Have you ever thought about the most dangerous animals in the world? The first answer for most people might be a lion, since it’s the king of the jungle. But, alas, the animal kingdom has so much more in store, and you can find lots of other animals that may cause you severe harm. In fact, some of the animals on this list may not seem obvious candidates … which makes them even more unsafe! When it comes to dangerous variety, it is not only about the size and strength of a creature, as even the smallest animals can cause the worst attacks.
Here are the top 20 most dangerous to look out for:
An inhabitant of marine waters, pufferfish also dwell in tropical freshwater regions. Pufferfish may not seem deadly because of their small size, but they are quite poisonous. The toxin they produce causes paralysis of the muscles needed for breathing, and so exposure can lead to rapid death.
In fact, some researchers believe that pufferfish poison is far stronger than cyanide. Although the pufferfish is used as food in some places like Japan, special care must be taken when preparing it, as improper preparation will lead to fatalities.
2.) Black Mamba Snake
Snakes have plagued humans from the beginning of time. You can Google and find lots of different species of snakes, with an estimated 3,000 known types in the world. However, fewer than 15% of them are poisonous.
Black mambas, however, are known to be the most venomous snake in the world. A common misconception is that black mambas are black. They are, in fact, brown but get their name from the color that lines their inside of their mouth.
Predominantly found in the tropical regions of Africa, black mambas only attack humans when threatened and usually try to evade humans. With a length of 9 to 14 feet, black mambas are also considered to be the fastest snakes in the world. Their venom contains both neurotoxins and cardiotoxins, which kill victims within a matter of minutes.
3.) Tsetse Fly
An inhabitant of tropical Africa, the tsetse fly is a vector of trypanosomes, which cause sleeping sickness in humans. These blood-sucking flies are small, measuring less than 1 inch in length. Once a tsetse fly bites you, symptoms can appear within a few days and can include fever, headaches, joint pain, muscle aches and kidney failure.
Tsetse flies cause more than 100,000 deaths annually. Neurological problems such as paralysis are responsible for death in most cases. However, in recent years, there has been a decline in both the number of cases of sleeping sickness and deaths caused by tsetse flies.
Mosquitoes are known to transmit several diseases to humans, causing 216 million cases of malaria in 2016. Mosquitoes are not only carriers of diseases but can also be a basic nuisance, because they cause irritating, itchy bites and constantly buzz and make it difficult to sleep. Examples of mosquito-borne diseases include malaria, yellow fever, encephalitis and dengue fever.
Even though several efforts to decrease the spread of mosquitoes have been put in place, they have not been effective. However, using mosquito repellent and protective clothing can help to decrease the number of mosquito bites and the spread of disease.
Additionally, mosquitoes that spread the Zika virus are dangerous because they cause congenital malformation in newborns. The 2017 Zika virus that affected most countries in the world, especially in South America, led to more than 2,900 cases of microcephaly.
5.) Box Jellyfish
With a venom containing both neurotoxins and cardiotoxins, it’s no surprise why box jellyfish are one of the most dangerous animals in the world. These invertebrates can grow up to 10 ft long and usually weigh between 2 to 4 pounds. When the venom is injected into a victim, it can cause intense pain that may last for a few weeks.
Box jellyfish live in the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic oceans, the Mediterranean sea, and coastal areas near the northern part of Australia. Vinegar can be used to remove the venom and prevent further release of venom from stingers.
6.) Poison Dart Frog
With a size comparable to a paper clip, it’s hard to imagine that this small amphibian is capable of killing humans. Mostly found in the tropical forests of Brazil, these frogs boast a rainbow of beautiful colors including yellow, blue, red, black, gold and green.
Some species may have stripes and more than one color. Even though these colors may attract other animals to them, they are actually designed to ward off other animals as a warning sign. Also, because the frog’s poison is located on the skin, touching this frog is very dangerous.
The poison produced by these frogs causes paralysis and if treatment is not provided, it can lead to the death. The most dangerous frog from this species is the golden poison dart frog, which contains a poison that can kill 10 men. Just think about that!
7.) Cone Snail
Measuring from 4 to 6 inches long, cone snails produce a toxic venom that can cause paralysis within a few seconds. Cone snails have a brown-and-white shell that is designed to protect them from other predators.
Among the 500 species of cone snails that are known, the geography cone is the deadliest. The toxin, which is released by a tooth-like projection, has no antivenin, which makes things worse for victims.
Lions are vicious predators that usually monitor their preybefore finally deciding to attack. Even though lions do not usually attack humans, there have been enough incidents to inspire fear – or at very least respect – in the heart of most people. Their sheer size, strength and speed make this predator very deadly.
African lions can weigh up to 660 pounds, and with massive paws, big canine teeth and amazing agility, to boot, it’s obvious why many people consider lions to be the most dangerous animals in the world.
Many people do not survive close encounters with lions due to massive hemorrhaging caused by the fierce feline puncturing the neck vessels. Lions usually live in groups and hunt together. They have a very intimidating roar that’s enough to strike fear into their prey.
Although we’re not their main target, lions have been known over the years for attacking humans. This is especially true for male lions. However, it’s not only lions in the wild that can attack humans, but also ones living in captivity. Most cases of human attacks are by injured orhungry lions that haven’t been able to find food.
9.) Cape Buffalo
Nicknamed Black Death, the cape buffalo is very defensive when it feels threatened. Cape buffaloes also become aggressive when wounded or one of the members of the herd – in most cases the calf – is under attack. These herbivores live in the savanna region and usually stay close to a water source, since they require more than 40 liters of water every day.
The greatest asset of cape buffaloes is their size and horns. Male cape buffaloes weigh more than 1,300 pounds, with females exceeding 1,100 pounds. That’s massive! Buffaloes usually defend themselves when attacked by other predators, making them very difficult prey to hunt. Their horns, which are curved upwards, measure up to 3 ft in length and are the main instrument of death in attacks. Aside from its massive size and large horns, a cape buffalo is also fast and can run at speeds of 35 mph.
Scorpions have been around for a long time and are known to survive in harsh conditions. Although scorpions are usually found in desert areas, they also live in forests and in the mountains such as the Himalayas. Not all scorpions have poison.
However, the yellow Israeli scorpion contains many toxins in its venom, which, when injected causes victims to experience pain like an electric shock. The poison produced by scorpions is not as strong as that produced by the box jellyfish. However, do not let this fool you, as getting stung by a scorpion can still lead to death.
11.) Blue Ringed Octopus
About the size of a golf ball, don’t let its small stature fool you, this dangerous animal holds enough venom to kill 26 full grown adults and as you may have guessed, there is no antidote. Assuming that your friend ever gets bitten you had better know CPR because you can be sure that within minutes they will be completely paralyzed and unable to breathe.
Mother nature, however, shows no mercy and they will maintain their consciousness for the next few hours until the venom is neutralized by their body. This is of course assuming that you, or someone at the hospital, continues artificial respiration.
12.) Saltwater Crocodile
Of all the species in the world, the largest—and most dangerous—is the saltwater crocodile, which inhabits the Indo-Pacific region ranging from parts of India and Vietnam all the way to northern Australia.
These ferocious killers can grow up to 23 feet in length and weigh more than a ton, and are known to kill hundreds each year, with crocodiles as a whole responsible for more human fatalities annually than sharks.
13.) Brazilian Wandering Spider
Meet the most venomous spider in the world, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. What makes this critter so dangerous though is also how it got its name – a tendency to wander.
They are often found hiding in houses and cars of densely populated areas, especially during daytime. Not a good combination.
14.) Freshwater Snail
The freshwater snail carries parasitic worms that infect people with a disease called schistosomiasis that can cause intense abdominal pain and blood in the stool or urine, depending on the area that’s affected.
Millions of people contract the infection, and the WHO estimates that anywhere between 20,000 and 200,000 deaths can be attributed to schistosomiasis.
15.) Grizzly Bears
Bears have a ferocious reputation, but grizzlies (along with their relations, polar bears) are the most aggressive. They can be found across Asia, Scandinavia, and North America, although in Canada and the US, their numbers have declined. Larger than the more common black bear, grizzlies have a powerful bite that some say is strong enough to crush a bowling bowl.
Most bears will still run away, or stage mock charges if they feel threatened, but if you are unlucky enough to encounter an aggressive grizzly, you should fight back, don’t play dead or act passive.
The largest land animal in the world, elephants are capable of dishing out some serious damage, if riled or threatened. Even normally friendly elephants can have an unpredictable side to them, which can sometimes be deadly. Reports of friendly elephants suddenly turning on and attacking their keepers after years of peaceful coexistence are occasionally heard.
Elephants are so huge and heavy that just their legs or trunks alone can crush a person, never mind their bulky bodies, so even a short temper tantrum can be deadly. Wild herds can also accidentally trample people when they are passing through villages.
17.) Africanized Honey Bee
Much more aggressive than their European counterparts, these genetically mixed “killer bees” have since then spread throughout the Americas.
They have come to be feared in some regions because of their tendency to swarm relentlessly and aggressively chase their victims for miles.
Lying camouflaged on the ocean floor, this ugly little mass of destruction calmly waits for other fish to swim by before opening its jaws with lightning speed and consuming its prey…all in less than .015 seconds.
Also known as the “world’s most venomous fish”, stepping on its spines will at best cost you your leg and at worst, your life.
The venom of the boomslang is primarily a hemotoxin; it disables the coagulation process and the victim may die as a result of internal and external bleeding. The venom has been observed to cause hemorrhage into tissues such as muscle and brain.
Other signs and symptoms include headache, nausea, sleepiness, and mental disorders. Because boomslang venom is slow-acting, symptoms may not become apparent until many hours after the bite.
20.) Komodo Dragons
Komodo dragons can be very dangerous due to their lethal venom. There is a common myth that komodo dragons bring down prey with bacteria infested saliva. It was recently confirmed that they are indeed venomous.
Not only is the Komodo dragon the largest lizard, it is also the largest venomous lizard! They can bring down large prey, such as deer, just by getting one bite in. All they have to do after that is sit around and wait for it to die.
In truth, most of these animals are only dangerous to humans when provoked. However, some of them, like mosquitoes, attack humans as a way of surviving and ensuring reproduction. Therefore, taking special measures to prevent attacks or deadly consequence of attacks from these animals can save your life.
Overall, don’t wait for close contact with these creatures but avoid them, because you might not have time to escape once an attack begins. After all, they say prevention is better than a cure!
Did we leave a deadly animal off the list? Have you had a close encounter with one of these beasts? Tell us below in the comments!