There are some really dangerous things out there that you should know of. We’re not talking about demons, ghosts and other supernatural things. No, we’re not talking about thieves, thugs, politicians or serial killers either. We’re talking about real, living beings that can prove deadly if you trespass in their habitat. If you see them, run fast and ask for help!
Deadliest Animals in the Wild
Which are the deadliest animals in the wild? The killer gorillas? The angry sharks? Those ghastly insects creeping and crawling around carrying all sorts of diseases or venom? Is it something big and hulking that can tear you to pieces or a hidden creepy thing you’ve never ever heard of?
Stick around! We’re going to find out! And remember, if you see these while on vacation, run fast and ask for help! No kidding!
1. Cone snails
Cone snails are gorgeous. They are highly cherished for their colors and patterns, which can make you want to pick them up and admire them. However, we advise you don’t do that, as it can prove deadly.
When feeling threatened, the snail would shoot its harpoon and inject venom. In the case of larger species of cone snails, this harpoon can pierce through gloves and wetsuits. And if you happened to pick up a large tropical fish-eating cone snail species, such as Conus geographus, Conus tulipa or Conus striatus, a sting could be fatal.
Records show that in 1935, a man died within 5 hours after having been stung by Conus geographus. It was the first documented death from the venom of cone snails. According to official toxicology reports, about 27 human deaths have been attributed to cone snails. These are only documented deaths, and the actual numbers are much higher.
The symptoms of cone snail sting include intense pain in the area, followed by swelling, numbness and tingling. Vomiting will occur after, and, depending on the severity, muscle paralysis, blurred vision, and respiratory failure could follow, leading to death.
2. The Arizona Bark Scorpion
This is the most venomous scorpion in North America. It inhabits the state of Arizona, southern Utah, Nevada, and parts of Mexico. Its light brown color and layers of wax on its exoskeleton allow it to adapt better to the desert.
Nevertheless, it tends to hide from the heat of the day, and its favourite hiding places include rocks, tree barks, wood piles or homes. In Arizona, the bark scorpions can be found inside homes as their small size allows them to squeeze through even the smallest gaps.
The Arizona bark scorpion venom care cause acute pain, numbness and tingling in the affected area. It can lead to vomiting and temporary paralysis of the hand or arm. In some adults, it can also lead to shortness of breath.
The records show a couple of fatalities in the state of Arizona. However, if you are a healthy adult, the Arizona bark scorpion venom shouldn’t be fatal, and its effects could wear off after 72 hours. The number of victims stung by the bark scorpions is estimated to be in the thousands in Arizona and New Mexico. So, better beware.
3. The Sydney funnel web spider
The Atrax robustus, as scientists name it, is one of the most dangerous spiders in Australia. It is responsible for 13 recorded fatalities and who knows how many more unofficial deaths. Luckily, in the early 1980s, an antivenom was developed, and if administered in time, it can stop the venom from wrecking all kinds of havoc in your body.
The most dangerous are male funnel web spiders. Their venom is more toxic and can prove fatal in some cases.
4. West African Carpet Viper
The West African carpet viper, or ocellated carpet viper is one of the most venomous species of viper out there. Records show it caused more deaths than all the other African viper species combined. We’re talking about 20,000 deaths per year among African agricultural workers.
You can recognize the ocellated carpet vipers by their bulging eyes and short snout, as well as the small round white spots on their back. The viper’s body is, on average, 30-50 cm long; that’s about 12-20 inches.
It’s usually active during the night when it goes hunting. It is quite aggressive. When provoked, its body forms an “S”, and it makes an alert sound with its scales.
The venom is slow acting. At first, it would cause acute pain and swelling near the bite area. The skin tissue will start to blister and deteriorate. Within a day, if no antivenom is administered, internal bleeding will begin throughout the body, causing the circulatory system to collapse. In fact, research shows that not all types of viper antivenoms are effective against the West African carpet viper venom. Quite tricky! Better to stay away from it!
5. The Tsetse Fly
If you live in the Sub-Saharan African region, you probably already know this pesky little fly and its dangers. If you’re planning on visiting, you should pack permethrin-treated gear and neutral-coloured clothes and avoid bushes and vegetation areas during the day. The flies are attracted by bright colors, especially blue or red.
So, why should you stay away from the Tsetse fly? After all, it’s just a tiny, 8-17 mm fly. The danger lies in the parasites it carries. Known as Trypanosomes, these microscopic parasites cause what is known as the African Sleeping Sickness.
The symptoms include fever, skin rash or even more severe lesions, and swollen lymph nodes that can evolve into meningoencephalitis – an infection of the brain and the fluids surrounding the spinal cord. If not treated, the disease can cause severe headaches, insomnia, or sleeping for longer periods during the day. It could also lead to difficulty walking and speech impairment, seizures, confusion, loss of concentration, irritability, weight loss and personality changes.
The disease is pretty severe, and if left untreated, it can cause death within weeks or months. The problem is that these symptoms vary depending on the person, and doctors will find it hard to pin down the underlying cause. The Tsetse fly bite can be quite painful, resulting in a local sore spot, and travellers can know they’ve been bitten. However, in some cases, the people can be bitten and not know, making diagnosing the disease quite tricky.
6. The Saltwater Crocodile
We couldn’t have ended this list without naming one of the scariest animals in the wild – the saltwater crocodile.
It is a short-tempered and hostile crocodile that would attack anything that gets in its way. Actually, it is the largest and most lethal reptile in the world. It can grow up to 6 meters or 21 feet long and weigh more than a ton – 2,200 – 2,900 lbs.
They ambush their prey, drown or swallow it whole. They can kill any animal that would ever enter their territory, even sharks, other big reptiles or humans. In fact, they are known to have caused more human fatalities than sharks have.
These crocodiles are incredible swimmers; they can strike fast and deadly. Their big jaws can exert more than 3,700 pounds per square inch (psi) of brute force. That’s T. Rex territory. You should definitely stay away from the saltwater crocodile’s habitat. If you see it, run fast and ask for help! Actually, you might not have the chance to run. So better to stay away from it, you know.
7. Blue-Ringed Octopus
The blue-ringed octopus looks cute. It’s the size of a golf ball, docile, boasting yellowish skin and iridescent blue and black rings. But when those rings change colour dramatically, baby octopus here gets scared and angry, and that’s when it becomes one of the deadliest animals in the sea.
Despite their small size – 12 to 20 cm or 5 to 8 inches – they pack a deadly punch. We’re talking about a neurotoxin that is 1,000 times more powerful than cyanide. One blue-ringed octopus carries enough venom to kill 26 adult humans in minutes. Their bites are small and painless. Chances are you won’t even know you’ve been bitten until respiratory failure and paralysis begins. There is no antivenom available. So be mindful of these creatures. They are cute and beautiful but don’t anger them.
The good news is they spend most of their time in hiding. They can easily change shape and fit through crevices much smaller than themselves. They can pile up rocks outside the entrance to their lair, which helps safeguard them from predators.
Blue-ringed octopus feeds on crabs and shrimp. When they seize their prey in their arms, they pull it towards their mouths and release the venom to paralyze their prey’s muscles and effectively kill it.
What do you think? Would you touch after what you’ve just found out?
8. Irukandji Jellyfish
Question! How much venom can a 0.9 inches jellyfish carry? Enough to bring down a man with a single sting.
The Irukandji jellyfish lives in the Australian coastal water. Their bell is between 5 to 25 millimetres wide. That’s 0.20 to 0.98 inches. Their tentacles feature small halo rings, while the nematocysts (AKA the stingers) grow in clumps around the bell and tentacles.
Apart from their small size, the Irukandji jellyfish are also transparent, making it very difficult to see them in the water. Researchers say they can shoot stingers from their tentacles and inject venom into their prey. That sounds badass and deadly.
Moreover, despite being so fragile and tiny, they are responsible for killing 5 tourists in 3 months along the Australian coast.
When an Irukandji jellyfish stings your skin, you will display signs of what is known as the Irukandji syndrome. The symptoms include vomiting, difficulty breathing and excruciating pain. It takes between 5 to 40 minutes for the symptoms to appear and 2 to 12 hours from symptoms to death.
So, stay away from these little transparent demons!
Mosquitoes are considered some of the deadliest animals in the world. Forget about lions, tigers, and poisonous marine creatures. It’s the pesky little mosquito that can prove fatal.
It can carry malaria, dengue, West Nile fever, yellow fever, elephantiasis, chikungunya or Zika diseases, all of which are extremely dangerous and life-threatening.
In fact, reports show that mosquitos kill more people than any other creature worldwide. Reports indicate that one million people a year die from a disease caused by a mosquito bite. One million!
There are more than 3,000 species of mosquitoes buzzing around the globe. Not all of them spread the aforementioned diseases, though. The most dangerous species are the Anopheles mosquitoes, the Aedea and Culex.
The anopheles mosquito spreads malaria, while the Aedes aegypti is responsible for spreading lymphatic filariasis, Zika, yellow fever and dengue.
So, pack lots of mosquito repellent and protective gear and stay informed before leaving for the regions where you know these pesky little rascals are a real threat.