Here are the top 10 largest crocodiles ever recorded, for real (no BS list). Crocodiles are really large reptiles and can get enormous sizes both in the wild and in captivity. But, there are a lot of over-exaggeration and hoaxes about their size. So, how big are the largest crocodiles actually?

Lolong was the largest crocodile ever measured

At 6.17 meters (20 feet 3 in), Lolong was the largest crocodile ever measured from snout to tail.
At 6.17 meters (20 feet 3 in), Lolong was the largest crocodile ever measured from snout to tail.

Lolong, an Indo-Pacific or saltwater crocodile was officially certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the “world’s biggest crocodile in captivity” at 20.25 feet (6.17 meters). He was the largest crocodile ever measured from snout to tail.

But, there are also a lot of unverified claims that there are even larger crocodiles than Lolong in the wild.

The saltwater crocodile is the largest crocodile species in the world

The saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) is the biggest of all living crocodilians. Average-size males reach 17 feet (5.2 meters) and 1,000 pounds (450 kg), but specimens 20+ feet (6+ meters) long and weighing over a ton are not unheard of.

Additionally, due to their size, aggression, and distribution, saltwater crocodiles are regarded as the most dangerous extant crocodilian to humans.

Saltwater crocodile
The saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), also known as the estuarine crocodile, Indo-Pacific crocodile, marine crocodile, sea crocodile, or informally as saltie, is the largest of all living reptiles (and naturally all living crocodiles), as well as the largest riparian predator in the world. Males of this species can reach sizes up to 6.17 meters (20 feet 3 in). But males reaching or exceeding 6 meters (19.7 feet) are really rare. Females are much smaller and often do not surpass 3 m (9.8 ft). Due to their size, aggression, and distribution, saltwater crocodiles are regarded as the most dangerous extant crocodilian to humans. Source: Deposit Photos

List of the largest crocodiles ever recorded

Although crocodiles are really large reptiles and can get enormous sizes, they suffer from a prevalence of “big fish” stories and over-exaggeration.

The photographs you see are often manipulated digitally to make the animal look much larger than it is. Or other techniques like the forced perspective (a technique that employs optical illusion to make an object appear far larger than it really is) are commonly used in these photos.

So, how big the largest crocodiles are actually? Here are the top 10 largest crocodiles ever recorded.

10. Tawi-Tawi crocodile (5.15 meters / 16 feet 11 in)

Largest crocodiles ever recorded: Tawi-Tawi crocodile
Largest crocodiles ever recorded: Tawi-Tawi crocodile (5.15 meters / 16 feet 11 in)

On September 9, 2017, a 5.15 meters (16 feet 11 in) saltwater crocodile was captured by fishermen in Tawi-Tawi, an island province in the Philippines.

According to the local resources, a local fisherman first spotted the crocodile on Tuesday, but initially, they thought it was a wooden log. But it moved when he approached it. Then he reported the incident to the officials, and an operation has been conducted to catch the crocodile.

A lot of fishermen and officials were involved in the operation since the giant crocodile was very aggressive. It wrecked a boat and damaged a number of fishing nets during the operation. Ruben Balcorza of the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office of Simunul, Tawi-Tawi said that the crocodile is now under the care of the municipal government.

Killing a crocodile is a crime in the Philippines that has a fine amounting to P100,000 pesos (around $2000) and imprisonment of up to six years.

Current status: alive

9. Matara crocodile and Jaws III (5.18+ meters / 17+ feet)

Matara crocodile

A huge saltwater crocodile, over 17 feet long, was captured in Matara, Sri Lanka on November 7, 2016. It was stuck in a canal leading off the Nilwala river. The giant reptile was released back into the river by wildlife officials, with the help of local people (Thanks for the comment, Dalya).

Largest crocodiles ever recorded: Matara crocodile
Largest crocodiles ever recorded: Matara crocodile

Current status: alive

Jaws III

Jaws III was a huge saltwater crocodile living in the Madras Crocodile Bank Trust and Centre for Herpetology, a reptile zoo and herpetology research station, located 40 km (29 mi) south of the city of Chennai, in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. It was started in 1976 by herpetologist Romulus Whitaker and his wife Zai Whitaker.

The huge crocodile arrived at Madras Crocodile Bank Trust shortly after it opened in 1976 and for the first few years was housed with his brothers and sisters in what was then a fairly ordinary exhibit.

However, when he started to outgrow his siblings in a truly astonishing fashion, it soon became apparent that he was no ordinary crocodile, but instead a genuine giant of freakish proportions. He cannot even be housed with other female crocs due to his unusually savage disposition and devastating strength.

Jaws III was at least 17 feet (5.2 meters) long and weighed over a ton. It was believed to be the biggest crocodile in captivity in southern Asia. He was one of the biggest attractions in the park.

Romulus Whitaker says “He (Jaws III) is my favorite here. I’ve had a long history with this guy, who was born in 1970. I used to carry him under my arm once…”

(Thanks to Mr. Sandeep Sugumaran)

Largest crocodiles ever recorded: Jaws III

Jaws III has died in January 2020 (thanks for the comment, Vishwamitra). One of the persons who knew him best, V. Gangadurai, chief reptile keeper at the Madras Crocodile Bank Trust, said:

“I fed Jaws for 40 years. My wife still asks me what happened, and some visitors still ask to see him. They get upset when we tell them he passed away.”

8. Puento Noire Crocodile (5.40 meters / 17.71 feet)

Largest crocodiles ever recorded: The Puento Noire Crocodile
Largest crocodiles ever recorded: The Puento Noire Crocodile

This unnamed monster crocodile had been at the center of a number of hoaxes. The fact is, this aggressive Nile specimen was killed in a safety operation near Puento Noire, Republic of Congo. Estimated size: 5.4 meters – 17 feet 8 in.

Current status: dead

7. Gomek (5.42 meters / 17.8 feet)

Marcus Miller with Gomek the crocodile, one of the largest crocodiles ever in captivity.
Marcus Miller with Gomek the crocodile, one of the largest crocodiles ever in captivity.

Gomek was a large saltwater crocodile captured by George Craig in Papua New Guinea. He was purchased by Terri and Arthur Jones in 1985 and was kept in Ocala, Florida for five years before being sold to the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park in Florida.

For 8 years he wowed spectators with both his amazing nutria-tossing abilities and his even more amazing tolerance of people. Feeders of the large croc were allowed to go into the enclosure and get as close as 1 meter (3 feet) from the large animal (normally suicidal proximity) without any fear of attack (for another example of a croc with great tolerance of people, see the story of Chito and Pocho).

While feeders still used long tongs to feed Gomek, he was generally considered to be a “tame” crocodile and was the favorite of the Alligator farm and people around the nation.

After many years, Gomek, one of the largest crocodiles in the world, died of heart disease on March 6, 1997. By then, he was a very old crocodile, and one of the largest and tamest captive crocodiles in existence.

When he died, he was 5.42 meters (17.8 ft) long, weighed 860 kg (1896 pounds) – as confirmed by St. Augustine Alligator Farm – and was probably between 60 and 80 years old. There is a tribute to Gomek near his enclosure, which now houses his successor Maximo and his mate Sydney.

Current status: dead

I received a message from Marcus Miller, who worked with Gomek in the past. Here is the message below. Many thanks, Mr. Miller!

“I saw your article on the 10 largest crocodiles ever. That was a wonderful piece, and if your accuracy concerning Gomek is any indication, very accurate as well. I just wanted to chime in that I had the privilege of working with Gomek, up to around August of 1992. He wasn’t considered “safe” by any means. But you could get away with a lot with him. I used to do the feeding shows without the tongs, holding the nutria by the tail. I also have a photo of myself (the photo above) touching Gomek (briefly!) on the nose.”

6. Cassius (5.48 meters / 17 feet 11 in)

Largest crocodiles ever recorded: Cassius
Largest crocodiles ever recorded: Cassius, the largest crocodile in captivity

This Australian saltwater giant has been claimed as the largest crocodile held in captivity and was recognized by the Guinness World Records as the world’s largest crocodile in captivity in 2011.

Cassius is missing his front left leg and tip of his tail due to vicious fights. He lives in Marineland Melanesia on Green Island in Australia. The crocodile was captured in 1987 in the Finis River in the Northern Territory after attacking boats and causing a nuisance.

Cassius is 5.48 meters (17 feet 11 in) long and is believed to be around 110 years old. It is named after Cassius Clay, the birth name of boxer Muhammad Ali (January 17, 1942 – June 3, 2016).

Current status: alive

Far North Queensland has the World’s Largest Crocodile in Captivity! Guinness World Records has today confirmed Cassius to be the biggest! Far North Queensland Crocs Rock! Cassius is 5.48 meters long and is living at Marineland Melanesia, Green Island, Far North Queensland.

In the video above, you see George Craig, the capturer, and caretaker of Cassius. He also captured Gomek, one of the largest crocodiles ever measured. The Australian is dubbed the “Real life Crocodile Dundee”.

For years, he captured dangerous large crocodiles like Cassius and Gomek and relocated them to a safe enclosure – which is good for both the crocodiles and the humans.

After the capture of Cassius, Mr. Craig spent 30 years with the giant reptile and fed him every day. He admits, though, Cassius would eat him given the chance.

Thank you, again, Mr. Marcus Miller, for the valuable information.

6. Brutus (5.60 meters / 18 feet 4 in)

Largest crocodiles ever recorded: Brutus
Largest crocodiles ever recorded: Brutus the giant crocodile is a tourist attraction on the Adelaide River in Australia.

This massive saltwater crocodile named “Brutus” has only three limbs! It is known to frequent the Adelaide River, Northern Territory, Australia. Brutus is missing his front leg following what is believed to have been a confrontation with a bull shark in the river’s estuary – leaving many people to wonder just how big the shark was.

Brutus is conservatively estimated at 5.6 meters (18 feet 4 in) in length and about a ton in weight.

Current status: alive

5. Yai (5.61 meters / 18 feet 5 in)

Largest crocodiles ever recorded: Yai, the hybrid Siamestuary crocodile
Largest crocodiles ever recorded: Yai, the hybrid Siamestuary crocodile

Yai is an Estuarine-Siamese hybrid. It is at the Samut Prakan Crocodile Farm and Zoo in Thailand. The length of Yai is between 5.5 and 6 m long (different sources give different lengths, I chose to take the minimum). But it is bigger than Cassius.

Yai, like Gomek, has a great tolerance for people. Feeders and caretakers can clean him, and touch him without fear. Even visitors are getting really close to him.

In 2012, Yai was measured at 18 feet and 5 inches in length (5.61 meters).

Current status: alive.

3. Bujang Senang (5.88 meters / 19 feet 3 inches)

Largest crocodiles ever recorded: Bujang Senang
Largest crocodiles ever recorded: Bujang Senang was killed on May 20, 1992. He was 19 feet 3 inches long (5.88 meters). Photo:

Bujang Senang was a massive saltwater crocodile and it was living in Borneo. According to local sources, he was a man-eater (some people even claimed that he had been around and attacking and killing for at least thirty years). At first, he was estimated at 25 feet (7.62 meters).

Bujang Senang was killed on May 20, 1992. After the kill, it turned out that his length was overestimated. He was 19 feet 3 inches long (5.88 meters) and reportedly weighed over a ton.

Current status: dead

2. Dominator (6.1 meters / 20 feet)

Largest crocodiles ever recorded: Dominator, the saltwater giant
Largest crocodiles ever recorded: Dominator, the saltwater giant

Dominator has never been officially measured but it is estimated that he measures up to 20 feet (6.1 meters) and weighs over a ton. He shares the same territory with another saltwater giant Brutus (Adelaide River, Northern Territory, Australia).

Current status: alive

1. Lolong (6.17 meters / 20 feet 3 in) – the largest crocodile ever measured

At 6.17 meters (20 feet 3 in), Lolong was the largest crocodile ever measured from snout to tail.
At 6.17 meters (20 feet 3 in), Lolong was the largest crocodile ever measured from snout to tail.

Measured at 20 feet 3 inches (6.17 meters), and weighing 2,370 lbs (1,075 kg), Lolong was the largest crocodile in captivity. He was also the biggest crocodile ever measured from snout to tail.

Lolong was an Indo-Pacific or saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus). Australian crocodile expert Dr. Adam Britton (see notes 1) sedated and measured Lolong in his enclosure in November 2011, and confirmed him as the world’s longest crocodile ever caught and placed in captivity.

He was caught in a Bunawan creek in the province of Agusan del Sur in the Philippines on 13 September 2011. He was captured with the joint cooperation of the local government unit, residents, and crocodile hunters of Palawan.

The capture of Lolong

The giant crocodile was hunted over a period of three weeks; once it was found, it took around 100 people to bring him onto land. He became aggressive at several points during the capture and twice broke restraining ropes before eventually being properly secured. He was estimated to be at least 50 years old.

Lolong was suspected of eating a fisherman who went missing in the town of Bunawan, and also of consuming a 12-year-old girl whose head was discovered two years earlier. He was also the primary suspect in the disappearance of seahorses in the area. In the examination of the stomach contents after his capture, remnants of water buffaloes reported missing before Lolong’s capture were found, but no human remains.

The crocodile was named after Ernesto “Lolong” Goloran Cañete, one of the veteran crocodile hunters from the Palawan Crocodile and Wildlife Reservation Center, who led the hunt. After weeks of stalking, the hunt for Lolong took its toll on Cañete’s health. He died of a heart attack several days before the crocodile was captured.

A “gentle” giant

Despite his initial aggressiveness, Lolong was remarkably gentle in his enclosure. Dr. Britton writes “This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone familiar with the effects of capturing large crocodiles from the wild. It’s a phenomenon called “capture myopathy”; the shock of being caught, poked and prodded, and introduced to a completely new and alien environment is a stressful experience, particularly for an animal as large as Lolong who has been master of his domain for decades. It might seem unusual to think of crocodiles as being susceptible to stress, but they’re just like any other vertebrate in that respect and something that anyone who maintains captive crocodiles should be aware of.”

The nongovernmental organization activist Animal Kingdom Foundation Inc., with the cooperation of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, had urged the local government of Bunawan to return Lolong to the creek of barangay Nueva Era, where the giant reptile was captured. But, in an ongoing debate, Bunawan mayor Edwin “Cox” Elorde and residents of the barangay opposed the crocodile’s release, arguing that he would threaten individuals living in the vicinity of the creek.

Lolong died in captivity just 18 months later he was captured, at around 8 pm on 10 February 2013. His necropsy (see notes 2) revealed that he died from congestive heart failure compounded by fungal pneumonia, lipidosis of the liver, and kidney failure. Here is a video that was shot when Lolong was alive:

Lolong was an Indo-Pacific or Saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) measured at 20 feet 3 inches (6.17 meters). He was the largest crocodile ever in captivity.

Lolong’s death was not the caretakers’ mistake

According to Dr. Adam Britton, Lolong’s enclosure might not look pretty, but, in fact, crocodiles in the wild call muddy holes “home”, they just look for any kind of shelter and the basic necessities for survival. So, Lolong was provided with those basic necessities. Crocodiles do not eat if they’re too stressed, but in Lolong’s case, he was eating and seemed to settle down into his new surroundings and was behaving normally.

Britton also says “Anyone who actually met his caretakers would have realized he was well-loved. You might say they adored him.” He adds: “…there were also financial incentives to keep Lolong alive; he was popular, brought much money into the community, and generated a lot of national and international attention.”

So, despite his living environment looking terrible to an unfamiliar eye, he was well-cared.

Britton concludes: “It would have been ideal to leave Lolong in the wild, but does such specious thinking have a place in our overcrowded world? A conflict between humans and wildlife can have major repercussions for conservation (not to mention human safety, which any level-headed human regards as being of prime importance). Yet at the same time, we can’t simply remove all wild animals simply because it makes us feel better, or safer. There has to be a compromise, and unfortunately for Lolong, he was that compromise at that particular time and place. Perhaps his death can be a lesson for us.”

I recommend you to read Dr. Britton’s great article titled “What really killed Lolong?” on his blog.

Officially the biggest crocodile ever measured

Lolong was officially certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the “world’s biggest crocodile in captivity” at 20.25 ft (6.17 m).

Current status: dead

The size of Lolong, the largest crocodile ever measured
The size of Lolong, the largest crocodile ever measured from snout to tail, put things into perspective.

World’s largest crocodile candidates

Here are the unconfirmed candidates for the world’s largest crocodile title:

Puerto Rico crocodile (6.2 meters / 20 feet 4 in, up to 6.3 meters / 20 feet 8 in)

After Lolong, the best-documented evidence of a record-sized crocodile comes from Obo village on the Fly River in Papua New Guinea (Montague 1983). This crocodile drowned in a fishing net set for barramundi fish and after 50 men hauled the crocodile onto the bank they found an entire Rusa Deer (Cervus timorensis) carcass in the stomach.

The crocodile’s skin had already been removed and salted when Jerome Montague and one of the authors (RW) visited the village, but the skin plus decapitated head measured 6.2 m (20.3 ft). The authors considered this likely an underestimate considering possible shrinkage of the skin plus an incomplete tail tip, suggesting a TL closer to 6.3 meters.

The DCL of this crocodile was 720 mm (28.3 in), which at 6.2 meters TL would indicate a DCL:TL (dorsal cranial length vs total length) ratio of 1:8.6, or 1:8.8 considering the likely 6.3 meters TL.

While not a complete or living specimen, this is still considered the largest saltwater crocodile (C. porosus) ever measured and documented.

Current status: dead

Cambodia Crocodile (7 meters / 23 feet, probably)

Update December 26, 2017. As you can see below (see the “life-size replica” of Krys crocodile), Adam Britton mentions a 7-meter saltwater crocodile. As far as I know, Lolong is the largest crocodile ever measured and Mr. Britton himself measured it. So, I asked him via Twitter what did he mean by that. Here’s his answer:

“Lolong’s skull was 70 cm long, a HL:TL ratio of 1:8.8. There’s a saltwater croc skull in the Paris Museum, originally from Cambodia, that’s 76 cm long. Its original owner was estimated to be 7 m (23 ft) long, a HL:TL ratio of 1:9.2 which sounds about right.”

A crocodile bigger than Lolong?

The largest known saltwater crocodile (C. porosus) skull is housed at the Paris Museum (MNHN PMP specimen #A11803 = old museum collection #7738) originally from Cambodia. It has a DCL (dorsal cranial length) of 760 mm (29.9 in), making it 8.6% longer than Lolong’s skull. If we apply a DCL:TL (dorsal cranial length vs total length) ratio of 1:9 for this skull, TL is estimated at 6.84 m (22.4 ft) which is 11.3% longer than Lolong’s TL (total length).

Although the actual TL was never preserved, these figures strongly suggest a nearly 7 m (almost 23 ft) crocodile. We can compare this with another slightly smaller skull (currently in the private collection of Shivendra Narayan Bhanja Deo, the Yuvaraj of Kanika in Bhubaneshwar, Orissa) of DCL 730 mm (28.7 in), originally from the Indian Bhitarkanika province, reported having come from a 7 meters (23 feet) C. porosus.

If those figures are true then DCL:TL ratio would be 1:9.5, sufficiently high for minor skepticism but still feasible. Applying the 1:9 ratio to the Bhitarkanika skull gives an estimated TL of 6.6 m (21.7 ft). The truth is unlikely to be far from these figures and there is a strong sense that 7 m (23 ft) is likely the maximum possible length for C. porosus.

Current status: dead

Kalia (Bhitarkanika Park crocodile) (claimed size: 7.01 meters / 23 feet)

It seems the Guinness World Record book has accepted a claim that a 23 ft (7.01 meters) giant male saltwater (named Kalia) crocodile weighing 2,000 kg lives within Bhitarkanika Park in the state of Orissa, India, but because of the difficulty to capture such a large monster, the accuracy of the measurement is yet to be verified. There’s also no photo yet.

I am skeptical about this claim, while it is much larger than any other accurately reported measurement.

Adam Britton wrote: “There are several unverified reports of even larger wild crocodiles, the most popular being a 7 m plus (over 23 ft) C. porosus sighted within the Bhirtarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary in Orissa, India, in 2006 (Whitaker and Whitaker 2008). However, this was not a measurement but a size estimate taken from a boat and regardless of the skill of the observers it cannot be compared to a verified tape measurement, especially considering the uncertainty inherent in visual size estimation in the wild (Bayliss 1987).”

Another famous giant crocodile shot on the Norman River in Australia in 1957 was reported by the shooters to be over 8 m (approx. 26 ft). While it seems likely that an exceptionally large crocodile was shot, no actual evidence was ever taken. For a crocodile whose length exceeds that of any other record by a large margin, a high degree of skepticism is understandable when bearing in mind the track record of inaccurate or exaggerated size records (Greer 1974; Whitaker and Whitaker 2008).”

Current status: alive

1823 Philippines crocodile (27 feet?/8.23 meters?)

According to biology professor Alvin Silverstein’s 1980 book Nature’s Champions, in 1883, a giant saltwater crocodile bigger than Lolong was killed in the Philippines. It measured 27 feet (8.23 meters) from the tips of its snout to the end of its tail. It was also more than 2 tons in weight.

What about Krys, the “Savannah King”?

Krys the crocodile
The only known photo of the Krys Crocodile. Note that the forced perspective was used in the photo, a technique that employs optical illusion to make an object appear larger than it actually is.

According to a story, a giant crocodile was shot in July 1958 near Normanton, Queensland, Australia. It was nicknamed Krys after the person who shot it. It was claimed at 28 feet 4 inches (8.64 meters). There is also a life-size replica of it at Normanton.

The claimed size of Krys is highly suspicious because it is much larger than any other accurately reported measurements.

Zoologist Adam Britton, one of the biggest experts in the area, and who measured Lolong, the biggest crocodile in captivity, says: “I’ve never counted “Krys” because it’s just a story – there’s no evidence at all to back it up, and it just seems so far outside the maximum possible range for this species that I’d need some pretty solid evidence to believe it. That’s why it never appears in any official statistics.

The minimum acceptable criteria for record-breaking crocs should include a tape measure along their back because “big fish” stories outnumber accurate estimates by several orders of magnitude.”

Krys’ lifesize replica

A lifesize replica of Krys at Normanton, Queensland, Australia.
A lifesize replica of Krys “The Savannah King” at Normanton, Queensland, Australia.

The claimed size of Krys is highly suspicious because it is much larger than any other accurately reported measurements. And, apparently, this “life-size replica” isn’t very accurate, too.

Zoologist and crocodile expert Adam Britton measured the replica’s head in June 2017 and found that its head-body ratio is not appropriate. Britton wrote on his Facebook account that:

“It had to be done. Krys the Crocodile statue in Normanton, is purportedly a life-size representation of a 28 ft (8.6 m) saltwater croc that Krys Pawlowski shot on the Norman River. If true, it makes Lolong look like a yearling.”

“Apparently, photos were taken but lost in floods 40 years ago. A pretty hard story to swallow to be honest, given its insane size. I couldn’t resist measuring the head length on the model, was 152 cm. The largest saltwater crocodile skull on record is 76 cm from a 23 ft (7.0 m) animal.”

“So I guess the model is not all that accurate! (a 152 cm skull would belong to a roughly 14 m long crocodile based on a similar HL:TL (head length vs total length) ratio, probably a bit less than that in reality as the ratio would be higher) It was also estimated to weigh 2 tonnes, but in reality, a crocodile of that size would be at least double that. Still, it’s a great story.”

Honorable Mentions

Gustave (Estimated size ~6 meters / 19.68 feet)

Largest crocodiles ever recorded: A photograph of Gustave, the largest Nile crocodile by Martin Best for National Geographic
Largest crocodiles ever recorded: A photograph of Gustave, the largest Nile crocodile by Martin Best for National Geographic

Probably not the biggest ever recorded, but this large man-eater crocodile named “Gustave” is definitely the most feared beast ever. It is a large male Nile crocodile from Burundi, and is rumored to have killed as many as 300 humans from the banks of the Ruzizi River and the northern shores of Lake Tanganyika! (Note: I am really skeptical about this claim.)

Gustave was named by Patrice Faye, a herpetologist who has been studying and investigating him since the late 1990s; much of what is known about Gustave stems from the film Capturing the Killer Croc, which aired in 2004 on PBS. The film documents a capture attempt and study of Gustave.

Gustave is the biggest Nile crocodile ever recorded

Since Gustave has not been captured, his exact length and weight are unknown. In 2002 it was stated that he could be “easily more than 20 feet (6 meters) long”, and weigh more than a ton. If true, this makes Gustave the largest freshwater crocodile and also the biggest Nile crocodile in the world.

But, please note that the estimated size of Gustave is way higher than the average size of a Nile crocodile (which is 4.2 meters). So, take these size estimations with a pinch of salt. That’s why I removed Gustave from the original top ten largest crocodiles list.

Some estimates have put Gustave at 7.5 meters (25 feet) or more in length (which is very unlikely).

Three bullet scars

Gustave is also known for the three bullet scars on his body. His right shoulder blade was also found to be deeply wounded. The circumstances surrounding the four scars are unknown.

The last reported sighting of Gustave was in 2009 in the Ruzizi River near Lake Tanganyika.

Some sources claim that it was killed in 2019, but there is no photographic evidence.

Current status: unknown, probably alive.

Utan (Close to 5 meters)

Previously, Utan was on my top ten largest crocodiles list, but I removed it. Adam Britton wrote on his blog that:

“There’s no doubt that Yai is larger than Cassius, but I’m interested in the largest saltwater crocodile in the world and consider Yai to be a bit of a cheat due to hybrid vigor. Utan is also a hybrid from the same crocodile farm, although I’ve been told by more than one person “in the know” that he’s not as large as advertised (not even Cassius-large).”

Largest crocodiles ever recorded: Utan
Largest crocodiles ever recorded: Utan currently lives in Alligator Adventure, one of the World’s biggest reptilian facilities.

Like Yai, Utan is also a hybrid breed between saltwater and Siamese crocodile. He was born in 1964 Utan is found at Samut Prakan crocodile farm, which is about twelve miles outside of Bangkok, Thailand. There he was named after the farm owner’s son, Utan Young Prapakarn. He currently lives in Alligator Adventure, a reptilian facility located adjacent to Barefoot Landing in North Myrtle Beach, one of South Carolina’s most outstanding tourist attractions.

Although Utan’s bite force has never been tested, it is said to be estimated at about 5000 lbs. of pressure per square inch, more than two tons!

Current status: alive

Sweetheart (5.1 meters / 16 feet 8 in)

Largest crocodiles ever recorded: Sweetheart
Largest crocodiles ever recorded: Sweetheart at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory. Image: Wikipedia

Sweetheart was a huge saltwater crocodile responsible for a series of attacks on boats in Australia between 1974 and 1979. In July 1979, it was caught alive by a team from the Territory Parks and Wildlife Commission, but, unfortunately, drowned while being transported when he became tangled with a log.

The crocodile’s mounted body is now on permanent display at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory.

A 2007 Australian independent horror film named Rogue, about a group of tourists in Australia who fall prey to a giant, man-eating crocodile, was inspired by the story of Sweetheart. But, in fact, Sweetheart was never responsible for an attack on a human.

King Croc of Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo (5+ meters)

There’s a huge saltwater crocodile weighing in at a whopping 750 kg and measuring over 5 meters in length in the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo.

Originally spotted measuring only 2.4 meters in length and dubbed a “problem” crocodile by the locals, the soon-to-be King Croc was quickly moved from the Botanic Gardens that he had taken over, to a more protected environment located in Queensland, Australia.

In 2014, it has arrived at Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo.

Today, it is 40 years old. Already one of the largest living crocodiles in the world, the “King Croc” is expected to grow much bigger over the next 50 years.

The King Croc has arrived at Dubai Aquarium Underwater Zoo in 2014

Smaug (5 meters / 16 feet 5 in)

Largest crocodiles ever recorded: Smaug the crocodile (photo by Adam Britton)
Largest crocodiles ever recorded: Smaug the crocodile (photo by Adam Britton)

Living in Darwin, Australia, Smaug is a 5-meter long (16.3 ft) Australian Saltwater Crocodile. According to its Facebook page, “Smaug is a movie and TV star working with Big Gecko (Adam & Erin Britton) and can be hired to dramatically improve your production through his sheer presence”.

Smaug is 60-year-old and about 500 kg (1,100 lbs) in weight.

Panjang (5 meters / 16 feet 5 in)

(Thanks to Hieu Nguyen) Panjang is a 5-meter-long saltwater crocodile living in the Singapore Zoo. He weighs anywhere from 500 to 600 kilograms.

The largest prehistoric crocodile?

In the prehistoric ages, some animals were much bigger than today’s counterparts – including crocodilians. Click to see what was the largest prehistoric crocodile.

The largest alligator?

Click to see what is the largest alligator ever measured, and the differences between crocodiles and alligators.


  1. Dr. Adam Britton works primarily in the field of crocodile conservation management, biology, and behavior. As of December 2017, he is working on a number of projects in conjunction with Charles Darwin University’s RIEL (Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods), including assessing the feasibility of wild crocodile egg harvests in Queensland, studying migratory behavior, and phylogeography of populations. Britton also teaches a VET Cert. II course in Remote Crocodile Management through CDU. He also has a blog about crocodiles:
  2. A necropsy is an examination of a body after death to determine the cause of said death. It’s interchangeable with autopsy but necropsy is typically used when dealing with animal carcasses.


M. Özgür Nevres
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  1. Lolz, that Brutus reminds me of crocodile movies. You know, movies where an old guy will tell something about a monster in the river/sea and he’s hunting it for a long time but no success. Some teens would wander and they get eaten one by one.

    1. In northern Australia there is a lot of unexplored country and few people live or ever go there…and I remember reading that saltwater crocs get to around 30 feet up there. After seeing this article, I definitely can believe it. Animals like this don’t die easily, have no real predators, and are good at hunting at sea and on land…not only that but they eat damn near anything.

    2. it was in print i think in Guinness book of a croc shot in the 1930s in the mackay Queensland area that was 33 foot and some inch’s, 4 i think long harltys creek zoo and green island both in cairn Queensland area had crocks in the 24 to 27 foot range when I was young i am 60 now. and both those crocks are dead now.

      seems it is thought every one couldn’t hold a tape measure back then according to todays crop of experts.

      with global warming the crocks will soon be living in Brisbane…. so all the so called experts can walk down and measure there leisure.

      longest crock 23 foot give me a break there are any amount of 20 footers in nit and top of queen’s land now.

      1. “surely my 50 year old anecdote is more proof than people who research these for a living”
        ok grandpa, tell me about going up hill both ways to school too.

    1. Thanks for the comment! Well, maybe you’re right. But how many meters are they actually? Who measured them and when? Most importantly, where are the photos? I checked their website, they put some crocodile photos but none of them seemed 6+ meter to me (I am not sure, maybe I am wrong). The reference link on their wikipedia page (marked as [1]) is broken. So, where is the evidence? It is interesting that the Guinness World Records Book is putting this info on their page with such little evidence.

      If I see the evidence, I’ll happily update this post.

      Not related to the topic but their website is ultra-backward, which is a shame, since India has thousands of excellent programmers and designers.

      1. Hey there, really enjoyed this article. I loved crocodiles since I was young. I can’t help but let you know about this croc called Bujang Senang. Check it out, it has a great backstory. And it’s also huge.

        1. The experts have been proven wrong time and time again just when they think they know it all about nature in all it’s capacity.

      2. Guinness Book of World Records has a very strict fact checking system in place where as Wikipedia has none, please don’t treat Wikipedia as fact it is at best 50% here say.

    2. Well , i don’t know if i am entirely correct…but recently i visited bhitarkanika and found out from the locals claiming ‘The Kalia’ to be the largest croc in the national park..I asked if they could show me..and with three days of searching found him lying on a distant bank..he seemed huge… but he entered the water quickly…I only managed to get a distant picture from around a distance of 35- 40 metres..hope this helps..I’ll post the pic soon…

    1. I have seen UTAN, but it was sad at the time he was old and sick! It seemed as if he was very well taken care of though! But Oh MAN!!!!…..was he BIG, MASSIVE, A DINOSAUR lost in our time!!!!!

  2. They found one in Lake Placid that was 30 foot used to be two but went back to one… lol

    1. Thanks for the warning! Normally I do this every time, somehow I skipped it in this post. I gave the links both in each items and at the bottom of the page, in the “sources” section.

        1. Sarcosuchus was bigger, and has had a stronger bite. But I think it would be an open field. I can say 60% Sarcosuchus, 40% Deinosuchus. What do you think?

    1. Real photo. I live in The territory. Been on the tour rumours time and yes it’s real. In fact this is inacurrate as he shares the same span of river(Adelaide river) with a croc Nick named domintor. Up to 1/2 meter longer and wider. They in fact have the odd fight.

      1. Hi, thanks for the comment. Yes, the current photo is real. I was using (my mistake) a photoshopped photo here previously, taken from You can see the fake photo here. The 2nd photo is photoshopped at this link.

        And thank you for the info about Dominator! He is absolutely a monster. I added him to the list.

  3. There’s a crocodile called Bujang Senang that was shot dead after killing few locals in 1992 by the local authorities in the Sarawak state of Malaysia on the island of Borneo. It was measured at 19ft 3inches long and it’s bones is on display at the Kuching Museum. Please check this one out.

  4. the two statement below contradicts each other, 1# should be removed if without official measurements.

    “because of the difficulty to capture such a large monster, the accuracy of the measurement is yet to be verified”


    “The minimum acceptable criteria for record-breaking crocs should include a tape measure along their back, because “big fish” stories outnumber accurate estimates by several orders of magnitude.”

    1. Hi Gerry,

      Thanks for the comment. You are absolutely right, and in fact I was thinking about that too. I updated the post accordingly.

  5. The largest crocodile is not Kalia from bhitarkanika it’s was Gauri from bhitarkanika park,Odisha ,India .she died on 2014 And after that Kalia is the world biggest crocodile

  6. Thank for your post,but there’s another saltwater croc that was in the same area as lolong and it was the one to kill and eat
    the missing people.It’s rumored to be 27 feet.

  7. Great post! I’ve been keeping an eye out for Gustave sightings since 2008. I wonder if he’s still alive. BTW, the current Wikipedia on Gustave says that he was sighted June 2015. I gather that you did not find enough compelling data to mention that.

    1. Thanks for the comment! Yes still no strong evidence, but I updated the article.

    1. Thanks for the comment! Yes they say it is more than 17 feet long. One of the largest ever recorded.

    1. in those days, crocs were huge. Numbers became low due to hunting. protected since the seventies. They’re growing back and don’t be surprised to see huge sizes in the future that are as big as “Krys “

  8. Originally, the crock found in the Philippines was measured at around 23ft, by the Guinness book of world records. If you get a copy from the early 1990’s the measurements for several types of biggest reptiles, were listed way bigger and longer than today. This would include Saltwater crocodiles, Nile crocodiles, American Alligators, Great White Sharks, Anacondas, Reticulated pythons, and African Rock Pythons. Even my NJROTC’s book for sizes for marine biology listed several animals bigger than, what I have seen today.

  9. You speak of ‘Lolong’. ‘… around 23 feet’? No. Lolong died in captivity, and dead crocodiles are easy to measure accurately.
    Lolong was officially certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the “world’s biggest crocodile in captivity” at 20.25 ft (6.17 m).

    1. Hi Clancy, thanks for the comment! Gustave is actually included in the list.

  10. Maybe check the skull of a crocodile in the Carrobiree hotel NT on the Maraki track .I think by memory its close to 1m . I could have it wrong though . would be glad to send you a photo

    1. Hi Jason,
      Thanks for the comment.
      If the skull is 1 meter in length, the full length of the croc should be close to 9 meters.
      I wondered the story behind it. I’d be glad if you send a photo of the skull, if possible.

  11. 1.If you were talking about crocodiles u would know that sarcosuchus imperator is the largest crocodile ever to live niggau and wiki is a bad place to search for facts only knows 40% of what could be searched so this may all be false plz check ur facts sir if ur going to create a website bout this (cough)idiot!

    1. But Sarcosuchus is not a crocodile. It is extinct, and a distant relative of current crocodiles. And I already wrote about it here. And Wikipedia is not my only source, please read the whole article.

  12. I love how they say Kris is suspicious just for the simple fact that they can’t believe it exists. It’s not a stretch at all to believe that a croc can grow to that size in a place with so much wildlife. They don’t die from old age so they keep growing as long as the have enough food.

  13. Crikey, That is a big Saltwater crocodile to keep at home. Maybe it is time to put that crocodile back in the billabong. By Gregg L. Friedman MD

  14. What about this one: “The record size for a crocodile from Papua New Guinea to be considered authentic by Guinness was a 6.32 m (20 ft 9 in) specimen shot by Herb Schweighofer in May 1966 along the northeastern coast. This specimen had a belly girth of 2.74 m (9 ft 0 in).”

    Source: Wikipedia and Wood, Gerald (1983). The Guinness Book of Animal Facts and Feats. p. 256. ISBN 978-0-85112-235-9.

  15. Scientists said that global warming wasn’t a thing and bee’s couldn’t fly so I believe krys is real and I’m pretty sure the things skeleton is buried somewhere and the Dutch mans hat and gun are in a museum nearby so that’s evidence and there are 3 different pictures for two different angles and experts say that it’s correct in every way and that the picture is accurate so Krys most likely did exist and this scientists is like most jealous that he didn’t get the big one and got 2nd place

  16. Krys does exist the things bones and the mans hat and gun are on display at a museum nearby the location it was killed and the scientist is jealous that he got 2nd instead of 1st place there is sufficient evidence there’s 3 photos from 2 different angles and they are proven to be real by professionals and scientists said global warming wasn’t a thing and that bumble bees couldn’t fly so I’ll believe the actual legitimate evidence

  17. there was a 29 foot croc killed down at the daly river. there was a photo of it in the pub when i was there in 1970. northern territory australia.

    1. Would you happen to have the photo, or could you find a picture of the Croc? I’d love to see a 29 foot croc…be mind blowing to see it.

      1. I was in the Northern Territory in Australia. I happened to be at the Daly River crossing at the local pub. There was a photo of this huge croc and from memory it had been in the NT news. All these people were holding onto this dead croc. This would have been 1970!

  18. Hello.
    This is a very interesting list, and it is extremely helpful to me as a crocodilian enthusiast. Thanks!

    Regarding Yai, I have seen him in person, and would gladly provide some further videos (I have a feeding video of him) if needed. He’s widely accepted by some people in the field as being bigger than Cassius, and was included in Guinness as of 1989 as the largest crocodilian in captivity, although he was removed due to perhaps being a hybrid. Dr. Adam Britton’s stance regarding the validity of his measurements, however, has been a bit confusing. He listed Yai on his website as of 2009 as the largest crocodile in captivity, and also commented on him as being certainly bigger than Cassius, as you had said on the list. However, in a further comment on the “Crocodile Conservation” Facebook group in 2017, he said that he wasn’t sure if the “in-house measurement” for Yai was correct. Nevertheless, Yai was huge, and having seen him, I’m quite certain that he was certainly bigger that a 5-meter long saltwater crocodile that I have seen.

    Speaking of that 5-meter long crocodile, he’s Panjang from Singapore Zoo. You can find many YouTube videos and photos of him simply by searching “crocodile in Singapore Zoo”, as his name isn’t widely known outside of the zoo. He’s certainly a big specimen, and the staff over there actually told me that he was either very close to, or actually was 5 meters long, and weighed anywhere from 500 to 600 kilograms (perhaps due to differing body composition related to his growth and lifestyle). I think he deserves a spot on the “honorable mentions” list.

  19. It’s just a hunter’s claim if I remember well, but there’s a claim of a 6.32 m long saltie with a belly girth of 2.74 m from The Guinness Book of Animal Facts and Feats.

    1. Hey Mark, do you have any links to support your statement? I guess it doesn’t make a lot of difference in any case, 6.32 is only a very few inches longer than Lolong who has been thoroughly documented. We may then comfortably rest assured that Salties do occasionally, rarely, slightly exceed 20 feet in length

  20. One of the crocodiles listed above, jaws 3 from India is recently dead in 2020. It is very sad to know it. If you can, please update the status.

    1. Thanks for the message, Vishwamitra. Sad news 🙁 I updated the article.

  21. Hi,

    For your information, the skull of Bujang Senang placed at Jongs Crocodile Farm & Zoo (Kuching, Malaysia) insted of Museum Sarawak.

    Can you please update the post? Thanks!

  22. Hi, here are some big Salties that might be of interest to you:
    – Pangil. He currently lives in the same enclosure that used to contain Lolong, and while he’s not as large, he’s pretty damn big – said to be 18 feet long.
    – This huge croc found dead in Malaysia, reportedly 20 feet long.
    – Xiao He, a captive croc that lives in Taiwan. He’s supposedly 19 feet long, though I’m not sure if he is indeed that large.
    – Edgar and Giryu, two skulls found in Singapore. Their skulls are both bigger than that of Lolong’s, and one of them reportedly measured 6.7 meters long.
    – Dau Sau, another huge saltie skull found in Vietnam.

  23. Several years ago, there was an unconfirmed story of a 29 foot long specimen in the Philippines. Not likely, but still possible.

  24. In PNG in late 1980s photo in university with caption “ is this the largest reptile ever seen by a human “ croc shot by Aussie soldiers in early 50 s strung up on a mobile crane head was as big as the soldiers standing next to it and tail hanging from the crane to the ground. Estimate it at 8 m. Black and white photo in engineering department of Unitech , Lae can someone check this out?

  25. The grandfather of a friend of mine has one disecated specimen in his library (yes, dude is loaded), which he shot in the 80´s in Africa. It was not a random specimen, as it was know to the locals that there was a particularly large croc in the area, and they specifically looked for it. Its extremely impressive to think of that creature at some point was actually roaming free in the jungle. The size of it is AT LEAST, between the last two guys at the tail in the Lolong Photo. I dont know how much does the size of an animal varies during the stuffing process, but lets say they add between 5 and 10% of the original size.
    My point is, if this animal, while very large in its own area, was almost the size of what can be apreciated in the pic of Lolong, its definetely not crazy to think that at some point, somewhere, a croc passed well over the 6m mark well into the the 7m and even 8 meter territory.

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