.

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25. Highway signs seem pretty average in size until you see them next to a human.

Twitter | @kaitlynhelkey

I mean, it makes sense that they’d need to be this big in order to be seen and read clearly, but knowing that and actually seeing it are two very different things.

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26. The space shuttles weren’t your everyday rockets.

Reddit | hoefco80

It’s just that the launches are always filmed from very far away. I’ve actually seen the space shuttle Enterprise in person at the intrepid Museum in NYC and it’s absolutely breathtaking.

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27. Crabs are another creature that we usually think of being palm-sized or smaller.

Reddit | sajaypal007

But not this Japanese Spider Crab. Naming it a spider crab makes is one thousand times more shudder-inducing.

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28. Ireland is known for some pretty spectacular cliff faces, but they’re even more amazing in scale.

Reddit | No_Name_Is_Left

There are people in this picture, but they’re only ants atop the Cliffs of Moher along Ireland’s Atlantic coast.

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29. These are the bronze doors to the National Archives in Washington, DC.

Reddit | sassyrogue

These doors used to be opened and closed each day by the guards, but since renovations in 2003 a new visitors entrance has been used and these only open for special occasions.

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30. I’ve never been to California, but I’ve always been told that sequoias are massive trees.

Reddit | my_alts_alts_alt

Still, it’s another case where you really need to see one with an average human in the same frame to really visualize the true scale compared to other “large” trees one may have seen before.

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31. With the events at Chernobyl back in the zeitgeist, everyone’s interested in photos of the accident and its clean-up.

Reddit | _gameoverman

This is just the skeleton of the upper arch of what would become the sarcophagus that caps the destroyed reactor and is currently protecting us from the radiation.

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32. These people are walking under the hull of a USS Kitty Hawk.

Reddit | abt137

If you've ever watched Titanic and wondered if the propeller that poor guy hit on the way down to the water was realistic... yep.

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33. Can't move your giant formerly-sunken warship to a museum? Build the museum around it.

Reddit | AyeAyeLtd

I don't know about you, but I often picture old-timey ships as being a lot smaller, but when you remember they usually housed hundreds of men, cargo, and artillery, you realize that they must have been massive.

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34. That is one really big cactus.

Reddit | Tll6

We 're all pretty familiar with the fact that cacti grow slowly compared to a lot of other plants. So just imagine how long this one has been chilling in the desert munching on sunlight!

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35. The national tree of Mexico is the Montezuma Cypress.

Reddit | supremegalacticgod

And the biggest one ever is called the Tule Tree. It's actually wider than it is tall, measuring 116ft high, but 119ft around.

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36. Tokyo gets hit with regular typhoons and they've done incredible things to control the flood waters.

Reddit | cmoehr

This is an underground flood tunnel, where storm waters get diverted to. You can imagine that a storm would need to be really really bad before this filled up.

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37. Of course, no matter how much a country prepares, nature sometimes can't be beat.

Reddit | sasacargill

The blue plaque on the wall marks the height the water reached up the side of the building during the 2011 tsunami.

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38. Many people wonder why it took so long for human migration to North America to become a thing.

Reddit | Mi-Dixie-Rekt

Some scientists believe that these giant, short-faced bears had something to do with it.

Yeah. Science checks out.

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39. This kid is holding a Brahma Chicken and you can see why it's called the king of poultry.

Reddit | Fanciedfacts

Chickens shouldn't be that big. It's unnerving and makes me think of Foghorn Leghorn.

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40. If you thought the stone heads on Easter Island were big, here's one in full.

Reddit | fjbruzr

I kind of love how the moai ended up to be bashful. If you dig out their naked bodies, they're still politely covering their privates.

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41. There is no forced perspective or Photoshop trickery here.

Reddit | XxNoObSlAyInBoBxX

This is an actual photograph taken after a cargo ship ran aground outside the Australian town of Newcastle in 2007.

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42. Logically, we know that wind turbines have to be large, but it's hard to really understand the scale.

Reddit | Nozytreeman

We're so used to seeing them from the distance, tiny and majestically spinning.

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43. The world's tallest filing cabinet can be found in Burlington, VT.

Reddit | dbmagas

You may think that a filing cabinet wouldn't need to be all that tall to get the record, but you'd be wrong.

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44. Aren't insects supposed to be small and insignificant?

Reddit | lhmquan

This thing isn't even the largest beetle in the world, a title that belongs to the appropriately named goliath beetle.

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45. And aren't moths and butterflies supposed to be tiny, delicate things?

Reddit | lhmquan

This attacus atlas looks like it could make off with a small child if it wanted to.

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46. This man grows above-average zucchini.

Reddit | Ukherewegrow

They're bred for show, but are still perfectly edible. These are the smaller of his harvest and will be donated to homeless kitchens to make into a whole lot of soup.

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47. These are fresh great white shark teeth.

Reddit | Tronkfool

They were found embedded into the back of a kayak after the shark attempted to take a bite out of it — with the kayaker right there in the boat.

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48. Blue whales are the biggest animal to ever exist.

Reddit | camdoodlebop

Yes, exist. Scientists have never found any record of an animal that was larger and based on gravity and fancy math, they're pretty sure it's not even possible for something to get much bigger.

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49. I mean, just look at this skull!

Royal BC Museum

Here's a scientist recovering the skull of a blue whale. I don't think he's planning on getting the whole thing into his boat.

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50. How India's stepwells aren't considered world wonders is a mystery to me.

Reddit | dnalgnekcuf

This one, Chand Baori happens to be over a thousand years old, and there are 3,500 steps down to the bottom if you're thirsty.

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51. No, this isn't a prop for a revival of Little Shop of Horrors - it's a real cabbage.

Reddit | Ukherewegrow

And it tips the scales at a ridiculous 76 lbs. That could make enough cole slaw to save a dozen church picnics at least!

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52. These crystals aren't light.

Reddit | sezar4321

In a cave in Naica, Mexico, crystals grow to the size of telephone poles. The largest is 39 feet long and weighs in at an estimated 55 tons.

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53. Giant squid are no calamari.

Reddit | Nic0487

They're not exactly Kraken-like, but I still wouldn't want to share a beach with one, thank you very much.

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54. What's the difference between a yacht and a superyacht?

Reddit | Palana

Look no further. This is the superyacht Dilbar, built for Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov, next to a whole marina lined with regular yachts. It has 41,000 square feet of living space and two helipads.

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55. Robert Wadlow was the tallest man ever known to have lived.

Reddit | Suprxeme

When he died, he was just shy of nine feet tall. It's hard to imagine how he'd even fit into that car.

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56. Boeing makes some massive planes.

Reddit | solarbearman

Just to give you a sense of how large, that's a 737 on the right, and next to it is just the engine from a 777.

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57. Who even knew that avocados could get so large?

Reddit | Ordner

You could make a whole loaf's worth of avocado toast and have enough leftover for guac.

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58. This, apparently, is one of those succulents commonly kept in window boxes.

Reddit | Dembelo

I think she's going to need a bigger window if she wants to push that thing's size.

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59. When we talk about astronomical objects, sizes are hard to wrap your head around.

Reddit | ajamesmccarthy

Remember that thing about how many Earths would fit inside the sun? Well, here's a close-up of the sun. That prominence on the horizon is about the same size as Jupiter.

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60. This artwork is incredible, but you have to wonder who will see it.

Reddit | grenadetradedotcom

Covering a 270,000 square-foot rooftop, it's hard to appreciate this mural by artists Ella & Pitr unless you have a drone.

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