You may have read that blue whales are the largest animals that have ever lived, or that tardigrades are smaller than a grain of sand, but that’s different from seeing the creatures up close. Global Data has released the next-best thing: a 3D visualization that compares the sizes of 150 animals, from microorganisms to extinct giants.
The video above starts by showing some of the world’s smallest creatures lined up side by side. The tardigrade (also known as a “moss piglet” or “water bear”) is so minuscule that you’d need a microscope to see it in real life. This end of the spectrum also includes insects mixed in with a pint-sized frog, fish, and bat.
As we progress through the menagerie, several extinct species make appearances. The reign of the dinosaurs produced the largest land animals in existence. We can’t appreciate the the size of these beasts outside of museum halls, but seeing an animation of Brachiosaurus beside an African elephant helps put their impressive mass into perspective.
Non-avian dinosaurs died out millions of years ago, but they weren’t the last giants to roam the globe. Today, whales make up the planet’s largest animal inhabitants, with the the blue whale dwarfing all creatures both living and extinct. Because they live out their existence in the buoyant sea, supporting their massive frame is less of a strain. Here are more super-sized facts about whales worth knowing.