Nr.10 - Mosquito
Clocking in at just three millimeters at their smallest, the common mosquito, even tinier than the tsetse fly, ranks as the second most dangerous on our list due to the sheer amount of deaths each year attributed to the various pathogens carried by several of the more than 3,000 species around the world. Found in every region on the planet except Antarctica, the irritating insects—primarily those from the genera Aedes, Anopheles, and Culex—are the primary vectors of diseases such as malaria, Chikungunya, encephalitis, elephantiasis, yellow fever, dengue fever, West Nile virus, and the Zika virus, which collectively afflict an estimated 700 million and kill roughly 725,000 people each year. As the World Health Organization notes, more than half of the human population is currently at risk from mosquito-borne diseases. Given that the pests are attracted to our body temperatures and the CO2 we exhale, our best tools to prevent infection lie in the usage of insect repellents high in active ingredients like DEET and picaridin.
Nr.9 - Black Mamba
Though species like the boomslang or the king cobra are dangerous thanks to their respective poisons, the black mamba is especially deadly due to its speed. Found in the savannas and rocky areas of southern and eastern Africa, the species (which can grow up to 14 feet long) is the fastest of all snakes, slithering at speeds of up to 12.5 miles per hour, which makes escaping one in remote areas that much more difficult. Thankfully, black mambas usually only strike when threatened—but when they do, they’ll bite repeatedly, delivering enough venom (a blend of neuro- and cardiotoxins) in a single bite to kill ten people. And if one doesn’t receive the correlative antivenin within 20 minutes, the bites are almost 100 percent fatal.
Nr.8 - Stonefish
Divers should be wary of this venomous fish, which disguises itself with its camouflaged appearance and can easily blend in with rocks on the seabed. Usually the stonefish is found lurking above the Tropic of Capricorn. The spines on the fish’s back carry a toxin that can cause swelling, necrosis of tissue, paralysis, shock, and ultimately death. While the toxin is treatable, treatment must take place immediately. Being as that is generally challenging or impossible when one takes in a toxin while swimming along the ocean floor, the stonefish is quite deadly. If possible, the victim should immerse the wound site in hot water while traveling to the nearest hospital.
Did You Know?
Stonefish hunt their prey using the element of surprise. It waits patiently for the prey to appear and then swallows it in a blink of an eye. A whole attack lasts just 0.015 seconds.The spines on the fish’s back carry a toxin that can cause swelling, necrosis of tissue, paralysis, shock, and ultimately death. While the toxin is treatable, treatment must take place immediately. Being as that is generally challenging or impossible when one takes in a toxin while swimming along the ocean floor, the stonefish is quite deadly. If possible, the victim should immerse the wound site in hot water while traveling to the nearest hospital.
Did You Know?
Stonefish hunt their prey using the element of surprise. It waits patiently for the prey to appear and then swallows it in a blink of an eye. A whole attack lasts just 0.015 seconds.
Nr.7 - Brazilian
This spider is also known as a “banana spider.” It is regularly confused with the golden silk orb-weaver, because that species of spider has bright yellow coloration and is also often colloquially (and incorrectly) referred to as a “banana spider.” Golden orb spiders are relatively harmless, despite their frightening appearance.Brazilian wandering spiders on the other hand are decidedly not. They were rated as the most venomous animal on the planet by the Guinness Book of World Records in 2007. The high dosage of serotonin in the Brazilian wandering spider’s venom is extremely painful. The neurotoxins present can cause paralysis and death.
Nr.6 - Inland
Many snakes are poisonous, but the inland taipan is among the most deadly on the planet. The inland taipan lives in Australia and has a neurotoxin in its venom which is capable of killing a person within 45 minutes. Thankfully, the inland taipan’s bite can readily be treated. Amazingly enough, there are no reported deaths caused by this
Nr.5 – Blue Ringed
This tiny octopus is about the size of a golf ball, and could easily sit in the palm of your hand. Nonetheless, you definitely wouldn’t want it to, since it is quite nearly the most venomous animal in the sea. Blue-ringed octopi make their homes around Australia, Japan, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Papua, New Guinea. The venom from this animal can cause blindness, nausea, paralysis and respiratory failure, as well as death.
Nr.4 - Golden Poison Dart Frog
The poison dart is a large, diverse group of brightly colored frogs that live mostly in northern South America, of which only a handful of species are particularly dangerous to humans. The most deadly, the golden poison dart, inhabits the small range of rain forests along Colombia’s Pacific coast, and grows to around two inches long (roughly the size of a paper clip). Its poison, called batrachotoxin, is so potent that there’s enough in one frog to kill ten grown men, with only two micrograms—roughly the amount that would fit onto the head of a pin—needed to kill a single individual. But what makes the amphibian especially dangerous is that its poison glands are located beneath its skin, meaning a mere touch will cause trouble. Little wonder the indigenous Emberá people have laced the tips of their blow darts used for hunting with the frog’s toxin for centuries. Sadly, deforestation has landed the frog on several endangered lists, but even if you do have a rare sighting when hiking, don’t go reaching for it.
Nr.3 - Cone Snail
Found in the warm waters in the tropics (think the Caribbean, Hawaii, and Indonesia), these beautiful creatures, instantly recognizable for their highly prized brown-and-white marbled shells, can be seen in shallow depths closer to shore, near coral reefs and rock formations, and beneath sandy shoals. But do not dare to touch the 4- to 6-inch long gastropods: their concealed, harpoon-like “teeth” contain a complex venom known as a conotoxin, making them one of the most venomous species of snails. If you suffer the unlucky fate of becoming one of the handful of people ever stung, head to the emergency room immediately, as there is no antivenin. The toxin stops nerve cells from communicating with one another; so the creature not only causes paralysis within moments, but, per its nickname of “cigarette snail," affords you about enough time to smoke a stick before you die.
Nr.2 - Box Jellyfish
Often found floating (or moving at speeds close to five miles per hour) in the Indo-Pacific waters north of Australia, these transparent, nearly invisible invertebrates are considered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as the most venomous marine animal in the world. Their namesake cubic frames contain up to 15 tentacles at the corners, with each growing as much as 10 feet long, all lined with thousands of stinging cells—known as nematocysts—that contain toxins that simultaneously attack the heart, nervous system, and skin cells. While antivenins do exist, the venom is so potent and overwhelming that many human victims, of the hundreds of reported fatal encounters each year, have been known to go into shock and drown or die of heart failure before reaching shore. Even if you are lucky enough to make it to the hospital and receive the antidote, survivors can sometimes experience considerable pain for weeks afterward and bear nasty scars from the creature’s tentacles.
Nr.1 - Humans
Surprised? After all, we’re animals too, and since we’ve been killing each other for 10,000 years, with the total deaths from war alone estimated at between 150 million and 1 billion (and that was a decade ago), it’s a no-brainer that we top the list. Though human beings are said to be living in the most peaceful period now than at any other time in our history, we still assault each other with incredibly high rates of senseless brutality, from gun violence in cities like Munich and Fort Lauderdale to terrorist attacks around the globe. We're dangerous to other animals, too—think global warming and the destruction of forests and coral reefs. Given the threat we pose to countless other creatures—and the fact that we often act irrationally and have the capacity to annihilate our entire planet with a host of horrifying weapons like nuclear devices and genetically-modified superbugs—we are squarely atop the list as the most dangerous animal in the world.
Sharks may star in the bloodiest blockbusters and spiders tend to monopolize the phobia department, but when you get down to the facts, neither of these creatures are even close to being the scariest to stalk the planet. Indeed, there are many ferocious beasts, both large and small, that are downright deadly. Here, the ten most dangerous animals in the world.