So, no matter how big of an animal lover you are, there is one thing you must never forget. Remember; not all mammals are cute, not all butterflies are harmless and not all reptiles are innocent.
Poison Dart Frogs
Living in the tropical, humid regions of South and Central America, these poisonous frogs can kill 10 people with their poison. They get their poison from their diet of ants, termites, and mites. Small, but deadly, these frogs can be as small as 1.5 cm in adult length and weigh on average a slight 1 oz.
Why are they called Poison Dart frogs? Indigenous tribes used their poison to make poisonous arrows when hunting for food. While their bright colors are stunning, they are a sign of the toxicity of the species and a way to warn potential predators to stay away.
These animals will eat anything in sight that has meat on it. They don’t usually kill humans, but this is probably because they live far out of reach. These mammals live within the Arctic Circle and spend many months of the year on sea ice, hunting seals.
They may seem cute on TV, but don’t let their looks fool you; these creatures will tear you apart. They weigh around 350-700 kg and can cover many miles on foot and run on land thanks to their large limbs and feet.
Mata Mata Turtle
The Mata Mata turtle is often referred to as the weirdest turtle on earth. These turtles are quite big and can reach up to two feet in length.
When a small sea creature gets close enough to the Mata Mata turtle, it simply opens its mouth, sucks it in, and bites down on it quickly, ensuring a fantastic meal. Don't think it won't do the same to you if you get too close.
The wet areas of the Amazon are home to one of the largest non-venomous snakes, the green anaconda. It is the world’s heaviest and one of the longest snakes, growing up to 5.21 m. It is characterized by its olive green shade, with black spots along the length of its body and a distinguishing yellow stripe on one side.
These spooky critters can see what lurks outside of the water while staying almost entirely submerged, allowing them to wait sneakily for their next meal. They live in swamps, marshes, and slow-moving streams, mainly in tropical rainforests. They kill by constricting their prey and swallowing it whole. While you wouldn’t be their first choice of dinner, it’s recommended you steer clear.
Mediterranean Black Widow
Just by looking at it, you can tell that this spider is ten times more dangerous than the original Black Widow. This arachnid, with its crazy design and large venom glands, is much deadlier than the original Black Widow. You do not want to be by this tiny but very deadly arachnid, especially the female spiders, as their unusually large venom glands are extremely harmful, specifically to humans. You can distinguish the female from its male counterpart by its dark brown or glossy black color with a red/orange hourglass shape on its bellies.
And don’t let its name fool you into feeling sorry for it. Their names come from the practice of females eating males after mating. Males usually select their female partners by sensing chemicals in the web that tell them whether the female has eaten already.
The dangerous relative of the centipede, humans luckily don’t have to worry much about this animal. They pose more of a danger to ants and other larger predators by burning through their external skeleton and irritating the predator’s skin and eyes. They do this by excreting poisonous liquid or cyanide gas through their pores.
They are found in all continents except for Antarctica, even in such areas as the Arctic Circle. They usually live in leaf litter, dead wood, or soil and have a preference for humid temperatures. In various cultures, millipedes are associated with special powers — they are used to treat certain illnesses and in business rituals. While they aren’t dangerous to humans, native people in Malaysia do use millipede secretions in poison-tipped arrows… so be aware.
Any animal with the word bullet in its name is something you should worry about. This animal’s bite has been compared to a bullet wound and it will make your skin throb, hence the obvious name. Their painful bite will mercilessly leave you pulsating and burning for as long as 24 hours.
They are found in human lowland rainforests in Central America. These ants can measure up to an inch and have sticky feet to allow them to climb anything. Just make sure it doesn’t climb up your leg.
This is surely not the octopus you want to see on your dinner plate. It may be the size of a golf ball, but its venom is so poisonous it has the power to kill 26 adults, with no antivenom available anywhere. Within minutes, this creature will leave you unconscious and paralyzed.
They can be found in coral reefs and tide pools in the Pacific and Indian oceans. They are identified by their yellowish skin and blue and black rings that change color when the animal is threatened. They usually live for two years, varying slightly due to nutrition, temperature, and the amount of light available to their habitat.
A spider wasp that feeds off of tarantulas, the Tarantula Hawk causes dozens of deaths to humans every year. They are one of the largest wasps, growing up to 2 inches long. Their stinger carries a toxin that paralyzes their prey before dragging it (alive) to a nest of eggs and placing a single egg on the prey, which hatches to a larva that eats the living prey.
They can be classified by their vivid coloration of blue-black bodies and bright-colored wings. These colors warn potential predators of their danger. Consider yourself warned… this is not the kind of animal you want to get close to.
Africanized Honey Bee (Killer Bees)
These super-aggressive killer bees are known to chase their victims for miles, being much more defensive than other species of bees. They spread throughout the Americas after a Brazilian beekeeper in 1957 was trying to interbreed European and African honey bees and accidentally let some of them loose.
It’s safe to say that these critters are a lot deadlier than their European relatives, and are able to sting victims ten more times. These bees are responsible for the death of around 1,000 humans, horses, and other unfortunate animals.
Indian Red Scorpion
The deadliest and most lethal of the scorpions, don’t be fooled by the Indian Red Scorpion’s small size. Its venom affects the cardiovascular and pulmonary systems and has a fatality rate of 8-40%. It is especially lethal to children.
It is found in densely populated regions of India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. When traveling around there, be sure to check your boots before putting them on your feet because these critters oftentimes find their way into shoes.
Ascaris (Lumbricoides) Roundworms
Common in sub-Saharan Africa and tropical climates, these worms infest your body after you drink water that's been contaminated with human feces.
They can cause a serious infection. In fact, they affect around one-sixth of the human population and are widespread mostly in tropical and subtropical climates. There’s a reason you should always drink bottled water in areas with poor sanitation!
The duck-billed platypus has deadly venom, which makes it one of only a few mammals on earth of that kind. Both males and females have ankle spurs, only the males seasonally produce the deadly substance from their hind limbs. You might mistake it for an animal you could keep on a farm, its venom can actually kill other animals and cause pain to its victims.
While the venom isn’t deadly for humans, the agonizing pain paralyzes its victims. Despite posing a danger to humans and animals alike, it is an iconic symbol of Australia and has appeared as a mascot at several events, as well as been featured on the Australian twenty-cent coin.
Red Bellied Piranha
Though pretty small, a school of these fish can feast on larger animals like no one's business. They swim in the rivers of the Amazon rainforest and enjoy utilizing their strong jaws and sharp teeth.
They eat other fish, insects, and pretty much anything that was unfortunate enough to fall into the water they swim in. Plentiful in their freshwater habitat, these ferocious fighters will perish in saltwater.
These little monsters are one of only two poisonous lizards in the world. They kill their prey with the venomous saliva they produce while chewing. They live in the Southwest of the US and in Mexico and are the only venomous lizards native to the U.S. They are heavy and slow-moving and may reach a length of 2 feet.
They live in brush areas, lush deserts, and oak woodland, and find shelter in locations where moisture is within reach. It used to be believed that the Gila monster had toxic breath and that its bite was deadly, however, it is known now that it isn’t fatal to healthy adults.
This is the smallest jellyfish in the world but also one of the most dangerous. Their sting is 100 times stronger than a cobra and may cause the Irukandji syndrome, which involves nausea, muscle cramps, excruciating back and kidney pains, a burning sensation of the skin and face, headaches, vomiting, and a feeling of impending doom. While most jellyfish have stingers only on their tentacles, the Irukandji also has stingers on its stomach.
They live in the waters of northern Australia. Oftentimes, jellyfish nets which are meant to protect beaches, don’t catch these small jellyfish due to their size of less than a cubic centimeter. They are tiny, translucent, and difficult to spot while in the water, hence why it is also referred to as an invisible danger.
This deadly fish is a delicacy in Japan. It’s advisable not to prepare it at home, as it can stop your breathing and paralyze your diaphragm if prepared incorrectly. Poisoning usually occurs from consuming one of two dishes: puffer soup or raw puffer meat.
The former can cause death while the latter, intoxication, dizziness, and numbness of the lips. People who make it past 24 hours tend to survive, although it is often after a coma which may persist for several days.
These fierce animals are quite aggressive. While they aren’t the biggest of animals, with males weighing around 130 Ibs and females around 77 to 88 lbs, they exhibit great strength and are able to hide large kills in trees, like giraffes and antelopes.
Their coat color ranges from pale yellow to deep gold or black, with a pattern of black rosettes, while their head, lower limbs, and belly are solid black. The color alternates depending on different locations and habitats.
These creatures aren’t necessarily deadly but they can destroy your property by eating wood for their queen. They feed mostly on dead plant material and cellulose, in the form of wood, leaf litter, soil, or animal dung. They can kill trees through this process, which sometimes may cause death to those nearby.
While they can be very invasive, they are actually some of the most successful groups of insects on Earth and are found in most places around the world, except Antarctica. Their colonies range from a few hundred members to millions. Queen termites have an exceptionally long lifespan, with some of them living 30 to 50 years.
Great White Shark
These massive sharks are found around the coastal surface waters of all major oceans. They stand behind the largest number of reported and fatal unwarranted shark attacks on humans. Large adult females can grow up to 20 feet in length and weigh 4,200 Ibs.
While these massive predators aren’t a fan of human meat (we’re much too bony) that won’t deter them from sampling you. Their bite can sometimes lead you to bleed to death. They aren’t good at telling the difference between what's food and what's not, and sometimes take bites of boats and surfboards. These sharks can live up to 70 years or more. However, even they have a natural predator, the orca or killer whale.
These wolves have killed more than 7,000 people. Not as friendly as dogs, their bite can be deadly.
They are native to Europe and depend on livestock and garbage as their food source, generally in areas that are highly populated by humans.
These bugs may seem small and harmless but don't let that misleading exterior fool you. They will hurt you and they won't mind one bit. These flies infest and lay eggs inside of humans’ bodies.
The eggs can live and feed off of you for months, sometimes causing infections and death. That doesn't mean you should panic over every fly you come across. Since these guys are common in Belize, if you aren't planning on traveling there, you should be fine.
The number one cause of death by animals throughout Africa, this buffalo is very unpredictable. There’s a reason behind its nicknames, “Widowmaker” and “black death.” They are responsible for the deaths of over 200 people every year. While they are a threat to humans living in regions where they are present, humans, in turn, are a bigger threat to these buffalo.
The Cape buffalo is a member of the big-five game family, due to the danger involved in hunting it. Wounded animals are known to lie in wait for hunters and attack them. Hunters may pay over $10,000 to hunt one. The animals are mostly sought out for their trophy value, while some are hunted for meat.
A truly stunning animal, it has caused the death of many humans throughout history, and for that reason, it has earned the nickname “man-eater.” Its teeth are particularly large, measuring 3 to 3.9 inches — the biggest among all cats.
Despite being the king of the jungle, it has become an endangered animal due to poaching and the loss of habitat in the Indian subcontinent.
Sydney Funnel Web Spider
This spider’s bite is powerful and deadly, it can cause excruciating pain and other symptoms like sweating, tingling, and muscle spasms. The symptoms usually appear in less than one hour. If not immediately treated, symptoms can result in death. Of cases involving severe poisoning, 42% are children.
The spider is native to eastern Australia and is mostly found within a 62-mile radius of Sydney. Its size ranges from 4 to 2 inches and can be identified by its shiny and dark color, usually blue-black, black, brown, or dark-plum.
Southern Flannel Moth
An almost exact replica of Donald Trump’s hair, this winged caterpillar lays eggs that hatch into dangerous larvae. The larva’s sting can be agonizing. The caterpillar is found on oak, elm, wild plum, and many garden plants, like roses and ivy.
Its venomous spines make this a dangerous insect that can sometimes cause death. Symptoms may involve burning, swelling, nausea, headache, chest pain, and difficulty breathing.
Castor Bean Tick
Tiny but deadly, this tick feeds off of its host while sending a deadly bacteria that can be very dangerous to its host.
It is found across Europe and in some parts of North Africa and the Middle East, mostly in woodlands and forests. It is more common in humid areas.
Eastern Brown Snake
Measuring over one meter in length, these snakes are the number one cause of death by snakebite in Australia, accounting for 60% of snake-bite deaths in the country. They are found in most areas, except for dense forests.
They have become very prevalent in farmland and on the outskirts of urban areas, due to agriculture and in turn, mice. Don’t get close, since it's a very fast snake and it does not shy when it comes to approaching humans.
This is known as the world’s most poisonous fish. It lays camouflaged on the bottom of the ocean floor, patiently awaiting its prey. It has venomous neurotoxins, which it emits from the glands at the base of its dorsal fin spines when it is disturbed or threatened. It consumes its victim in a whopping 0.015 seconds by opening its jaws very fast. Not easily seen due to their similarity in appearance to rocks or coral, they can also survive outside of the water for up to 24 hours.
They are found in the coastal regions of the Indo-Pacific and some species live in rivers. While these fish are very poisonous and often deadly, they can be eaten when prepared properly.
The third-largest member of the cat family, this isn’t the cat you want cozying up on your sofa. While they are an endangered species, they are also very dangerous, with the strongest bite among other types of cats. They are also much larger than leopards.
They are solitary animals who stalk and ambush their prey. They are found across the Southwestern United States, Mexico, much of Central America, and areas of South America. They live mostly in tropical and subtropical climates, made up of moist broad-leaf forests, swamps, and wooded areas.
Portuguese Man o’War
Similar to the Jellyfish, this is a type of Physalia found in the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans. Although similar in looks to a shell, don’t touch it. It has long tentacles that give a powerful and venomous sting, capable of killing or paralyzing fish, or in rare instances, humans. They are identified by their gas-filled bladders, which sit at the surface of the water, while the rest of them is submerged. Their name comes from their resemblance to the Portuguese 18th-century armed sailing ship, the man-of-war, at full sail.
They are responsible for stinging up to 10,000 humans in Australia every summer, especially on the east coast. Their detached tentacles may float for several days in the water or wash up on shore and remain potent. Their stings may generate intense pain to humans and red welts that last two or three days after the first sting. They may also lead to airway blockage, cardiac distress, and an inability to breathe.
If you see a nest, avoid it at all costs. Like other stinging insects, they kill humans by causing anaphylactic shock. The bigger ones are the most fearful, as their stings become more powerful as they age. Yellowjackets are social insects, living together in colonies that have workers, queens, and males.
Queens come out during late spring or early summer, choose a site to nest, and build a small paper nest to lay eggs in. The queen stays there, lying until her death in the fall. The colony grows fast, reaching a size of 4,000 to 5,000 members and a nest of 10,000 to 15,000 cells by the end of the summer.
Blue Poison Arrow Frog
Their shiny blue color says it all: danger. With enough poison to wipe out 20,000 mice, and so tiny that they could fit on a human fingernail, this amphibian can kill a large animal just by touching it, as its poison is on their skin. Each frog has unique black spots, making it possible to distinguish between them.
They spend most of their day hopping around and being aggressive towards one another and to other animals. To fend off outsiders, they display a series of calls, chases, and wrestling.
The king of the grasslands and the second-largest animal after the tiger, they are very dangerous and cause around 100 human deaths a year. They hunt in groups and usually go after vulnerable animals, like young and old members of the pack they are chasing.
These lions have a sparser mane than their African cousins. They live in and around Gir Forest National Park in Gujarat, western India.
Small but deadly, these jellyfish are the cause of more human deaths a year than sharks, crocodiles, and stonefish combined. Its poison is extremely potent. They are found mostly in the tropical Indo-Pacific region, with some species living in tropical and subtropical oceans including the Atlantic Ocean and the eastern Pacific Ocean.
Be especially alert during the months between October and May, as this is when swimmers are at the highest risk. However, stings do occur all year round. The riskiest conditions are in calm water with a light, onshore breeze. Hey, that’s just how we like it too!
Australian Funnel Web Spider
This spider won the Guinness Book of World Records as the most poisonous spider on the planet. This spider sometimes wanders around in homes and cars. They produce venom that is extremely toxic to humans and can cause severe injuries to victims.
Not to be confused with the Sydney funnel spider (also featured on this list), they also have very large and powerful fangs that are capable of piercing fingernails and soft shoes. Luckily, the introduction of antivenom has reduced the danger. In any case, be alert.
Fortunately, they aren’t deadly to humans, but you do need to watch out for your children. Their venomous glands can be harmful to the young ones. While their bite is rarely fatal, it can cause severe swelling, chills, fever, and weakness. This species is common in the U.S.
Despite their name, they have between 30 to 354 legs, always displaying an odd number of pairs of legs. They are found everywhere from the Arctic Circle to tropical rainforests and deserts. They are also found in soil, leaf litter, logs, and under stones and dead wood. They look for a moist habitat due to their lack of a waxy cuticle that other insects have, which causes them to rapidly lose water.
Killing around 50 people a year, this is the most aggressive species of ants. Their bite can send you into anaphylactic shock and in some cases, death. They are found in more rural or remote areas.
This invasive species costs the US $5 billion every year on medical treatment, damage, and control in infested areas. They also cause $750 million in damage every year to the agriculture and farming industries. More than 40 million people live in infested areas in the southeastern US.
With a name like that, you know there’s a reason to worry. These bugs' bite spreads the deadly Chagas disease, which can cause severe damage to your body. In 2015, it was estimated that 6.6 million, mainly in Mexico, Central America, and South America had the disease and that 8,000 people died from it.
Most people who are infected are not aware of the disease’s presence. At the onset of the disease, symptoms may be mild, including fever, swollen lymph nodes, or swelling at the location of the bite. In rare cases, the disease can lead to heart failure, an enlarged esophagus and colon. If that’s not freaky enough, they are also called the kissing bug, as they bite you near your lips.
One of the most dangerous animals in Africa, this animal has a history of attacking humans. As a herbivore, this animal doesn’t want to eat you, but it is very aggressive and unpredictable and may attack you even without being provoked. Males weigh around 3,310 Ibs and females 2,870 Ibs. They are semi-aquatic mammals, spending much of their time in rivers, lakes, and mangrove swamps.
Despite their large and heavy form and short legs, they are able to run 19mph. During the day, they cool off by staying in the water or mud. At dusk, they leave the water to eat grass in solitary.
Yellow-Bellied Sea Snake
As its name suggests, this snake is easily recognizable thanks to its warning sign coloring. With a black back and a bright yellow belly, this creature practically screams "Get away from me". These snakes are found in tropical waters in oceans around the world, except for the Atlantic.
They are one of the most widely distributed snakes. While antivenom is available in Australia, you don't want to provoke one of these into testing the cure's efficiency.
Not to be fooled by its beauty, this bird has venom which is similar to the King Cobra, but more concentrated. Just one drop of their highly potent poison can kill three people and paralyze all the muscles in your body.
Touching this bird can cause harm as its skin and feathers contain poison. Its poison is similar to that which is found in the Poisonous Dart Frog. It is believed that the poison provides the birds with a chemical defense against predators such as snakes and humans. The birds don’t produce the toxin themselves but acquire it from the beetles they eat.
While they only need to eat once a month, these dragons will eat anything and everything, including water buffalos, humans, and birds. They are found in the Indonesian islands and are the largest living species of lizard, growing up to a maximum length of 10 feet and in rare instances, can weigh up to 150 pounds.
They are amazing hunters, waiting patiently for their prey to get close in order to pounce on it and tear it to shreds. Their prey includes invertebrates, birds, and mammals. Fortunately, they aren’t responsible for many human deaths, probably owing to the fact that they have little contact with them. They are, however, known to dig up humans from graves… creepy.
Lonomia or “Assassin Caterpillar”
Responsible for hundreds of deaths in South America, these little guys camouflage into their environment, by blending into the bark of trees. Its spikes hold a venom that can be extremely dangerous, and even deadly.
People may accidentally lean against these highly venomous caterpillars and consequently face a dramatic and severe impact from a dose of their venom.
They are known to kill humans, and during wartime and disease outbreaks, their hunting increases. While they are sometimes depicted in movies as being cowardly (we are looking at you Lion King), they actually ward off larger predators from their kills.
Their powerful jaws and sharp teeth can not only cut through their prey's skin but also actually break bones. They are mostly nocturnal. In Somalia, they love Hyena meat and use it for food and medical purposes.
Sri Lankan Leopard
Found in regions of Asia and Africa, the Sri Lankan Leopard is one of the “five big cats.” They hunt from trees, using their extremely powerful jaws, which are some of the most powerful in the animal kingdom.
They hunt silently, stalking their prey and waiting until they are within a pouncing distance to pursue their victim. They execute the killing with a single bite to the throat. If you find yourself roaming the jungle and you hear a roar, you better take cover.
More dangerous even than the Black Widow, these spiders are lethal to children and the elderly. They are small spiders, ranging from 6 to 20 millimeters, and found across various states in the U.S.
While the bite is not felt right away and may not be painful, the symptoms can be serious and require medical attention. They like to hide in shoes and gloves, so always check before putting them on.
While mostly peaceful, the world’s largest animal is naturally bound to be dangerous. They sometimes display bouts of rage and can get aggressive, trampling other animals and destroying villages in their way. They are prevalent in Sub-Saharan Africa in dense forests, woodlands, and deserts.
They are some of the most intelligent species and display a variety of behaviors and emotional capabilities such as grief, learning, play, humor, altruism, compassion, and self-awareness.
Hunters say that this animal can be even harder to catch than wild bears. With a weight of up to 660 Ibs, this aggressive mammal also comes in fourth in the list of most intelligent animals on the planet. Its sharp tusks are to be avoided at all costs. They are also known to be the host of at least 20 different parasitic worm species, with most infections taking place in the summer.
While attacks on humans are rare, they can be serious and result in injury. The boar attacks by charging and pointing its tusks toward its victim, usually injuring their thigh. After the first attack, they step back to look if the victim is still moving. If so, they keep attacking until the victim is immobile.
African Tsetse Flies
Found in sub-Saharan Africa, these flies carry the sleeping sickness, which can affect humans and be deadly if not diagnosed and treated on time. According to researchers, they are responsible for a whopping 250,000 human deaths a year.
They spread diseases by feeding off the blood of their hosts. They are mostly found in tropical Africa.
Known as a deadly predator in the waters of the Amazon rainforest, they get their name from their ability to generate a strong electrical charge of up to 600 volts. They're not actually eels, but a member of the “knife-fish” family.
These fish are highly desirable by some animal collectors, but very hard to catch. The only viable way is to exhaust them by making them deplete all of their electricity. Eventually, the fish’s electric organs become discharged and the hunter can swoop in for the kill.
You definitely want to avoid stepping on one of these if you’re in a bushy area in Australia, Papua New Guinea, or nearby islands. While other snakes will slither away at the presence of a threat, the Death Adder freezes.
Their long fangs can deeply penetrate your skin and inject an average of 40-100 mg of highly toxic venom with one bite. Their bite can lead to paralysis and, ultimately, to a complete respiratory shut-down within six hours.
Found worldwide among warm, shallow waters along coasts and rivers, is one of the most dangerous and aggressive species of sharks, even more so than the great white.
Also known as the Zambezi shark, the bull shark is a determined predator and rarely fears being attacked by other animals. Humans pose the biggest threat to them, but that still doesn't mean you want a one-on-one meeting with any of them.
While we all hate being bitten by mosquitos, their bite can actually be deadly. These minuscule pests cause 2 to 3 million deaths every year and spread diseases to 700 million people.
They take host to a variety of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and even some fish. They are found in all different climates, including warm, humid tropical regions and cold regions. There is literally no getting away, though a mosquito repellent should do the trick. And as long as you are not allergic, you will probably survive a sting.
Related to the ostrich and emu, this flightless bird is the most dangerous land bird. One of the many flightless birds native to New Zealand, it is miles away from the docile kiwi in terms of aggression.
Known as the deadliest bird in the world, the cassowary has powerful legs with sharp talons that they use as their most powerful weapon. They can charge, kick, and claw you to death. Basically, you don’t want to be face-to-face with one.
Giant Asian Hornet
Also known as the yak killer, this is one of the most dangerous Japanese hornets and the world’s largest one. It is native to temperate and tropical Eastern Asia and lives mostly in low mountains and forests.
They are characterized by their light orange head, brown antennae, and yellow-orange base. Their stinger injects a very potent venom that can cause severe tissue damage. They are responsible for 30-40 human deaths every year in Japan.
Powerful and fearless, this animal is an excellent fighter and will fight to the death... of its enemy. While not very big, these creatures don't let their size deter them from going after prey larger than themselves, or even stealing the prey killed by other adjacent predators.
Despite its size, it will not be very intimidated when faced with a human. They are solitary animals who live mostly in the Arctic.
This adorable creature is unfortunately quite dangerous. The slow lorises have a very poisonous bite which they generate by licking a special gland on their arm, and the secretion is activated when they mix it with their saliva. Their bite keeps predators at bay and they protect their infants by applying it to fur during grooming.
They are found in Southeast Asia and the bordering areas. Their hands and feet have several adaptations that allow them to hold onto branches for long periods of time. They are slow-moving and quiet animals, and when they’re threatened, they freeze immediately.
You probably can’t outrun this large mammal, unless you can run faster than 40 mph. This animal has poor eyesight and is easily startled. Even the slightest movement can make them pounce and attack. Although tough animals, rhinos are easily poached, especially while visiting their water holes to drink.
They are sought out by some humans for their horns, which are sold on the black market and used by some people as decoration or traditional medicine, especially in Vietnam and other East Asian countries.
Tapeworms live in the intestines of larger animals. Humans can catch tapeworms by eating undercooked meat which comes from infected animals such as pork, beef, and fish. You can also catch tapeworms by eating food prepared in unhygienic circumstances. These small worms can grow in your body by eating the food you consume. The beef tapeworm can grow up to 65 feet.
They can cause serious damage to your organs and in some cases, death. The most dangerous are pork tapeworms, which can seriously affect your organs and cause damage. Symptoms may be few or none at all, or they can actually include abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, and weight loss.
This snake causes the majority of snake-related deaths in the world and is found in less developed areas that lack medical care, such as dry regions in Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, the Middle East, and Africa. It uses a hemotoxin which is similar to a boomslang.
They also produce a sizzling warning sound by rubbing parts of their body together. These snakes are active at night, biting most of their victims during these hours. The outcome? Victims bleeding to death for several weeks.
This crocodile uses a crazy killing method called the “death roll.” It rolls its kill over and over in the water until it drowns. It is extremely powerful and fast. Its diet is very vast, eating anything from water buffalo to sharks. It is the largest reptile in the world, with males reaching a length of 7 meters.
They live in marine environments, usually in estuaries, mangrove swamps, lagoons, deltas, and shallow rivers. They are widely distributed and range from the eastern coast of India throughout most of Southeast Asia and northern Australia. They are known to attack humans, so refrain from venturing into their territory.
Fortunately, lions don’t usually feast on human meat. However, sometimes they do seek out humans. In 1898, a lion killed 28 railway workers in Kenya over a nine-month period.
Males are larger than females and typically weigh 330 to 550 Ibs. Their mane is their most distinguishing quality. They usually live in grasslands and savannas.
The black mamba is an extremely venomous snake and is commonly regarded as the most dangerous and feared snake in Africa. Rumor has it that this animal is aggressive, quick, and attacks for no reason. It is also known as the “death incarnate.” The length of adults, which may exceed 2 meters, makes them the longest species of venomous snake that is native to Africa.
Their venom is super toxic, and one bite can deliver 100-120 mg of venom. Fortunately, attacks on humans are rare as they don’t often go to highly populated areas.
Do you know how sometimes scientists go with a Latin name for a new species they discover? Well, when faced with this deadly critter and its hellish stinger, they went with something a lot simpler. With a creepy name like that, you can't ignore the fact that this venomous scorpion is super dangerous.
Causing horrible pain in adults, and fever, coma, convulsions, and paralysis in children, this scorpion is found in areas of North Africa and the Middle East, and it is responsible for 75% of scorpion-related deaths every year.
Black Spitting Thick Tail Scorpion
This nocturnal scorpion poisons its victims by stinging or spraying them. They are characterized by their super thick tail. The name is a dead giveaway (pun intended), so you could probably guess it yourself.
They are found in dry parts of southern Africa and are also known as the thick-tailed scorpion, dark scorpion, or giant deathstalker (all fantastic names that sound just as cuddly as they should). Be careful because they are easily frightened and cause many deaths every year.
Usually more of an irritation than a source of death, flea bites can sometimes become infected, in which case they can be deadly. You mostly need to worry about the diseases they carry with them. As external parasites of mammals and birds, they live by consuming the blood of their hosts using mouthparts fitted for penetrating the skin and sucking blood.
They don’t have wings, but they have hind legs adapted for jumping, which allow them to jump a crazy distance 50 times their body length. They are one of the best-known jumpers out of the entire animal kingdom, relative to their body size.
Also known as the “cigarette snail,” this little thing can kill 20 people with one drop of its venom. A sting by this animal leaves you just enough time to smoke one cigarette before dying. They are usually found in warm and tropical seas and oceans.
People are often attracted to their color and may want to pick them up. However, their sting will occur at random and is capable of penetrating the skin, gloves, or wetsuits. Plus, there is no antivenom, so it is best that you avoid this lethal critter.
Just like many other tick species, this tick is known to spread diseases. With these guys, you need to worry about Lyme disease. They are mostly found in forests in North America, so watch out for them.
Fortunately, their preferred host is, of course, deer, which is just one reason why you should just pet random deer. You are not a Disney princess. They are also known to feed on small rodents, so don't go around petting those either.
Just look at those ferocious snappers. Thinking of an army of those is enough to send anyone running for the hills. For such a tiny insect, their bites are anything but small.
One bite can affect your circulatory system, and they’ll eat just about anything. An army ant colony never stops moving over the time it exists. Are they about to take over the world? Who knows? Are we about to stay close and find out? Heck no!
Hanging out mainly in tropical seas, a moray eel doesn't really have much of a body count (an average of zero human deaths per year), but that doesn't mean they aren't dangerous. Their sharp teeth are perfect for puncturing through skin, and their thick, scaleless skin is difficult to penetrate in turn.
When disturbed, they're all too willing to take the fight to whatever is bothering them. If a human does manage to win the fight, they can't even enjoy the spoils of the battle – moray eel flesh can be toxic, causing illness or even death if it isn't prepared properly. If you're swimming in the warm waters of the Atlantic, Pacific, or Indian Oceans, watch out.
Golden Poison Frog
The bright yellow coloring of this frog makes it easy to pick out among the Colombian wilderness, but as nature often tells us, bright coloring means danger. It might come as a surprise, but this animal is one of the most toxic found on Earth (toxic: don't eat it). It packs enough potency to kill ten fully-grown adults, but we don't have any information about how many have succumbed to this powerful creature.
The indigenous people of Colombia use the venom of the golden poison frog to tip blowgun darts before going hunting. The frog might not be able to utilize the toxin for offense, but any creature that takes a nibble is going to have a bad time.
If you've ever gone hiking in the wilderness of North America, you know to watch out for these big beasts. While grizzly bears (or brown bears) are the cause of 1.6 human deaths per year (using recent numbers, at least), they have the potential to be much higher. There's a reason bear mace is a thing. People who like to enjoy the great outdoors need to keep an eye open for them.
They might look cuddly, and they don't seem to move that fast, but they're almost half a ton of muscle and sharp claws. You can't beat them in a fight, and you can't run from them – give these austere beasts a wide berth.
Horses are an animal that humans have been using for their betterment for thousands of years – maybe even tens of thousands. We love them, they often love us, and this symbiotic relationship has produced plenty of great things, like the movie “Black Beauty.” But horses are still plenty dangerous, especially since humans spend so much time around them.
At least a hundred deaths per year are due to horses, though very few of them are because of aggression on the horse's part. Most of them are because of equestrian activities and head injuries. There are also thousands of minor injuries humans get while riding.
Cows give us healthy milk, delicious cheese, and protein-packed beef, but they also contain plenty of danger. Each year, cows are responsible for about twenty deaths – more than sharks – typically by kicking or trampling. While some of these are accidental, something like three-fourths of these attacks are deliberate attacks according to experts.
There's also the fact that cows are pretty much everywhere in America's heartland due to the amount of cheese, milk, beef, and other materials they are useful for. The sheer number of beasts increases the number of possible deadly encounters, but twenty per year is still quite low for the amount of activity that these animals are a part of.
Deer are herbivores, and they don't have claws, and they don't like to get anywhere near humans for the most part, but they're still one of the most dangerous animals that you'll encounter. Why is that? Because of cars. Specifically, because of car accidents. Deer cause something around one point three million car accidents, with plenty of them ending up being fatal.
Your risk is much higher in certain areas of the world, and in certain states of the United States, but anywhere these guys will be present creates some danger for people who are driving. Even if you aren't in a car, there's always a threat from an animal this big.
Snails? Really? It's true, but not for the normal reason. Snails don't have fangs, claws, horns, or enough weight to be any danger to anything but the wimpiest humans, but they do have something that ends up being far more dangerous: worms.
Freshwater snails often carry parasitic worms, which – when consumed by humans – can inflict the disease schistosomiasis, which causes abdominal pain, blood in the urine, and eventually death. The World Health Organization estimates that schistosomiasis causes anywhere from twenty thousand to two hundred thousand (!) deaths per year. If possible, avoid these creatures to make sure you don't end up suffering from something that sounds pretty horrible.
Plenty of people love dogs, and for good reason. They're cuddly, they love to play, and they're great for exercise. However, you're probably aware that there are plenty of dogs out there that aren't too friendly. Fatal dog attacks end up with somewhere from thirty to fifty deaths per year, and for some reason, the number is increasing.
Whether this is wild dogs who are protecting themselves or poorly trained dogs that escape their leash, dogs aren't all cuddly, furry friends. However, it's important to remember that even the dogs with the highest number of fatalities – pit bulls – are often perfectly well-trained and like to chase sticks just like the rest of them.
What could this tiny fly do to hurt anybody? Lots – far too much, if you're talking to some people. These little flies can transmit a parasitic disease called leishmaniasis, which has a number of forms, the worst of which is quite deadly.
While most of the forms are treatable if still dangerous, visceral leishmaniasis is ninety-five percent fatal in untreated cases. Thanks to this disease, the humble sandfly ends up being responsible for more than twenty thousand deaths per year, mainly in regions such as Afghanistan and surrounding areas. A major outbreak in 2009 was just the beginning of this disease's reign of terror.
The lionfish is beautifully hypnotizing, with its fiery red-orange color and intricate rays for fins. Those beautiful bright colors and the fan-like fins might tempt first-time snorkelers into reaching for one, but that would be one dumb move to make.
These exotic-looking fishies are incredibly poisonous. When they sense a threat they can use their beautiful stingers to inject lethal poison, which comes down to an excruciatingly painful experience.
Anyone in their right mind would steer clear of sharks. Any kind of shark, not just the great white one. Similar to the great white, the tiger shark is huge and doesn't normally attack humans, but that doesn't mean it can't.
Most of the tiger shark attacks happen during the night. If you do have a tiger shark coming across your path while in the ocean, you do not need to panic, just try to keep calm (as much as you can, you are still a short distance away from an apex predator) and swim away to safety.
There are plenty of snakes on this list, even though not every breed is a dangerous animal. The Inland Taipan is definitely a dangerous animal, however, and if you see one you should avoid it. It’s one of many varieties of venomous snakes, and it’s also one of the most lethal. They’re found in central eastern Australia and are also known as the “fierce snake,” which tells you just how much they’ll like you getting close.
To nobody’s surprise, Australia does indeed have one of the most dangerous varieties of snake – it’s even said to have the most toxic venom of any snake by far since the median lethal dose is so low. Even worse, it seems this snake is specially adapted to kill warm-blooded species. You know. Like humans. Great!
These dinosaur-esque creatures are some of the classic dangerous animals in the wild, such as the American South, but how dangerous are they, really? Very. They are always a worry if you’re in that area of the world, and they are a constant threat not only to people but other animals such as pets. They don’t kill as many humans as you might think, but they still tally up a couple of deaths a year.
There are about seven unprovoked alligator attacks per year in Florida. Make sure not to feed any of these creatures, as they will start to associate humans with food. That’s specifically something to avoid because they will become less shy and more hungry around humans – definitely a bad combination. Unfortunately, it takes a lot more than a fly swatter to keep them away.
How could these little feathered friends be so dangerous? They’re exceptionally territorial, especially when they have goslings running around. Anybody who has crossed paths with one of these pests will tell you that they will stretch their wings to make them look bigger, and even emit a hissing sound. They’ve been known to chase people who have gotten too close, and they will absolutely attack if they think they’re in danger, using their beaks to stab or even break bones.
Thankfully, these feathered rodents have also come to understand that discretion is sometimes the better part of valor, and will just back off if something is getting too close. Still, if you’re getting too close to a nest, or you’re gunned by the geese, you should play it safe. Also, yell at them. They deserve it.
Swans are beautiful, graceful birds that glide through lakes and rivers, bothering nobody. That’s because most people nowadays know to stay away from them. It’s been said that a swan swinging its wing is strong enough to break a human arm or leg, but that’s not exactly true. What IS true, though, is that they can really, really hurt. Swans are extremely territorial as well as frightfully aggressive, and they love to bite.
Their beaks are sharp and strong, and if you get too close to any of their young, you’re sure to feel it, and it won’t feel good. The chance of dying from a swan attack is low, but let’s not go around taking any chances. They’re nice to look at from a distance, but getting up close isn’t worth the effort.
Anteaters aren’t very aggressive, and they aren’t called human eaters – we really don’t have that much to fear from them. Still, if you ever have to fight one – because an alien species pitted the two of you together for some reason – there are a couple of things to watch out for. They have long, sharp, and dangerous claws on each of their four...paws. Hands? Whatever they have down there. Sure, they don’t feel the need to sue them against humans that often, but they can come in handy when needed.
According to some sources, anteaters have even been known to chase off apex predators such as pumas or jaguars with those bad boys. So we don’t have much to fear from these somewhat unique creatures, but it still might not be a good idea to get too close.
Friendly, cute, playful dolphins can be dangerous. It’s true. When they want to play, they’re going to play. The problem is, sometimes a human doesn’t want to play. An animal that spends all its time swimming is going to be pretty strong, resulting in injuries. Not only that, but if these friendly fish mammals actually do get agitated, they could lash out with a number of natural defenses. First off, they have some really sharp teeth inside those adorable smiling mouths, which can easily tear into our frail human skin.
Secondly, if you’re in the wrong spot, they could try to hit you with their powerful tails. Lots of muscles in those bad boys, and getting hit will mean getting hit hard. Dolphins have been the cause of a number of human deaths in the past few years.
Despite being frequently kept as pets, monitor lizards are no joke. They can range in size from as small as eight inches to over three meters long, and even the smaller variety will be a danger to someone who doesn’t know how to handle them properly. Formerly a much more exotic species of lizard, the number of people that have been trying to domesticate them has turned them into an invasive species in the United States, leading them to become big problems in certain areas of the continent.
They have strong jaws and sharp claws, and every version of the monitor lizard is venomous – with some of them being incredibly dangerous just because of that alone. In addition, if they bite you, you’ll get a whole lot of bacteria and other bad stuff.
Brazilian Wandering Spider
We’ve all heard of the tarantula, the Black Widow spider, and maybe even the brown recluse, but what about the Brazilian Wandering Spider? It turns out that this little-known member of the Phoneutria genus is up there with the other most dangerous spiders. If you happen to be traveling through South America, be sure to keep an eye out for this crawler – thankfully, they’re quite easy to spot, since they have a leg span of five to seven inches.
Sorry, we just have to freak out for a little bit. They’re some of the most venomous spiders on Earth, and their bites can easily be fatal. If you need any more reason to keep away from them, take a gander at what “Phoneutria” means in Greek. Yeah, that’s right, it means murderess.
Six-Eyed Sand Spider
We aren’t happy about this next one, and once you’ve read it, you aren’t going to be that happy, either. The six-eyed sand spider is mainly found in Southern Africa and has a leg width of about two inches. Not the biggest spider on this list, but still too big for our liking. Try not to get bitten by this little beastie, since the venom that they carry has necrotic effects – it will make the area around the wound die and get infected, which is pretty bad.
You’re gonna have to trust us on this one. However, even if you’re trying to avoid it, you might not even notice, since the spiders have a fun, cool trait of chewing on people while they sleep. Great! Oh, also the bites have a numbing agent, so even if you’re awake, you might not even notice.
Coral Reef Snake
Despite these snakes having the second strongest venom of any snake, they aren’t considered as dangerous as many other varieties, simply because they have poor poison-delivery systems. Still, best not to get too close if you see them swimming through the water. They’re brightly colored, and you all know what that means when it comes to animals in the world.
It means you should stay as far away as possible because they’re probably poisonous or venomous or toxic or something like that. They aren’t that large, but if they’re able to give you a dose of their venom, it’s not going to be a good time. We guess the number of snakes that you SHOULD approach and pet is pretty low, but this one you should for sure watch out for.
It doesn’t seem that big, but by now you should know that small creatures can still be just as dangerous for any number of reasons. Let’s start with a fun detail: the boomslang snake can open its mouth to an almost 180-degree angle when biting, which allows its fangs to sink deeper into the flesh of its prey. Oh, also, this snake has venom that is deadlier in small doses than the venom of the black mamba.
If you want to get down to the nitty-gritty, the venom that this snake has is something called a hemotoxin, which causes those who have gotten a dose to hemorrhage internally. We don’t know about the rest of you, but we’re not really interested, thanks. Our blood should stay where it needs to be.
You probably didn’t think that “Happy Feet” was a documentary, but there’s at least one part of it that is frighteningly true to life: leopard seals are dangerous. They sit at the top of the Antarctic food chain, and they’ve even been known to go after humans – latching onto them with their strong jaws and sharp teeth and then dragging them underwater. Humans are a little too big for their tastes, but that doesn’t mean they won’t try for a bite every once in a while.
However, they love to gobble down plenty of fish and, yes, penguins. They look almost cuddly, and if you didn’t know better, you might try to give one of them a pet. Bad idea. It could end up with you missing a hand and having a word of warning.
In India, they have something known as the “big four” when it comes to snakes. These are the four snakes that cause the most deaths in the sub-continent, comprised of the Indian Spectacled cobra, the Indian Common krait, the Indian Russell’s viper, and this snake, the Indian Saw-scaled viper. They’re the smallest of the four, and they’re dangerous because they like to hang out in cities. They’re also easy to miss while walking down the street.
Apparently, one of these snakes will inject about twelve milligrams of venom with a bite, despite the fact that it takes only five milligrams to kill a human adult. We guess they really want to make sure. Thankfully, there is a serum that is able to easily treat bites from this snake, but it still contributes to plenty of deaths.
There’s a reason this reptile wears the crown. It’s the longest venomous snake in the world, easily reaching a length of eighteen feet! Good Lord! They top out the A-list of dangerous and deadly snakes thanks to a couple of different factors. First and foremost, it’s one of the most venomous snakes in the entire world – apparently a single spit of venom is powerful enough to kill an elephant. Does that mean people are safe? Not even a little bit.
One spit has enough venom to deliver deadly doses to twenty people. They have flaring hoods that make them look even bigger and more dangerous, and their hisses are loud enough to send anything running. Thankfully, they’re only found in the Indian rainforest and plains. And right behind you.
These small, scrappy animals have gained a reputation for being some of the toughest, no-nonsense beasts in the entire animal kingdom, and it’s pretty clear that reputation is deserved. They have sharp claws and plenty of teeth to boot, and they’re surprisingly big and muscly for animals that live mostly on honey and bee larvae. Don’t think for a moment that these animals won’t enjoy taking a bite out of a big, meaty thigh if they have the chance, though.
They seem to be fearless, and love going up against much bigger animals. If the internet is any indication, they win those fights with some regularity. Throw in what seems to be a pretty bad attitude most of the time, and you get something that you should try hard not to piss off.
You probably thought about the line “Dingoes ate my baby” as soon as you saw this entry, but, like... that actually happened. A dingo actually stole a baby out of the tent. It’s actually really sad. Yeah, it turns out that these wild animals aren’t just dogs – they’re dangerous, and they’re often hungry, and if they want to attack you, they will. They hunt for red kangaroos, enjoy sampling the local livestock in Australia, and are a big problem to farmers.
They’re pretty much the apex predator thanks to their pack tactics. Interactions with people have meant they’re becoming less timid around, which leads to more attacks. In 2021, a six-year-old girl had to be airlifted to the hospital with bite marks on her hands and head. If you see them, do not pet them.
Despite their small size, these man-killers are responsible for several deaths a year. You can probably figure out where they get their name from – their big tail is also an easy way to distinguish them from other species of scorpion. The tail is lightning fast, and it also injects a powerful venom along with a painful sting. They never seek out humans, but they tend to live in cracks in the walls of stone or brick, meaning they might often be close. Too close.
They’re also found all over the world, in Asia, North Africa, India, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen. They’re small, around ten centimeters, which means they’re all too easy to miss if you’re taking a walk in that area of the world. Just keep an eye on your feet.
Beaked Sea Snake
Also known as the hooked-nosed sea snake, this underwater reptile is found off the coast of India, Australia, Africa, and the Arabian Sea, so try not to be in those places. While these creatures are non-aggressive and will only defend themselves if attacked, that isn’t something you want to happen. It’s said that its venom is toxic enough to kill a human with only a 1.5-milligram dose, but there is enough in a single bite to kill more than twenty people, maybe even up to twenty-two.
The toxin causes excruciating pain in the muscles and will kill you if it goes untreated. And you aren’t safe underwater, either, since they can dive up to a hundred meters underwater, and stay down there for about five hours. They often get caught in fisherman’s nets, leading to fatal bites.
Striped Pyjama Squid
If you caught a glimpse of one of these in the wild, you’d probably think it was cute. But don’t get any closer – this cephalopod is incredibly dangerous. It’s one of the very few poisonous squids out there. Also, it’s technically a cuttlefish. Look, we don’t know, scientists are weird sometimes. Regardless, just like with so many other brightly-colored marine animals, its eye-catching pattern tells us as well as predators that this animal is toxic and shouldn’t be eaten.
Small glands under its skin produce venomous saliva, which contains tetrodotoxin. Get even a few milligrams of that stuff in your bloodstream, and you’re in for a deadly ride. Thankfully, these squid/cuttlefish are only found near the Great Barrier Reef and central South Australia, so you just need to look out there.
The Indian cobra is one of the big four in India, the four snakes that contribute to the most human deaths, and this one is famous. They’re not only found in India, however – you can see them in Pakistan as well as Sri Lanka, and if you do see one, you should probably back away slowly. Their bites cause severe pain, swelling, paralysis, and eventually death. Oh, and all that will happen in just fifteen minutes.
However, what’s worse about these snakes is that they have the unfortunate tendency to go hunting in rural areas around houses, looking mostly for rodents, frogs, and lizards, but those kinds of areas will often bring them into contact with humans, which can ultimately lead to deaths if people aren’t careful about where they’re stepping.