I'm currently trying to work out how a newly discovered species would work anatomically. It is extremely tall (10 to 15 meters) and has humanoid shape (head with eyes, arms, legs), but it is not a mammal or any "regular" type of land animal, and procreates by splitting. I was thinking of giving it some sort of cartillage endoskeleton, but I cannot work it out anatomically. It's not supposed to be an alien species - these creatures lived in huge caves under the Earth's surface and, if possible, I'd like for their anatomy to conform to real life animals of some sort, at least to an extent.

edit: I've seen the replies and it was very helpful to see which kinds of asexual reproduction would be possible. These creatures would reproduce by "budding" (dropping off a piece of them such as a limb and a new specimen would grow from it to its full size)

  • $\begingroup$ Hey there! Thanks for joining the Worldbuilding stack! This question sounds a bit vague. What you're asking about might have been answered in a previous question. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 22, 2022 at 18:53
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ My knee-jerk reaction (until I read the question again) was to think this was a duplicate of [1], [2], or [3]. But it's not. You're designing a new creature. Therefore, I've made a change to your title and added the creature-design tag. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Commented Nov 22, 2022 at 20:22
  • $\begingroup$ BTW, when you get a chance, please take our tour and read the following two Help Center pages (help center and help center) to understand the pros and cons of our Stack. Thanks! $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Commented Nov 22, 2022 at 20:24
  • $\begingroup$ Could you elaborate on 'splitting'? Some real-life organisms can induce pregnancy asexually (parthenogenesis), some release a small portion of their mass (budding), and in some a smaller organism grows directly on the larger one before separating. Is any method of asexual reproduction okay, or are we only talking about one fully-grown organism separating into two equal pieces (this is generally called fission). $\endgroup$
    – X Y
    Commented Nov 22, 2022 at 20:39

3 Answers 3


Genesis 6.4: "There were giants in the Earth in those days". And maybe that will be literally true in your story.

I can't help with the reproduction part, but I have thought of a way for 10 or 15 meter (33 to 49 foot) tall giants to be able to live on the planet Earth with a surface gravity of 1 g.

There was a circus male Asian elephant about a century ago who could walk on his hind legs for hundreds of feet, often with a woman standing on his tusks.

Wild African elephants have been observed and photographed standing on their hind legs and reaching up with their trunks for fruit and branches of trees.

So a large modern elephant could stand with the top of their head possibly about 6 meters or 20 feet above the ground, and able to reach their trunk about a couple more meters high.

Some prehistoric proboscideans were significantly larger than modern elephants. If they also could rear up on their hind legs they could have reached higher with their trunks, possibly higher than 10 meters or 33 feet but lower than 15 meters or 49 feet.

Giraffes are also quite tall even when standing on all four feet.

Fully grown giraffes stand 4.3–5.7 m (14.1–18.7 ft) tall, with males taller than females.[46] The average weight is 1,192 kg (2,628 lb) for an adult male and 828 kg (1,825 lb) for an adult female.[47]

A big giraffe standing on its hind legs should be able to reach well over 6 meters or 20 feet high. But I don't know if giraffes ever stand on their hind legs.

So a creature shaped like a bipedal elephant or a bipedal giraffe which was large enough might possibly be able to reach 10 meters or 33 feet tall. And that is about the limit in height on the planet Earth with a surface gravity of 1 g.

But there are Earth animals which are sometimes much taller than that, depending on their posture at the moment.

You can find many images on the internet of pods of sperm whales sleeping in an upright posture. Those pods consist of young whales and adult females, who rarely grow over 12 meters or 39 feet long. Males grow much larger.

I assume that large whales of several different species might be vertical while diving or returning to the surface and reach vertical heights of much more than forty or fifty feet when in that posture.

In Earth's surface gravity, animals can be reach or exceed 10 to 15 meters or 33 to 49 feet in vertical dimensions if they are partially or totally immersed in water or some other dense and common fluid.

I'll stick with water and let you try to immagine other flulds they might float in and what stories that might inspire.

You write:

Its not supposed to be an alien species, these creatures lived in huge caves under the earths surface.

Make those caves partially filled with water. The creatures could be descended from land dwelling bipeds or semi bipeds who evovled to live in the waters of those caverns.

They might normally float or tread water upright using their presumably webbed feet. And if they are related to humans closely enough, one of them might have been the father of Merovech.

And possibly they have evolved tall legs, bodies, and arms, so they can float in the water with their upper bodies in the air and reach up to the roofs of the caverns to pick objects - animal, vegetable, or mineral - from those roofs for some reason. Possibly biolumenescent organisms which they pluck so they can see when they dive deep for food or something lower in the waters of the caverns.

Humans who meet those giants in the caverns will have to carry their own lights, or rely on those hypothetical bioluminsecent organisms anyway.

  • $\begingroup$ thank you so much! This is extremely helpful :) $\endgroup$
    – babie389
    Commented Nov 27, 2022 at 15:21

Hollow with a Big Tail

The closest animal I can think of is everyone's favourite dinosaur:

enter image description here

Sue was about 13 metres big. But she was long rather than tall.

enter image description here

She got away with being this big because she was an overgrown chicken. Hollow bones, giant voids in her skull,

enter image description here

and a big meaty tail to counterbalance.

Something being 10-15 metres TALL sounds unlikely. The closest thing I know is the Megatherium. This giant ground sloth could reach 4 metres if he reared up.

enter image description here

Though we suspect she walked on all fours most of the time.

Oh! And don't forget the big ape Gigantopantoculous!

enter image description here

Though the height is only an educated guess since we only have teeth and jaw fossils.

The reason you cannot easily scale up the human body is the cube-square law. For more detail see this question

Added Later

enter image description here

Since your giants live underground. . .

. . . these creatures lived in huge caves under the earths surface. . .

. . . maybe they live thousands of miles underground inside a hollow Earth. The Shell theorem says this leads to lower gravity. For example if the chambers are half way to the centre then gravity is only one quarter the strength. This should let you have Megatheriums about $\sqrt[3]{4} \simeq 1.6$ times taller. So 6.5 metres instead of just 4.

Of course a hollow Earth raises its own problems.

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    $\begingroup$ Of course a really big elephant rearing up on their hind legs could almost reach 10 to 15 meters high with their trunk and and giraffes get to to be about 5 or 6 meters tall. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 22, 2022 at 22:07
  • $\begingroup$ @M.A.Golding Right you are! Another option is a beagle with a very long bamboo pole gaffer taped to it. $\endgroup$
    – Daron
    Commented Nov 23, 2022 at 10:32

Working backwards...

The weirdest thing about this creature is that it reproduces by "splitting".


Fission, in biology, is the division of a single entity into two or more parts and the regeneration of those parts to separate entities resembling the original.

That is not a vertebrate thing to do. Are there multicellular creatures that reproduce that way?

Clonal fragmentation
Fragmentation in multicellular or colonial organisms is a form of asexual reproduction or cloning, where an organism is split into fragments. Each of these fragments develop into mature, fully grown individuals that are clones of the original organism. In echinoderms, this method of reproduction is usually known as fissiparity

Echinoderms! Those are fine multicellular creatures. They can reproduce by splitting. And I could imagine an echinoderm having "arms", "legs" and a "head":

brittle star


Your deep earth humanoids are echinoderms which have colonized this environment and evolved into your giants.


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