Who has the biggest mouth in science fiction and fantasy? No, it's not Deadpool. We're talking giant mouths that can do things like eat the world. We've got a chart of the mightiest maws.
Plus, there's a burning debate about two of the biggest mouths. You're cordially invited to come argue about it.
Basically we wanted to represent the size of monsters' mouths relative to their body sizes. So what you see in the chart is an effort to represent which creatures have the biggest mouths, both absolutely and relatively. Honestly it's not terribly scientific, and we're sure you'll find a lot to debate here. Because mouth size is perhaps the most important issue of our time.
Click to expand the chart! Fill in your own!
Here are the four biggest mouths in absolute terms:
1. The Midgard Serpent
Known in Norse mythology as Jörmungandr, the Midgard Seprent is the beast prophesied to kill Thor and start Ragnarok, the apocalyptic end of the Asgardians. According to numerous sources, when the Midgard Serpent was at his full size, he was enormous enough to encircle the entire Earth (really), so while his mouth size may not amount to much in the ratio department, he almost definitely wins the biggest mouth award. Considering that snake jaws are composed of sections that enable them to dislodge and open to ridiculous sizes, the Midgard Serpent could casually nom on a skyscraper (not to mention whole continents) with ease. Check out a Midgard Serpent gallery.
2. Sandworm (Dune)
The Shai-Hulud, or sandworms, of Dune, are enormous animal/deities. Described as being big enough to "crush and/or devour anything in their path," it's not uncommon for sandworms to grow to greater than 400 meters in length and 40 meters in diameter (according to Dune). In fact, Paul Atreides describes the first sandworm he encounters as over 80 meters in diameter. But if we're going to talk about the biggest and the baddest Shai-Hulud, the prize has to go to the sandworm that Paul summons in order to become a sandrider;"It [the sandworm] appeared to be more than half a league long, and the rise of the sandwave at its cresting head was like the approach of a mountain." This would make it upwards of 2,700 meters long and around 300 meters in diameter. Given that the size of a sandworm's gaping mouth is at least equal to the cross-sectional area of its body, this would give this most epic of sandworms a mouth opening in excess of 70,000 square meters.
3. Exogorth (Star Wars)
The official Star Wars database refers to exogorths as "the deep space Star Wars equivalent of a whale." Known colloquially as space slugs, exogorths are gigantic-toothed gastropods. While exogorths averaged in the tens of meters in length, some slugs were known to grow continuously to sizes that rivaled capital ships in sheer bulk, exceeding a million kg in weight.
Exogorths inhabit asteroid fields. The largest documented exogorth was found in the Hoth asteroid field and grew to a size of about 900 meters in length — similar in size to the one that Han Solo unwittingly hides in and subsequently flees from when running from the Galactic Empire after the Battle of Hoth.
Special Bonus Debate!!! Exogorth or Sandworm?
So who has the bigger mouth, the exogorth or the sandworm? It's a tough call, because the sandworms, although skinnier than exogorths of similar length, can grow longer, and the actual AREA of the open mouth would appear to be bigger. That said, it's unclear whether the opening to the sandworm's mouth is simply a flat, gaping hole, or actually capable of opening up the way an exogorth's does. We're inclined to give it to the sandworm, but are willing to cede that an exogorth might be capable of taking a bigger chomp out of its prey. And the mouth/body ratio on the exogorth is greater than the sandworm, so there's that.
Kroll from the Doctor Who episode "The Power of Kroll," is an enormous squid-like creature that inhabits the swamps of the marsh moon Delta Three of Delta Magna. According to the Dr. Who reference guide, the squid initially appears on radar as occupying several square miles of swamp (presumably by stretching out its tentacles), but its size on radar varies over the course of the 4-episode series, its exact size likely being difficult to pin down on account of its mutable, squid-like physiology. According to this extensive list of alien zoology (or xoology, a contraction of xeno-zoology), however, Kroll's head alone was 250 meters in diameter, which, based on this model of the monster, would give it a pretty sizeable mouth, likely around 150 meters across. Plus, the teeth are completely insane.
If we had to rank our runners-up it would be Sando Aqua monster > Cloverfield > Godzilla, based primarily on their overall size (Sando aqua monsters can grow to over 200 meters in length, whereas Clovie and Godzilla are each around 100 meters tall), and then on the physiology of their mouths (Clovie has a snake-jaw thing going on that I think trumps Godzilla). However, the point is that they're all miniscule in comparison to even number four on our above list (Kroll). Just for perspective, Godzilla and Clovie could both lie down in Kroll's mouth and still have some room to roll around a bit.
What about The Sarlacc of the Great Pit of Carkoon?
The largest Sarlaccs are found on Tatooine, and among the largest Sarlaccs on Tatooine is the one located in the Great Pit of Carkoon. According to Star Wars Behind the Magic, the Sarlac's mouth averages 3 meters in diameter. However, this book was published a year after the 1997 re-release of Return of the Jedi, which featured the beaked version of the Sarlacc. Based on this diagram, which also exhibits the extraordinary underground length of a Sarlacc (100+ meters), one can only assume that the mouth of the original, 1983, Sarlacc was, in fact, significantly wider than 3 meters in diameter…at least twice — and maybe even as much as six times, depending on where you decide to measure from – as wide in diameter as the mouth of the beaked version. In other words, the Sarlacc in the Great Pit of Carkoon had a mouth upwards of somewhere between 6 and 18 meters in diameter.
Further accolades, for superlative mouth-to-rest-of-creature ratios:
Mouth size: Hell
Creature Size: See mouth
Mouth Size: Based on this video, Langoliers mouths can probably spread to a little more than 2 meters in diameter, but what's most impressive is their insatiable appetite, with the space beyond their chainsaw teeth more closely resembling a black hole than a stomach.
Creature Size: Again, pretty much just a mouth on this one.
Nibbler, like the rest of his species, is capable of devouring life forms much larger than he is, as shown when he ate every animal aboard the Planet Express ship. He is probably able to hold so much food because of his ability to condense it and excrete it as dark matter. He is, according to Leela, "an adorable, unstoppable killing machine". Of normal human foods, he has a special taste for ham. Bender's Big Score suggests that his stomach may link to an alternate dimension of some sort.
Mouth Size: Given the "alternative universe stomach" theory, it would see that Nibbler's body is capable of breaking the laws of physics in more ways than one. This might explain what allows him to go about devouring animals significantly larger than himself. Like the Langoliers, a void seems to lie beyond Nibbler's adorable little fangs.
Exogorth concept art by Ralph McQuarrie. Chart by Stephanie Fox!