Much Like Humans, Cute Can Be Deadly: 5 Animals You Won’t Believe Are Venomous

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The natural world is full of breathtaking splendor and beauty, fascinating wonder and mystery, and inspiring majesty and sweep. From bleak, towering mountain ranges to the gentle moss-lined valleys, to the delicate wings of a butterfly to the glory of a seaside sunset, there is so much in nature that can make at ease the pensive mind and soften the hardest heart.
And then of course there are things in nature that are so filled with pants-pissing horror and eye-bleeding terror that one wonders why they were ever born into such a mess of a place. From the gaping craw of a Mako shark to the bird eating spider to the deadly searing heat of a lightning strike, the world can kill your candy ass a dozen times before you hit the ground. One of the most efficient ways nature has developed for killing things off is, of course, poison. And while we can forgive poison in certain animals, like Brown Recluse spiders or King Cobras, because at least we know about it, there are other members of the Animalia Kingdom out there that are like the Secret Agents of natural poison. Today, we blow the cover off five of them.
(Yes, the words “poison” and “venom” are used synonymously in this piece and yes, that is technically incorrect, but we’re going to plead the “No one actually cares” argument on this one.)

5 Never Heard of the Solenodon?

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Well, don’t lose much sleep. This second mammal on our list lives only in Cuba and Hispaniola (that’s Haiti and the Dominican Republic, if you were wondering) and mostly eats insects. But it eats them with an iron fist! The solenodon produces a venom which flows through hollow teeth on the bottom of its jaw, quickly dispatching any grubs or earthworms it digs up. Threat to you and me? Well, it’s down at the #5 slot, isn’t it?

4 The Centipede

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The centipede is on here because, while their venom is usually not fatal to a human, it can cause horrible pain, and also because centipedes are horrifying poly-pedal death monsters of doom. They are gross with a capital everything. Like this: GROSS. Sorry, entymologists, but any animal with specially evolved fang/claws to grip its victim in place while it pumps it full o’ poison? I’m not a fan. And yes, while there are thousands of species of centipedes and not all of them are even poisonous, I don’t care: all gross.

3 The Port Jackson Shark

The Port Jackson shark is not only a shark, it’s a poisonous shark! Or rather a venomous shark. But as its venom is contained in spines along its fins that are usually so blunt by the time it is mature that they can do no harm, you don’t need to worry about it too much. Except for the simple fact that it is both a shark, and a poison shark, which may worry one a bit.

2 The Jack Jumper Ant

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The Jack jumper ant is one of the proportionally largest jerks in the world. That’s because while this Australian ant may be, well, ant-sized, they annually kill more people on the Australian island of Tanzania than spiders, snakes, wasps, and sharks combined. Jesus! The Jack jumper ant’s venom is sufficient enough to quickly kill most anything it bites that is small of stature, such as wasps or rodents, and if enough of them bite a person, that person will immediately hate life, and may even be discharged from it by their combined venom.

1 The Duckbilled Platypus

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Yep, we’re talking about that little weirdo with the mouth like a duck and the tail like a beaver. Who knows what the hell else evolution was up to, clearly while skipping its meds, but this here is a venomous mammal. And a marsupial, to boot, which just adds to the confusion. The males of the species have a little claw-like spur thingy behind each of their rear feet, and from one of these can come a little stabbing pain that rapidly becomes goddamn excruciating and could last for weeks in a human victim.

Just when you thought it was safe to grab a platypus by the back feet or to challenge a colony of Jack jumper ants to a biting contest, you realized that no, nature throws the trump card again and fills all sorts of wacky critters with venom. Well played, you bastard evolution.

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