The Most Dangerous Animals in the World

From tiny critters to monstrous beasts, these animals are some of the most dangerous on Earth

Bears, lions, sharks… In general, these are the animals that first come to mind when we think of “dangerous” creatures.

Sure, they can certainly be deadly, but the reality is, when it comes to categorizing  the most threatening  beasts and critters on earth, you have to consider factors beyond brawn and big teeth (although those characteristics do count, too).

In our search for the world’s most dangerous animals we found there are a few different ways you can classify a creature as dangerous.

For instance, you can consider how many human deaths it’s caused, or you can take a look at the power behind its defense mechanisms, like the potency of a snake’s venom for instance.

For this reason, we considered several different variables when rounding out this list.

Yes, dogs kill about 28 people a year in the U.S., but would you really consider them more dangerous than a squid powerful enough to cut through flesh and bone? Ultimately, that's for you to decide, but in general, dogs are mostly safe to interact with. 

Of course, most will never come across a killer squid in their lives, but instead of exclusively considering statistics related to animal-caused deaths, we found it was more interesting to take a slightly wider perspective by including lesser known animals from all around the world.

Curious to see which hazardous and even deadly creatures made the cut? Here’s a look at some of the world’s most lethal, poisonous and downright dangerous animals. 

Cows

OK, unless you work on a farm you probably don’t have to worry about being injured or killed by a cow (according to The Washington Post’s report, most people killed by cows are farm workers), but still, we were surprised to learn that cows kill about 20 people per year in the U.S. alone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted that hefty cows are “powerful, quick, protective of their territory and offspring, and especially unpredictable during breeding and birthing periods.”

Bullet Ant

Part of National Geographic’s “Deadly 60” list (a round-up of the world’s most deadly animals —not necessarily to humans, though), the bullet ant’s sting isn’t lethal but it’s certainly incapacitating. In fact, it’s widely considered the most painful insect sting in the world. “The pain is so immediate and intense that it shuts down all illusions of life as normal,” Dr. Justin Schmidt of the Southwestern Biological Institute in Arizona told the BBC. “Imagine sticking a finger in a 240 volt electrical socket.” That’s reason enough for us to dub this bug definitely dangerous — as in, we’ll stay as far away as possible, thank you very much. 

Click here to see more of the most dangerous animals.

More Reading:
Survival Myths that Could Actually Kill You
The Most Dangerous Islands in the World
Most Dangerous Rock Climbs

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