10 Loudest Animals on the Planet

White Long Coat Lion
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Did you know that while people usually talk at around 60 decibels, some animals can make really loud noises? These sounds can be even louder than a noisy subway train! For example, your ears might hurt at around 120 decibels, and at 160 decibels—your eardrum could even burst! Here are the loudest animals on the planet!

Sperm Whale

blue whale on sea
Photo by Todd Cravens on Unsplash

In the deep ocean, the sperm whale is one of the loudest creatures around. They can produce clicks that are louder than 230 decibels! These massive whales use echolocation—kind of like their own special sonar—to navigate and find food in the pitch-black depths of the ocean. They make these incredibly loud clicks using special parts in their heads. This extraordinary ability helps them “see” the dark water and hunt their prey.

Blue Whale

flock of grey and black bird
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Did you know the blue whale, the biggest animal ever, also has a loud voice? Their call is so loud, reaching up to 188 decibels! That’s even louder than the noisy sound of a jet engine at 140 decibels. Blue whales make these deep sounds like pulses, groans, and moans, and they can travel really far—up to 1,000 miles away! 

Snapping Shrimp

Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp
Photo by William Warby on Pexels

In coral reefs and oyster reefs, you’ll find snapping shrimp, also called pistol shrimp. They catch their dinner by quickly snapping their big claw shut at about 62 mph (100 kph). This creates a huge air bubble that makes a loud snapping noise when it bursts. It’s so loud—reaching up to 200 decibels, that it can stun or even kill their prey! If you’re underwater, you might hear it as a crackling or popcorn-like sound. 

Howler Monkey

howler monkey, nature, ape
Photo by fotosforyou_rk on Pixabay

Howler monkeys got their name for a good reason—they’re really loud! These monkeys are the largest of all the New World monkeys and live in Central and South America. When many of them start hollering at sunrise or sunset, their calls can travel as far as three miles. Male howler monkeys have big throats and special vocal chambers that make them perfect for making sounds. Their howls have even been measured at 140 decibels! 


elephant walking during daytime
Photo by Nam Anh on Unsplash

Elephants are among the loudest creatures on Earth! They can trumpet loudly, and their calls can travel long distances across the savannah. These calls can be super low—going down to 14 hertz—and they can reach volumes as high as 117 decibels—that’s as loud as a big concert! Elephants use these powerful sounds to communicate with each other and to keep their group together.

Bulldog Bat

“Bulldog bat” by [ Leah ] is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

When bats go out hunting and find their way around, they make high-pitched calls and listen for the echoes. This helps them figure out where things are, but only for short distances. In a 2008 study, researchers found that some bats, like the lesser bulldog bat and the greater bulldog bat, could reach volumes of up to 137 decibels and maybe even 140 decibels! Bats also make lower-pitched calls to let their buddies know they’re nearby.


adult lion walking beside tree
Photo by Francesco on Unsplash

When the king of the jungle roars, it’s quite the show! In a 2011 study, scientists discovered something fascinating about these big cats: their vocal folds are unique, shaped like flat squares, unlike the ones we have. These special folds are stretchy and filled with fat, giving them the power to vibrate loudly. A lion’s roar can reach up to 114 decibels and can go on for as long as 90 seconds! 


“Kakapo Sirocco” by Department of Conservation is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Meet the world’s biggest parrot, also known as the loudest bird around! This special bird is in big trouble—it’s critically endangered, stays awake at night, and can’t fly. But despite all that, it’s got quite the voice! During mating season, the male kakapo lets out these loud booms. After about 20 to 30 of these booming sounds, it switches to a high-pitched metallic “ching” call. These booming noises can be as loud as 132 decibels. 


green and brown insect on brown wooden surface
Photo by Shannon Potter on Unsplash

Only the male cicadas sing, and they do it to find a female cicada. There are two types: the green grocer and the yellow monday. They’re loud, reaching over 120 decibels! You can hear them from as far as 2.4 kilometers away. Each type has its own song, so they don’t call the wrong kind of female. When they all sing together—it confuses birds, making it harder for them to catch cicadas. 

Coqui Frog

“A Coqui Frog!” by plizzba is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The coqui is a tiny tree frog named after the loud “ko-KEE” sound the males make. When a male coqui calls out, he’s warning others to stay away with the first part of his call. But the second part? That’s what attracts the females! In some places, there can be over 10,000 coquis per acre! Their calls can be as loud as 80 to 90 decibels—that’s like the noise from a lawnmower.