Polar bears are known to be the largest land carnivore in the world.
It is quite rare to see polar bears as they reside within the Arctic circle and Arctic Ocean surrounding areas.
Therefore it is difficult to get a true sense of how big these animals actually are.
One of the best ways to understand the size of a polar bear is to compare it with something that we are familiar with, such as a human.
Here are some size comparisons between a polar bear and a human.
Polar bear vs human height
A fully grown adult polar bear will be around 1.3 meters or 4.26 feet tall at the shoulders.
When standing on its hind legs, a polar bear is between 1.8-2.4 meters or 5.9-7.8 feet tall. Some can even reach 3 meters or 9.8 feet tall.
The male polar bear is generally larger than a female.
Compared to a human, the polar bear is considerably taller when standing on hind legs.
If the polar bear is standing on all 4 legs, an adult human will generally be taller.
The average adult male stands 5 feet 9 inches tall.
Polar bear vs human length
Similar to height, a male polar bear is longer than a female.
On average, a polar bear is between 1.8-2.8 meters or 5.9-9.2 feet long.
The smallest female polar bear would be the same size as an adult male human if laying down side by side.
But most adult male polar bears will be longer than a human by around 3 feet.
Polar bear vs human weight
Not only is a polar bear considerably larger than a human, but they are also much heavier.
A fully grown adult male polar bear can weigh between 750-1300 pounds. Females are quite a bit lighter but can still weigh up to 650 pounds although 450-500 is most common.
Compared to a human, a female polar bear will be 2 to 3 times the weight of an adult human male. A male polar bear can weigh 5 to 7 times more than a human when fully grown.
Polar bear paw vs human hand
There is no arguing that a polar bear has huge paws that are much larger than a human hand.
The width of a polar bear paw can reach up to 12 inches in diameter. A human adult hand is around 4 inches in diameter meaning the polar bear paw is 3 times larger than the human hand.
Polar bears have a very large paw to body size ratio. Their paws need to be large to carry their weight and help them travel over deep snow and thin ice.
Polar bears also have huge claws that can range between 3.75-6 inches in length. Their claws are very sharp and thick which is very beneficial for hunting food.
What is the largest polar bear?
The largest polar bear on record was seen in 1960 and lived in Alaska. This bear was measured to stand over 11 feet tall and weigh over 2200 pounds. This is considerably larger than the standard size polar bear.
How big is a polar bear cub?
When a polar bear cub is born, it will be around 12 inches or 1 foot in length and weigh around 20 ounces or 1.25 pounds.
Polar bear cubs grow quite fast and can reach 100 pounds in the first 8 months.
The average human from birth to 8 months old will weigh around 20 pounds.
The polar bear will weigh 5 times more than a human at the same age of 8 months.
Can a human outrun a bear?
It is not possible for a human to outrun a bear if being chased. The only possibility would be over a longer distance as a human will have better endurance than the bear.
If both a human and a bear were sprinting shorter distances, the bear would win.
On average, a human can run around 6 miles per hour. Some people can run faster and some not as fast.
The fastest speed ever run by a human was 27.5 miles per hour by Usain Bolt in 2009.
The average bear can run up to 30-35 miles per hour with the polar bear reaching speeds of 25 miles per hour.
A bear can run up to 6 times faster than a human.
So unless you are Usain Bolt, you won’t have a chance of outrunning a bear.