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16 of the Loudest Animals on the Planet!

We as humans like to think we are the best at everything, even though there is usually a creature in the animal kingdom that is much more agile and strong. While humans are pretty loud, they do not come close to matching the loudest animals on earth. Keep on reading to learn more about the 16 loudest animals and how they use their boisterous sound to their advantage.

16 Loudest Animals

The typical human scream is between 80 to 120 decibels. Knowing this information can help you better understand just how loud the following animals are. Keep in mind that the following list is not in order of who is the loudest, although the create listed as number one is the loudest of all the animals.

1. Sperm Whale

Sperm whale in blue ocean
Sperm whale in blue ocean

Scientific Name: Physeter macrocephalus

The title of the loudest animal in the world goes to the sperm whale, which can produce clicking sounds of up to 233 decibels. Not only is this the loudest animal, but it also has the largest brain of any animal on this earth.

2. Howler Monkey

Howler Monkeys
Howler Monkey eating | Image by NoeIIa from Pixabay

Scientific Name: Alouatta

The male howler monkey uses its loud screams, which can reach up to 140 decibels, for various communications, including to warn other howler monkeys of a potential threat and to attack females.

3. Mantis Shrimp

Mantis shrimp
Mantis shrimp | image by prilfish via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Stomatopoda

Mantis shrimp are colorful creatures that live in temperate and tropical seas. These small animals have the ability to create a sound that can reach up to 200 decibels. They use this loud sound to scare their prey, which allows them to move in and catch the prey.

4. Moluccan Cockatoo

Moluccan cockatoo
Moluccan cockatoo | Image by Ray Miller from Pixabay

Scientific Name: Cacatua moluccensis

This bird has a loud scream that can reach up to 129 decibels, which is almost the same amount of decibels that a 747 jet produces. Moluccan cockatoos scream to alert their flock of potential danger, as well as a morning and night calling ritual that can last up to 20 minutes.

5. African Elephant

African Elephants
African Elephants

Scientific Name: Loxodonta

African elephants have the capability to produce a sound that reaches up to 117 decibels, and this sound can be heard up to a six mile radius. The elephants use these sounds to signal different emotions, including danger and anger.

6. Northern Elephant Seal

Northern elephant seal
Northern elephant seal | image by Grendelkhan via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 4.0

Scientific Name: Mirounga angustirostris

The male Northern elephant seal can make a sound that reaches up to 126 decibels. They use this sound to warn other male elephant seals to stay away from their territory. The females and young pups of the species also make loud sounds but they don’t generally reach the same decibel level as the males.

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7. North American Bullfrog

American bullfrog on pond
American bullfrog on pond | Image by Sunny Zhang from Pixabay

Scientific Name: Lithobates catesbeianus

Despite its smaller stature, the North American bullfrog can make a sound that reaches up to 119 decibels. They make this sound with their mouths open, and it is essentially a distress scream. If they are caught, this scream will turn into a low growl-like sound.

8. African Cicada

African cicada resting on tree
African cicada resting on tree

Scientific Name: Cicadoidea

African cicadas are a large genus with over 3,600 species and more are regularly being discovered all the time. No matter what the species, all of the African cicadas have a loud ear-piercing sound, but the Yellow Monday and Green Grocer may be the loudest out of all the African cicadas, creating a sound that can reach up to 120 decibels. This sound also has the ability to carry for over a mile.

9. Kakapos

Kakapo
Kakapo | image by Department of Conservation via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Strigops habroptilus

The kakapo is a flightless bird that looks like a cross between a parrot and an owl. These unusual-looking large birds are considered rare and could potentially become extinct in the near future. They have the ability to create a sound that reaches 132 decibels.

10. Gray Wolf

Gray Wolf
Gray Wolf

Scientific Name: Canis lupus

Gray wolves are majestic creatures that travel in packs and use howls to communicate with other wolves and even as a way to mark their territory. These howls can reach up to 115 decibels. Howls aren’t the only sound wolves make, as they can also bark, growl, and whimper.

11. Blue Whales

Blue Whales in the ocean
Blue Whales in the ocean | image by National Marine Sanctuaries via Flickr

Scientific Name: Balaenoptera musculus

Blue whales are extremely large sea creatures that create loud sounds that can reach up to 188 decibels. They use these sounds as a way to communicate with other blue whales.

There are several other non natural things in the ocean that produce sounds at the same frequency, such as active sonar, air gun explorations, and ship engines, that can disrupt the natural communications of the blue whale.

12. Greater Bulldog Bat

Greater bulldog bat
Greater bulldog bat | image by Susan Ellis via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 3.0 United States

Scientific Name: Noctilio leporinus

The greater bulldog bat is found in Argentina, Mexico, and the Caribbean Islands, and can screech as loud as 140 decibels. This bat species actually has the highest frequency of all the other bat species. Unfortunately, it isn’t often heard as often as other bats with a lower frequency, since it doesn’t carry throughout the air as well.

13. Hippo

Hippopotamus
Hippopotamus Herbert Bieser from Pixabay

Scientific Name: Hippopotamus amphibius

Hippos are massive creatures that live on both the land and water. These semi-aquatic animals are considered dangerous and aggressive.

Even though their diet is made up of mostly plants, hippos have killed more humans than large felines, such as lions. Hippos can also create a sound on both land and water that reaches up to 114 decibels.

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14. White Bellbird

white bellbird
White bellbird | image by Hector Bottai via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Scientific Name: Procnias albus

The white bellbird has the loudest birdsong on the planet, with its mating call reaching 125 decibels. So loud in fact that it could cause permanent damage to a human’s hearing if they were close enough. This species is native to the Amazon rainforests in Northern Brazil and Southern Venezuela where they feed mostly on fruits.

15. Lions

Lion bite
Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

Scientific Name: Panthera leo

Lions are large cats known for their muscular bodies, golden fur, and impressive manes on males. They are apex predators and hunt in prides. Lions are considered to be one of the loudest animals in the world, with a roar that can reach up to 114 dB at close range.

16. Hyenas

Hyenas trying to escape
Hyena’s trying to escape | Image by Alexander Strachan from Pixabay

Scientific Name: Hyaenidae

Hyenas are carnivorous mammals known for their scavenging behavior and distinctive laugh-like vocalization. They are considered to be one of the loudest animals in the world, with a vocalization that can reach up to 112 dB and be heard up to 5 km away. Hyenas are social animals and live in clans, which can consist of up to 80 individuals.