Things That Are Way Smaller Than One Would Think



Size can expand from beyond minuscule to encompassing the whole universe and everything in between. What may be large to some organisms may seem small to others. For us, humans, small can be anything from the cells that we can’t see with our naked eye to the miniature versions of larger things that we create on our own.

According to the researchers in the Department of Psychology at the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, a person’s knowledge about the size of everyday objects affects how the brain processes and interacts with the visual environment. [1] For instance, you are aware that a stop sign is smaller than a car and that the moon is larger than your hand. But the appearance of object size depends on how near or far it is from you, which introduces an inconsistency between the actual and the perceived size. A stop sign at the intersection will appear bigger than a car at the end of the next block, and your palm will appear larger than the moon when outstretched.

With this, have you ever been astounded to learn the true size of something you thought was much larger or smaller than it actually is? For example, maybe you’ve seen a photo of a certain animal on the internet and were surprised to see that it is a lot smaller when you saw one in person. The human perception of size can be easily tilted, particularly when it comes to objects and organisms that are too small.

If you are curious to learn more about this, you’re in the right place. In this article, we are going to provide you with some of the best examples that we’ve found of things that are way smaller than one would think.

Animals That Are Way Smaller Than You Think

Animals That Are Way Smaller Than You Think

When we think of animals, most of us imagine large creatures like lions and elephants. But the animal kingdom is filled with many fascinating creatures that are much smaller than most of us might expect. They may be small in size but are no less impressive in their behaviors and adaptations. To learn more about this, below are some examples of animals that are way smaller than you think:

Animals That are Way Smaller Than You Think

Animals Compared To
Pygmy Marmoset – 5.1 inches Human Finger – 3 inches
Clover Mites – 1/30-inch long A Penny – 0.8-inch
Miniature Baby Horse – 15-22 inches tall / 2ft tall A 5-foot person
Baby Snails – 1/8 or 1/4-inch long Human Finger – 3 inches
Baby Mice – less than an inch A Quarter
Rusty-Spotted cat – 1 foot to 20 inches (1.6 foot) A maple tree leaf – 6-12 inches (0.5 to 1 foot)

Pygmy Marmoset Compared to a Finger

Pygmy Marmoset on a tree branch

The Pygmy Marmoset is the smallest monkey on the planet. It has an average size of 5.1 inches and weighs only 3.5 ounces. It can be found in the Amazon basin, and it survives in family groups made up of a male, a female, and their offspring. It has the ability to swivel its head 180 degrees, and it can leap as far as 16 feet. The digestive system of a Pygmy Marmoset is made for breaking down tree juice and other exudations. [2]

An average person’s index finger usually measures 3 inches long. This means that a Pygmy Marmoset is just about 2 inches bigger than a person’s index finger. Imagine how small that is for a monkey.

Clover Mites Compared to a Penny

a clover mite on the edge of a surface

Clover mites are very small, about 1/30-inch long. They are red or brown in color and have eight legs. They are not insects and are close relatives of spiders and ticks. They can be identified through their flattened, scale-like hairs on the top of their body and the long front pair of legs that extend forward, which usually give the appearance of an antenna. [3]

You will realize how small clover mites are if you compare them to a penny that is 0.8 inches in size. You will barely see them beside a penny. In fact, clover mites are as small as a period on a typed page.

Miniature Baby Horse Compared to a 5-Foot Person

a dog playing with a miniature baby horse

A miniature baby horse is also called a foal. Foals are born weighing around 12 to 25 pounds, depending on their size. They can stand between 15 to 22 inches tall at birth, which is only about 2 feet tall. They grow approximately 90% of their adult height by the time they are a year old. [4] You can see how small a miniature baby horse is when a 5-foot-tall person stands beside it, as it is not even half the person’s height.

Baby Snails Compared to a Finger

baby snails on a girl’s hand

Baby snails are soft-bodied creatures that are usually found in gardens. They are commonly white or pale in color and have large heads. Their eyes can be found on top of their head, and they have two pairs of tentacles. Baby snails often measure between 1/8 and ¼-inch in length. Their size allows them to fit on top of your finger. They are born without shells, and it takes a few weeks for them to grow their first shell, which is also soft and delicate. [5]

Baby Mice Compared to a Quarter

baby mice in a hand

A mouse is a small creature. With this, can you imagine how small baby mice are? Baby mice or mice pups are less than an inch in size or roughly the size of a quarter. They weigh only about as much as a sheet of paper. They are also sometimes called “pinkies” because of the color of their hairless bodies. [6]

Rusty-Spotted Cat Compared to a Leaf

a rusty-spotted cat in the wild

The Rusty-Spotted cat is known as the world’s smallest wild cat. It is like a smaller version of a leopard with rounded, small ears and short legs. Compared to a regular house cat, they are only half the size. Rusty-spotted cats weigh between 2 to 4 pounds or 0.9 to 1.8 kilograms when fully grown. Their bodies range from about a foot to 20 inches or 30 to 50 centimeters long. Their tails are another 6 inches to a foot long. [7]

The size of a Rusty-Spotted cat can be compared to a leaf. For instance, a maple tree has leaves that range from 6 to 12 inches. That means that there are Rusty-Spotted cats that are just as small as a maple leaf.   

Objects That Are Way Smaller Than You Think

Objects That Are Way Smaller Than You Think

In addition to small animals, there are also a lot of small objects out there that are surprisingly smaller in reality, especially when they are compared with other things. To learn more about these, below are some examples of objects that are way smaller than you think:

Objects That are Way Smaller Than You Think

Objects Compared To
The Titanic – 882 feet long, 92 feet wide, 175 feet high Symphony of the Seas – 1,184 feet long, 215 feet wide, 238 feet high
A School Bus – 35 feet high, 8 to 9 feet wide A Mining Dump Truck – 49 feet long, 22 feet high, and 29 feet wide
The Earth – 6,371km in (radius) Jupiter – 69,911 km (radius), 11 times wider than Earth
Mona Lisa painting – 30 inches by 21 inches / 2.5 feet tall A 5-foot tall person
The Fiat 500 car – les than 9 feet long and about 4.3 feet high midsize sedan – 14 feet long
Mini Cooper – 10 feet long

The Titanic Compared to a Modern Cruise Ship

a 3D illustration of the Titanic 

On April 2, 1912, when the Titanic was completed, it was the largest and probably the most luxurious ship in the world. It could hold more than 3,000 people, including crew members, and featured different amenities like a swimming pool and squash court. However, it sank after hitting an iceberg, which resulted in over 1,500 deaths.

It has been more than a hundred years since the demise of the Titanic. Since then, a lot of developments have been made to passenger ships. The Titanic is 882 feet in length, 92 feet in width, and 175 feet in height. It can accommodate 2,435 passengers and 892 crew. [8] That may sound big, right? But you will realize that the Titanic is small when you compare it to the modern cruise ships that we have today.

For instance, let us try to compare it to Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas, which was built in 2018. The ship measures 1,184 feet in length, 215 feet in width, and 238 feet in height. It can carry 6,680 passengers and 2,200 crew. [8] The Titanic will look really small when you put it beside this modern cruise ship.

A School Bus Compared to a Mining Dump Truck

a school bus on the road 

A normal school bus measures 35 feet high and around 8 to 9 feet wide. Most of them can accommodate 90 passengers. [9] If you imagine those measurements or if you often see one, you might think that it is big. Well, yes, a school bus is big as it is bigger than a normal car. However, it can be surprisingly small when it is compared to a mining dump truck.

A mining dump truck is usually around 49 feet long, 22 feet high, and 29 feet wide. [10] Imagine how small a school bus would look if it was beside a mining dump truck.

The Earth Compared to Jupiter

the Earth in space

From our point of view, the Earth is a big planet, as it can fit so many countries and people. However, when it is viewed from outer space, our planet is way smaller than we think, especially when compared to other planets. For instance, let us compare Earth to Jupiter. Earth has a radius of 6,371 km, while Jupiter has a radius of 69,911 km. According to NASA, Jupiter is 11 times wider than Earth. In fact, if the Earth were the size of a nickel, Jupiter would be as big as a basketball. [11]

The Mona Lisa Painting Compared to People

Mona Lisa painting

The Mona Lisa painting by Leonardo da Vinci is one of the most symbolic portraits in the history of art. While the painting has a massive influence on culture, did you know that the oil-on-wood painting is way smaller than most of us think? In reality, the Mona Lisa painting is just 30 inches by 21 inches and weighs only 18 pounds. [12] When you compare it to the people viewing it in the gallery, the painting is just about 2.5 feet tall. You might even have bigger paintings at home than the Mona Lisa.

The Fiat 500 Compared to Other Cars

a bride riding in a Fiat 500 car

In 1936, the Fiat 500 car was launched in Italy. It was a very small car with a length of fewer than 3 meters or less than 9 feet and a width and height of just a bit more than 1.3 meters or 4.3 feet. The car did not even weigh half a ton when empty, and it could fit two adults in front and two kids at the back. [13]

Let us try to compare the Fiat 500 to other cars. For instance, a midsize sedan is about 14 feet long, while a smaller car, like a Mini Cooper, is about 10 feet long. This means that when a Fiat 500 is placed beside a Mini Cooper, which is already a small car, it will look even smaller.


There are surely a lot of things in this world that are smaller than most of us might expect. From animals to everyday objects around us, the universe is full of surprises. There are objects that are big from our point of view but would become way smaller when compared to other bigger objects. Through understanding the scale of these small objects, we can gain a greater appreciation of the complexity and diversity of life, as well as the amazing advancements that humans have made.

Also, keep in mind that just because something is small, it does not mean it is insignificant. There are lots of small things in this world that have a huge impact on our lives. We hope this post helped you learn more about the things that are way smaller than one would think.


[1] GW Today, E. (2019, January 7). Large or small, the brain is not fooled: GW today: The George Washington University. GW Today. Retrieved March 28, 2023, from

[2] Bales, R. (2023, February 10). The 10 smallest monkeys in the world. AZ Animals. Retrieved March 28, 2023, from

[3] Oklahoma State University. (2021, April 21). Clover mite – Oklahoma State University. Clover Mite | Oklahoma State University. Retrieved March 28, 2023, from

[4] Scott Creek, E. (2022, January 18). Miniature Horse Facts & Information. Scott Creek Miniature Horse Farm. Retrieved March 28, 2023, from

[5] Rogers, M. R. (2022, August 4). What do baby snails look like? Classified Mom. Retrieved March 28, 2023, from

[6] EarthKind. (2023, February 23). How long do mice live? mouse lifespan explained. Earthkind. Retrieved March 28, 2023, from

[7] Konstantinovsky, M. (2019, June 20). 6 wild cats still found roaming the U.S. HowStuffWorks. Retrieved March 28, 2023, from

[8] Lu, M. (2021, April 15). Visualized: Comparing the Titanic to a modern cruise ship. Visual Capitalist. Retrieved March 28, 2023, from

[9] Track School Bus. (2020, October 14). What is the average size of a school bus? – trackschoolbus. School Bus Tracking System with TrackSchoolBus Apps. Retrieved March 28, 2023, from

[10] Powell, J. (2022, April 10). Top 5 world’s biggest mining dump trucks. iseekplant. Retrieved March 28, 2023, from

[11] NASA. (2022, October 17). In depth. NASA. Retrieved March 29, 2023, from

[12] Puchko, K. (2019, May 1). 14 things you didn’t know about the Mona Lisa. Mental Floss. Retrieved March 29, 2023, from

[13] Gaurilčikas, P. (2022, March 21). Fiat 500 – the small car that put all of Italy on Wheels. Dyler. Retrieved March 29, 2023, from


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