While social media apps like TikTok are home to a lot of, well, interesting things, one of the most wholesome corners of these sites holds unusually-sized animals.
A horse that measures eight feet tall recently went viral on TikTok as users marveled over the steed's size, earning almost 13 million views and 1.9 million likes in a matter of weeks. This gentle giant is now a staple on the rescue's TikTok page.
Meet Phantom, the eight-foot-tall horse.
Seven-year-old Phantom is a Shire breed who currently lives at Gentle Giants Draft Horse Rescue in Maryland. This giant horse was rehomed to the rescue after outgrowing his own home. Shire horses are known to be a large horse breed already, though they typically only measure around 17 hands, or 5 feet, 8 inches — Phantom, though, measures 20.1 hands from his hooves to his back, just under 7 feet tall. When you add in the height of his head, he's easily 8 feet tall.
“We can’t take Phantom anywhere without crowds coming over to stand next to him and get a picture of the giant horse,” Lauren Nation, director of development at Gentle Giants Draft Horse Rescue, told Newsflare. “Many people can’t believe there are horses as big as him.”
When anyone at the rescue wants to ride Phantom, they need a special ladder to mount him — but despite his size, the caretakers at Gentle Giants say he's still a "big baby."
“He has so much power, but with his laid-back personality, he prefers to take things slow and easy, which makes the ride even nicer,” Lauren said. “He is the definition of a gentle giant — goofy, loveable, wants all the attention. He comes to the fence line to greet guests and volunteers and is a pleasure to be around.”
While the rescue aims for its residents to find a forever home with new families, Gentle Giants will be keeping Phantom.
Is Phantom the tallest horse?
Phantom's size is impressive, making him one of the world's largest horses, though he is not the biggest horse recorded.
The tallest horse ever recorded by the Guinness Book of World Records was Big Jake. The Belgian Gelding had held the record for the world's tallest living horse since 2010, standing at almost 21 hands tall — making him only an inch taller than Phantom.
Unfortunately, Big Jake passed away in June 2021, with his owners at Smokey Hollow Farm announcing the news on Facebook.
"It is with a heavy heart we share the passing of Big Jake. Big Jake was much more than a world record holder. He was a central part of our family," the family said in the post. "We feel very privileged to have had him in our lives. He truly loved people and impacted many over the course of his lifetime. We will miss you!!"
Big Jake was 20 when he passed.
It's currently unclear if this means Phantom will soon hold the record, though Guinness has yet to announce a new winner.