While the thought of bumping into a shark or lion may be enough to have even the bravest person quaking in their boots, it isn’t likely to happen at all.
Unless really angry or extremely hungry and with limited options, some of the world’s most feared animals are likely to turn a blind eye to human presence.
Of course, this doesn’t stop them from being scary, nor does it stop people being interested in the scariest animals in the world.
Bears, Poison-Dart Tree Frogs and Scorpions
Scorpions have possibly one of the worst reputations in the entire animal kingdom and they are not especially attractive either.
Despite being feared the world over, most scorpion stings are not potent enough to cause death in human beings. This doesn’t stop the stings hurting and many can cause serious illness, but only a handful of scorpions have fatal stings.
The most dangerous scorpions are found in areas of Mexico, the Middle East and the Sahara Desert.
Although most scorpion stings will cause nothing more than sickness, around 2400 people die each year from scorpion stings or the related illness, meaning the scorpion is on the world’s official “Deadly 60” list.
However, looks can be deceiving and the bright colours and pretty patterns of the frog’s skin are actually issuing a serious warning; Stay Away.
Most commonly found in South and Central America, the poison-dart tree frog is responsible for the production of one of the most toxic substances known to man.
So deadly is this substance, it is beloved that as little as 0.00000006 ounces is enough to kill a man.
One of the best known and most dangerous species of bear is the grizzly.
Regularly found in Alaska, Canada and The Rocky Mountains, the average male grizzly bear wears over 600-pounds and stands a proud seven feet tall. Animal behavior experts recommend individuals to not approach any type of bear, in particular if the bear is eating or there are cubs with it.
It is thought as many as ten people a year, in Alaska alone; lose their lives because of bear attacks.
Wasps, Bees and Mosquitoes
Many people may be surprised at seeing insects such as bees in a list of dangerous animals.
However, while the average bee and wasp is relatively harmless beyond a painful sting, certain species of wasps and bees are known for being much more aggressive.
Most bees will only sting when provoked or when they feel threatened however, this is not the case with the African Bee.
Aptly known as the “Killer Bee”, it is most commonly found in South America. Preferring to travel in swarms, African Bees cover their victim until the stings paralyze them, inevitably leading to death. While African Bees commonly kill large animals, such as horses, human attacks are not unusual.
The difference between the African Bee and other deadly animals is they don’t kill their prey for food, but rather because they can.
The most dangerous animal in the world is the mosquito and has earned this infamous title due to causing around three million deaths a year.
Mosquitoes carry the malaria pathogen, which affects around 12-percent of the world’s population. However, as well as spreading malaria, mosquitoes can also be responsible for the spreading of elephantiasis, yellow fever and canine heartworm.
Mosquitoes are out in force at night time and particularly like hanging around dirty water, such as gutters, swimming pools and other areas of water.
Mosquito repellent is an excellent way for an individual to protect themselves from bites however, it is also important to keep high-risk areas clean and water-free.
Snakes, Sharks and the Octopus
While most people wouldn’t want to share a swimming pool with a shark, attacks on humans are surprisingly rare.
In fact, there have only been just over 2000 shark-related deaths since the 14th century. However, their place on the world’s “Deadly 60” list is given because the potential for them to cause death and destruction is very real.
The most deadly species of octopus is the blue-ringed octopus, which is a fairly attractive species.
In fact, many people pick them up when swimming in the sea, not realising the potential harm involved.
The blue-ringed octopus bites although the bites are usually so gentle, the victim doesn’t even realise he has been bitten. It soon becomes apparent something is very wrong when the victim begins to suffer hallucinations, muscle spasms and vomiting, with respiratory failure eventually kicking in.
Currently, there is no anti-venom, meaning the best that can be done is respiratory assistance.
Victims, who manage to survive the 24-hours following the bite, usually go on to make a full recovery with no lasting effects.
You can read more about the blue-ringed octopus here.
Although there are said to be 2800 species of snakes in the world, only 400 of these are actually venomous and therefore likely to cause harm to humans.
The most famous of venomous snakes, the rattlesnake, only tends to bite humans when provoked or frightened.
A member of the viper family, the rattlesnake looks tame in comparison to the coral snake, which is thought to be responsible for around 3000 deaths a year in the tropics.
Elephants, Buffalo and Big Cats
For reasons that are hard to explain, people think elephants are relatively harmless.
However, while elephants are known for their colourful personality, including laughing and crying, elephants are responsible for over 1000 deaths a year. Admittedly, elephants rarely attack but rather elephant-related deaths are usually due to trampling, with the average elephant thought to move at around 35mph.
Elephants do have a tendency to charge, which can cause serious injuries to human beings.
Elderly male elephants are particularly dangerous, as their behavior is often unpredictable. Humans are also warned against approaching female elephants accompanied by their calves.
Tigers, lions and leopards may seem like obvious dangerous animals but they are actually considered more dangerous now than ever before.
As more humans encroach on these animal’s natural habitats and environments, attacks and loss of human life have become much more commonplace.
Most big cats do not like the “taste” of humans, although this doesn’t apply to the leopard.
In fact, leopards have been known to enter entire villages looking for prey.
Lions and tigers tend to shy away from humans, only attacking when feeling threatened. Scientists say there is now a very real worry that the increase in human interference will actually make animals such as the lion and tiger realise that humans are actually easy prey – therefore increasing attacks.
Most commonly found in Central and Southern America, the buffalo is known for its aggressive nature and mean temperament. Strong enough to fight off even the most vigorous of lion attacks; the average buffalo weighs 1500 pounds and is around five and a half feet in length.
Buffalo-related deaths are almost common place in the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, with many people falling foul of the buffalo’s sharp horns and tendency to charge. Unlike other dangerous animals, buffalo are not unduly bothered by the presence of humans, often choosing to graze near human activity.
They are most likely to turn aggressive when surprised or if they are disturbed while eating.
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