We are used to seeing killer sharks in blockbuster movies and bloody spiders willing to do anything to slaughter their opponents. However, if we take a closer look at the facts, the reality is quite different, there are in fact many other significantly more ferocious beasts of smaller or larger size. In this article we will discuss the 10 most Dangerous animals in the world and where to find them.
10. Cape Buffalo
The Cape Buffalo, which currently numbers around 900,000, is a rather peaceful species when no one comes to bother it. However, beware, if an individual close to it is attacked, it transforms and becomes “the black plague”. According to various facts, these are the creatures that have killed the most hunters. To give you an idea, a cape buffalo can measure up to one meter and ninety centimeters and weigh almost a ton, when a buffalo loads a prey its speed can reach 55 Km/h. Known to continue their attacks even when wounded, they do not hesitate to attack a moving vehicle.
Where to find them: Sub-Saharan Africa, including the Kruger National Park in South Africa
The lion is a majestic emblem referring to the “King of the Savannah“, the symbol of the lion is courage, strength and wisdom. Although it is not a man-eater, it is strongly advised to avoid encroaching on its territory.
Estimates of the number of lion-related deaths each year vary. According to a 2005 study, lions in Tanzania alone have killed 563 people since 1990, an average of approximately 22 deaths per year.
Other deaths likely occur outside of Tanzania, but it is difficult to find a concrete number worldwide.
8. Golden Poison Frog (Phyllobates Terribilis)
Phyllobates terribilis is a member of the amphibians within the family Dendrobatidae, its color seems harmless among other species. However, this species is the most dangerous for humans, it lives in the small chain of tropical forests along the Pacific coast of Colombia, reaching about 5 cm long.
The poison it breathes is called batrachotoxin, which is so potent that a single frog could kill ten adult men, consisting of only two micrograms (an amount that fits on the head of a pin would kill a man). In addition, what makes this frog so dangerous are its poisonous glands located under its skin, a slight contact with the skin can cause problems (painful burns). Some indigenous people placed this toxin on the tips of arrows used for hunting. However, mass deforestation has put these frogs on various endangered species lists, making encounters with these amphibians rare.
Where to find them: Northern South America
7. Cubozoa Box Jellyfish
Box jellyfish are often seen moving at speeds of up to 8 km/h in Indo-Pacific waters, these transparent invertebrates are considered the most venomous marine animal in the world. It has up to 15 tentacles, each up to 3 meters long, covered with stinging cells called nematocysts. These cells contain toxins that attack the heart, the nervous system and skin cells. Antivenoms have been developed but hundreds of victims do not make it to shore due to heart failure or drowning from shock. Moreover, even when a victim manages to receive the antidote, many pains can persist several weeks after the attack.
Where to find them : Off the northern coast of Australia
6. Pufferfish (Tetraodontidae)
Tetraodontidae, or balloonfish, are found in tropical seas around the globe. Although they are “only” the second most toxic vertebrates on the planet (behind the Colombian Kokoi), their neurotoxin (tetrodotoxin) is located in the skin, muscle tissue, liver and kidneys, making their consumption dangerous.
In Japan, it is consumed under the name of fugu, however it must be prepared only by qualified chefs. Some accidental deaths due to indigestion occur every year. Tetrodoxin has been found to be up to 1200 times more toxic than cyanide, and can cause weakening of the tongue and lips, dizziness, vomiting, arrhythmia, difficulty breathing, paralysis of muscles and even death if left untreated.
Where to find it : Around Japan, China and the Philippines
5. Black Mamba (Dendroaspis Polylepis)
Although species like the tree snake or the king cobra are dangerous thanks to their respective poisons, the black mamba is particularly deadly thanks to its speed.
It is the species that can reach up to 4.25 meters long, and is the fastest of all snakes, going up to 20 Km/h. Fortunately, they only attack in a general way when they are threatened, however when they attack, their bites are done in a repetitive way releasing enough venom to kill ten people. An antivenom exists, but if it is not administered within 20 minutes, the bites are almost 100 percent fatal.
Where to find them : The savannahs and rocky areas of Southern and Eastern Africa
4. Saltwater Crocodile (Crocodylus Porosus)
The saltwater crocodile is angrier than its cousin the alligator, it is aggressive towards everything that crosses its path. It is the largest and most dangerous species in the world. Measuring up to 7 meters long and weighing more than a ton, saltwater crocodiles kill hundreds of humans every year. Overall, they are responsible for more human deaths than sharks. Their main asset is the exceptional swimming ability they have as well as their bite producing a pressure of 1650 kg/m² comparable to the T. Rex. To put it simply, it only takes five percent of that strength to finish off a human.
Where to find them: The Indo-Pacific region which stretches from parts of India and Vietnam to northern Australia.
3. Tsetse Fly
The tsetse fly is recognized as the most dangerous fly in the world, measuring between 8 and 17 mm, which is about the same size as an average housefly. It can be seen in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in the central countries of the continent. We know the flies as nasty bloodsuckers that get into the hot weather, but the real terror of these flies lies in the protozoan parasites they disperse called Trypanosomes.
These pathogens are responsible for African sleeping sickness, which is marked by neurological and meningoencephalic symptoms including behavioral changes, loss of coordination, and as the name suggests, disturbances in sleep cycles. If left without treatment, it can cause death. To date, there are no vaccines or medications to prevent infection, however there are various techniques to avoid tsetse flies. Wearing neutral colored clothing is recommended (the fly is attracted to bright, dark colors, especially blue), as well as avoiding bushes during the day and treating clothing with permethrin in more remote areas.
Where to find them: Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola
In spite of its small size, the mosquito is the second most important cause of death in the world due to the multiple pathogens carried by more than 3,000 species scattered around the world. The main diseases come from insect irritants (Aedes, Anopheles and Culex) such as malaria, chikungunya, encephalitis, elephantiasis, yellow fever, dengue fever, West Nile virus and Zika virus, affecting approximately 700 million people each year with an estimated 725,000 deaths. According to the World Health Organization, more than half of the human population is exposed to mosquito-borne diseases. Knowing that they are attracted by the temperature of the human body as well as the CO2 we exhale, the best tools we have at our disposal are insect repellents composed of active ingredients such as DEET and icaridine.
Where to find them: All regions of the planet except Antarctica
Surprised? And yes, after all we are part of the animals, and for thousands of years we have been killing each other. Globally, the number of deaths due to war is estimated between 150 million and 1 billion (10 years ago). Today we consider ourselves to be in the most peaceful period in history, yet many attacks around the world occur every day. Moreover, we are dangerous for other animals in a direct and indirect way, we think about global warming, the destruction of forests and coral reefs.