There are millions of species of animals that roam this earth; ranging from small to large, timid to lethal. While we may enjoy seeing these through nature shows or films, how much do we really know about the dangers of wildlife?
Here are some of the most fatal creatures across the earth. Some you’ll recognize and others you’ll meet for the very first time. You just might be surprised at how some of them made the list. Watch out – truth can be stranger than fiction.
The Polar bear is the largest land carnivore with no natural enemy in their polar regions. You might think they’re cute as toys in your bedroom, but that’s about as safe as they get. In real terms, they will consume anything they can sink their teeth into. If fact, they’re even known to be cannibalistic at times and eat other cubs just for a quick snack.
Their kill count for man is fairly low, probably because we rarely venture to the icy tundra – but we shouldn’t take the chance! There are plenty of things to fear in the icy winters of the Arctic or Antarctica, and these bears are just one of them.
One of the largest species of constricting snakes is the green anaconda, found across the Amazon. It uses its size and wrapping ability to either crush its prey or simply eat it whole. They can unlock their jaws and swallow entire animals in one bite – you don’t want to be their next meal!
They do not usually consider throwing down with humans, thankfully. Similar to sharks, we are not their meal of choice and most of the time they eat us by accident. Still, do not mess with these enormous constrictors – you just might find yourself in a bind.
The Bullet Ant gets its name from its infamous bite that feels as if you just got shot. It is one of the largest ant species and can grow up to an inch long. Their size and adhesive legs mean that can climb anything they want – so there’s no escape!
Their bite is one of the highest on the insect bite pain index, causing a large throbbing wound to appear in the victim’s flesh. Even humans can be affected by an attack from one of these guys – now imagine an entire colony of them! Sounds like a Hollywood horror film…
Another undomesticated animal is the Cape Buffalo, also known as the “widowmaker” or “black death”. You might think that is a little harsh for this herbivore, but due to its unreliable nature and charging capabilities, it is responsible for more deaths than some of its carnivorous neighbors.
While they may not chase us for the purpose of dinner, they charge when they get anxious or scared. So anyone who has seen The Lion King can tell you: you don’t want to be in the way of a stampede.
Another animal featured on our list is the Bengal Tiger, with a local nickname as the ‘man-eater’. It is one of the largest breeds of felines and tigers on Earth living in the Asian regions. Although usually solitary animals, these striped beasts will protect its cubs by any means necessary.
To date, thousands of humans have lost their lives by getting too close to these beasts in the wild. Sadly, their population is dwindling due to high levels of poaching. Even though they are dangerous, that’s no excuse to hunt them to extinction.
Do you see it? Hidden along the ocean floor with its distinct camouflage is the stone fish. It uses the strategy of calmly waiting for its prey to cross its path without noticing, then strikes at an amazing speed of under a quarter of a second. The chances are that you won’t see this guy coming – which is exactly how he likes it.
Keep an eye out for this fish because if you step on it you’ll be stuck with its special spines in you costing you great pain and possibly your life. It’s an important lesson in watching where you’re walking when treading in uncharted waters.
Blue Ringed Octopus
Do not let its small size and dazzling rings to sway you – this octopus’ venom packs enough power to take out more than two dozen individuals with no known cure. If you were to get dosed by this pint-sized creature, the venom would completely paralyze you within minutes.
Amazingly, you would remain conscious and aware while this venom flows through your veins and you slowly lose the ability to breathe. The only way to combat this bite is if you receive constant CPR until your body naturally flushes the poison out its system. We definitely recommend you avoid these folks.
Great White Shark
This predator became infamous after the movie Jaws and has been the devil of the oceans ever since. These sharks have been known to bite down on anything – living or not. If we were to cut these guys open, the contents of their stomach would be surprising. Most of the time, their bites are caused by curiosity and bad eye-sight – they are known to dislike the taste of humans!
The great white can take down most prey with a powerful combination of lunging through the water and its immense bite force. Many aquariums have tried to host these powerful creatures in captivity, but none have succeeded for more than 16 days.
Africanized Honey Bee (Killer Bees)
Cross-breeding did not go the way this beekeeper though it would go. In 1957, a Beekeeper crossed the European and African honey bees to create a new species – the “killer bee”. This is one deadly example of how humans should not play God and mix breeds for their hobby. Boy, did we learn our lesson!
A few of his subjects got loose and they have become an invasive species throughout the Americas. What makes these bees killer is their ability to swarm and target victims chasing them down for extended times and areas. They wait until their prey gets tired and then go in for the kill.
Indian Red Scorpion
This is considered the most deadly of the scorpion family – the India Red name says it all! Living in the regions of India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, this small scorpion is more dangerous than most other creatures. As you can see, this is not an animal you want to meet during a walk in the wild.
If you are ever in the region, make sure to shake out your shoes or boots before putting them on. This common tactic is adopted by the locals as it is a known hiding space for these creatures and how most people get stung.
This ferocious feline predator is not one to retreat from a fight even after it gets roughed up – often becoming even more agitated and aggressive. As one of the highest animals in the food chain, there aren’t many creatures that can win against this guy.
Leopards’ immense strength and speed make them an expert predator. After taking down their prey they are known to carry them up trees for safe keeping. If you ever see one, try making yourself as big as possible to scare it off.
Ascaris (lumbricoides) Roundworms
The parasitic roundworm infects your body if you were to accidentally drink contaminated water. They grow and multiply in the host causing a series of symptoms. This is why it is so important to drink only bottled water when you travel to third-world countries. Then at least you know you’re safe.
Roundworms are most common in sub-Saharan Africa and other tropical climates, due to lack of proper sanitation in the region. The longer an infestation goes, the more damage they do to the host body. If you find yourself contaminated, be sure to seek medical assistance immediately.
This is definitely one of the strangest animals on our list. The enigmatic duck-billed Platypus is one of the only mammals that evolved with the ability to produce venom. It might not look like much, but be warned: these folks can cause some serious damage.
Platypi have the ability to shoot out toxins from their back limbs – weirdly, this only occurs in certain seasons. With its oddly adorable look, you wouldn’t think this fuzzy mammal can kill pets and cause some serious damage to humans. That’s its best trick of all!
Red Bellied Piranha
One of the most infamous underwater carnivores known to man calls the Amazon is the Red Bellied Piranha. These fish can be found in the rainforest and have surprisingly forceful jaws equipped with teeth as sharp as blades. It’s true what the films say – these folks are dangerous!
Piranha can devour almost anything from small insects to larger underwater creatures. They can form groups and easily pick any large animal to challenge. Taking a swim with these aquatic predators might mean you will become fish food.
Pucker up for the Pufferfish, one of the most poisonous fish in the sea! Weirdly, it is known as a delicacy in Japan, with only the best chefs able to prepare it as an edible dish. Any misstep in slicing up this fish means you may just have added some Puffer poison to your meal.
This would cause anyone to eat it to be paralyzed and stop breathing. This little guy also is a mainstay on any list featuring the oddest foods on Earth. We think this is one meal we might have to miss!
These guys may not be physically deadly to humans, but they can chew a hole in anyone’s wallet by causing tons of damage. They can chew through the wood in homes or topple trees causing both physical and financial damage.
Ultimately, their presence would force you to spend thousands of dollars to call an exterminator and extract them from your home. While they might not kill you, they will definitely hurt your bank account!
Dogs may have descended from wolves, but wolves are far from man’s best friend. They have a proven record of killing more than 7000 people. With a keen hunting ability and a powerful bite, you do not want to face down these animals one on one.
The dogs we know today have been domesticated and trained for household living. These packs would not do well in these circumstances! Packs of wolves are used to roaming nature in groups and attacking whatever comes their way.
The Botfly is another insect that will eat away at you if given the chance. This bug will lay their eggs inside your epidermis layer, which has terrible consequences. These will eventually hatch into larvae who will chew away at the rest of your skin and blood. Sound bad? It’s about to get worse.
This can cause a series of infections and complications that can lead to death if left untreated. The botfly couldn’t be more different from the average housefly – you want to avoid these at all costs. If you live in a region with these around, then find some repellent soon.
The spider wasp’s main meal is usually the tarantula, but every so often it takes a bite of human flesh. While it most likely won’t result in death, it can cause some serious harm if not treated properly. If you find yourself bitten by one of these, you’re going to want to immediately call for help.
Their stinger contains a specialized neurotoxin with the ability to fully paralyze their target. This is so it can carry their prey back to its den for feeding. This specialized toxin can also have an effect on us humans. In fact, it is often recorded that dozens of people die from these guys.
Castor Bean Tick
This bloodsucker may be small but it can ruin you. The Castor Bean Tick is yet another parasitic bug with the ability to bring you down with its deadly behavior. It is not only the bite that is a painful nuisance, but it can transmit a series of bacteria, viruses, and pathogens that can prove seriously problematic.
If you find yourselves bitten by these ticks, it can cause severe illness and even death depending on the severity. Make sure to be on the lookout for these and wear repellent if traveling to the region.
Mediterranean Black Widow
The colorful abdomen of this exotic Black Widow is a sign of warning since its venom is 10x deadlier than its cousin, the original Black Widow. We all know the threats that some of these spiders possess, but if you don’t then you will want to find out.
The colorful pattern is a sign to warn off predators of its toxic and deadly venom. The colorful design is a visual demonstration of their ability to kill almost anything in their path. So watch out: if you see one of these then you’re going to want to get far away.
Coming from the same family tree as the centipede, this bug has more legs and more toxic abilities. These critters can pulse out poison and cyanide gas through small pores around their bodies. They may look innocent, but that’s exactly what they want you to think.
The poison they produce can cut through skeletons of smaller creatures, helping them break down their next meal. This can also cause irritation to animals who seek to hunt the Millipede – damaging their skin, eyes, and other parts. To human beings, they pose a minimal threat, but you still don’t want these guys crawling up you. A bit can cause a rash or other problems.
Southern Flannel Moth
This species of caterpillar is a lot of fun to look at, resembling the Mothra monster from the Godzilla franchise. However, they can be almost as destructive as the giant monster! They lay eggs that hatch into larvae that are also covered in hair with the ability to sting subjects. Their stings can cause a variety of symptoms, not just conventional pain.
This is to make sure that no one attacks them while growing inside the egg. Sadly, humans aren’t immune to this and can feel extreme discomfort if they come in contact with these animals. Stay well away!
Sydney Funnel Web Spider
Another venomous critter from the land down under is the Sydney funnel web spider. It produces a special neurotoxin that damages our nervous system, which can cause immense pain. While it may not kill humans, their bite is deadly to their prey.
Symptoms among humans can include sweating, tingling, and muscle spasms. Whoever is unlucky enough to get tangled in this arachnid’s web will meet their demise quickly if not treated immediately.
Looking like a modern-day dinosaur, the Gila Monster can be found in the Southwestern part of the United States and Mexico. Its bite can cause more than just a burning sensation – it is one of the only venomous lizards on earth.
These little monsters have an extraordinary venomous ability which comes from their mighty bite. This is due to the fact that their teeth are lined with special toxic material. If you ever find yourself next to one of these, you might want to just run away.
Eastern Brown Snake
This snake lives in the Australian outback and causes a lot of grief for its inhabitants. These snakes alone account for the highest fatality rate in the continent. It is true what they say: the most dangerous animals can be found down under in the Australian desert.
The Eastern Brown Snake is a very aggressive species with striking speeds faster than most human reaction times. When traveling down under, this is one creature you don’t want to cross paths with.
Poison Dart Frogs
Like their namesake, these frogs are used by indigenous tribes to make poison darts or arrows. Each one of these tiny amphibians packs enough venom on their skin to kill 10 full-grown men. You’re not going to want to annoy one of these fellas if you come across them in the wild.
They create a specific toxin through the consumption and digestion of various plant life. You can find these frogs scattered across the tropical areas in South and Central America. So, watch out if you ever find yourself there.
So far, if we have learned one thing about this list of dangerous creatures, it’s that sometimes the smaller, the deadlier. No example of this is more apparent than with this species of jellyfish. Don’t let its size fool you – its toxic touch is over 100x stronger than the infamous cobra.
It is barely noticeable, weighing in at the size of a cubic centimeter and being able to slip through most nets mans it often becomes the most unwanted guest on any beach. Their sting can cause what is known as Irukandji syndrome, causing a series of unfortunate symptoms.
Portuguese man o’ war
This creature is part of the Physalia family similar to jellyfish species. If you see one of these guys on shore or in the ocean, steer clear! Each year, they are responsible for over 10,000 stings across Australia each year. Seeing one of these washed up on shore means the beach might be closed for the near future.
While a Portuguese man o’ war can kill large fish, humans only need to worry about the excruciating pain they can cause. Careful: even dead ones can still sting you.
Yellow Jackets are also deadly in swarms, with the ability to send targets into anaphylactic shock. These wasps will defend their nest to the death and they only get deadlier the older they get.
Make sure to stay well away from these fellas. If you do find yourself near a swarm, remember to stay absolutely still until they fly away. Any sudden moves might cause them to attack you. Trust us: you won’t want to be stung by these guys.
Blue Poison Arrow Frog
Another tiny terror from Mother Nature is this frog. This guy has enough poison packed in him to kill a city of mice. It would only take a couple of micrograms of this toxin to bring down even the largest of his foes.
The poisonous material is coated all over this little guy making it deadly even to the touch – so no petting! This means he can comfortably hop around without a fear of being touched and attacked by predators.
Another big cat to be on this list is the King of the Jungle, the Asiatic Lion. When fully grown, they only slightly smaller than the tiger. Asiatic Lions are pack hunters who use strategy and teamwork to take down their prey. Each year, around 100 people fall into that category.
The best thing you can do if you find yourself next to one of these is to make yourself as big as possible. Even then, you might not have them fooled for long!
Infamous in name, the box jellyfish has a kill count greater than some of the most deadly animals on the list. It is known as one of the most venomous creatures on the planet also living around the Australian continent.
It gets its name from its box-shaped body and has tentacles that can grow up to 10ft long. If stung by a Box Jellyfish, you can expect to feel excruciating pain or paralysis. In 100 years, there have been 69 reported human deaths from these terrors.
Australian Funnel Web Spider
The problem with this Ozzie arachnid is that it is not too shy of urban places. It likes to move around and be nomadic, often finding itself in the places we spend most of our time – like cars, homes, or buildings.
This means that the Australian Funnel Web Spider can turn up anywhere when you least expect it. Make sure to use repellent if you find yourself down under so they don’t bite you – it could cause death.
A fairly common creature found in the US, but looking quite uncommon, is the centipede. They can be found outside or wandering around homes or indoor places. While the small ones are fairly harmless, you’re going to want to stay clear of larger ones.
The big ones can pose a threat to small children from their venomous attacks, so make sure to protect your kids if you have them! Keep them at bay by spraying repellent nearby every so often
These ants prove yet again that size doesn’t matter. Each year, these little guys get up to killing around 50 people. And you won’t want to know how. If threatened, they engage in swarming attacks that cause victims to go into shock, both physically and mentally.
It’s certainly strength in numbers for these guys. While one may not cause a problem, you don’t want to be attacked by hundreds (or even thousands!). Most likely they’re just protecting the Queen.
Komodo dragons are one of those animals that will try to consume just about anything in its path. They both hunt and scavenge – known to dig up shallow graves to consume people. The dragons can hunt in stealth and within an instant charge and maim their prey with their jaws that are filled with poisonous saliva.
The only reason why so few humans are ended by these modern day dragons is that we stay well clear of them and luckily they only feed once a month. So make sure you don’t find yourself near a hungry one!
Tapeworms, like their names suggest, are small and flat. These segmented worms take refuge in the intestines of large animals or people. The most common way of contracting these pesky parasites is through the consumption of uncooked meat from an animal containing them.
Tapeworms ravage the host and grow to great lengths by stealing the food and nutrients you take in. The pork tapeworm is infamous for causing the infection to spread from the intestines to other organs causing serious complications and death.
Another Amazonian cat is the dangerous but still endangered Jaguar. The largest of the feline family, they weigh more than leopards, granting them a large presence wherever they go. If you happen to stumble across these rare animals in the wild, you’ll want to stay well away.
Surprisingly, they have the most powerful bite force of the entire big cat family. However, Jaguars also have some of the most beautiful coats – perhaps explaining why they are endangered due to extensive poaching.