When it comes to wildlife, we hunt it, train it, and eat it as humans. It should not come as any sort of surprise that animals have developed an understanding of humans and have evolved to take on humans as predators the same way they evolved to take on other animals as such. Interestingly, there are other animals on land and in the sea that we have yet to discover that also evolved into major predators as well.
Some of the candidates on our list we have just discovered in the last decade as being dangerous to humans. Other animals that made our cut are just starting to get more public knowledge, even if they’ve been killing humans for years.
It is going to become clear that many animals do not mind killing humans, even some that are not on our list. Everyone knows about lions, tigers, and bears. These are some of the key predators to avoid in the wild and if you do happen to come across them, you should make sure to turn around and go back the way you came, but they aren’t unique enough for us!
Below are 15 of the most uniquely deadly animals in the world that do not mind killing humans. Try not to become too terrified when you learn how many of them you did not consider as threats to your way of life, but definitely should have!
Some of them you may have very well crossed, and while others you may not run into on a trip to the mall, they will still shock you with the number of deaths they have caused the last number of years. We have decided to help you out in making sure you know to avoid these fifteen animals.
You can’t say no one ever tried to warn you!
It may not seem like it, but the average hippopotamus is not technically the lovable slow animal you would like to think it is. The hippo is known for being quite territorial and deadly. Many do not realize this, but hippos do not swim. Rather, they run underwater on the average rate of about 5 mph. This may not seem like it is that fast, but due to the cardio of the hippo, they do not tire down that easily and catch up with and take down anyone they see as a threat.
Hippos do often lay out clues to leave them alone, which why your normal guide will pick up in things and move along. Meanwhile, many who do not know much about them will end up dead from not leaving when they were supposed to. On the ground, they can run near 20 mph and they kill an average of 2,900 humans per year on the continent of Africa on an annual basis. This has made some animal experts call the hippo the most dangerous animal in all of Africa. Literally, everything pop culture has taught you about these animals is clearly a lie.
14. African Ant
People may not realize this, but there are over 250 types of ants in the world that have the ability to kill you. That doesn’t mean to fear all of them, as there are thousands of types of ants, but as you can tell by their spot on this list some absolutely have the chance to end your life.
And if you die, it isn’t just going to be because of one ant as ants live in colonies that can include millions of ants. The most deadly two types of ants are the African fire ant and Siafu ants of Africa. These particular ants have colonies over 20 million strong and together they can overpower humans.
Deaths to humans tend to be rare with these ants, but the reason they make the list is due to the fact that they have and will kill humans as a means to survive.
They’ll even make something out of their newfound human home. The way most humans die is by falling asleep near an ant colony. These ants, unlike others, will go after you if you’re near them. Due to their ant bites and venom in several bursts, you would end up dying due to anaphylactic shock. It is not quite the best way to go, so do your best and try not to sleep on the ground near an ant hill in Africa. All in all, these ants kill at least thirty people per year.
It should come as no surprise that snakes are some of the deadliest animals in the world, but typically if you leave them alone they will leave you alone. The issue happens to be with some particular background blending snakes like the Boomslang that are very hard to spot for the average human and they use this ability to hunt and stay protected.
The Boomslang is known for its fantastic eyesight, which is made all the more impressive when you consider snakes typically have poor vision.
Usually found in deep areas of Africa, when the Boomslang bites you, you will be hit you with a dose of Hemotoxin. Hemotoxins will destroy your red blood cells, can impact blood clotting and create tissue damage. All in all, this will make you virtually bleed out.
Sadly the only place in Africa that tends to have the antivenom is in Johannesburg. The average time it takes a human to bleed out from this takes about two hours. This is shorter for children and smaller people. Humans often die from Boomslangs due to not making it to a proper hospital in time.
12. Pfeffer’s Flamboyant Cuttlefish
The Pfeffer’s Flamboyant Cuttlefish is one of the most beautiful looking animals on Earth, but there is very little known about them among the average person. It is a rule of nature seemingly that the most beautiful something is, the more dangerous it might be. Ask Harley Quinn about that one. Regardless, the cuttlefish may look terrific but this is meant to be a warning sign.
The cuttlefish is quite toxic and will kill the average human. It may look great, but you would be surprised to learn that it not only kills various species per year but kills humans without any regard for the age, skin color, or size. It often times gets swimmers in the Indian/Pacific ocean. So do keep an eye out for them if you’re literally anywhere in the water it seems.
11. The Swan
I know what you’re thinking, how did the lovable swan make it on the list with all of these incredibly dangerous animals that you have seen and will see? It’s simple. Like the hippo, there is a major thought that the swan is very peaceful and won’t hurt a fly…especially humans. Like the hippo, there is no craving for human flesh or even to kill humans at all. The real issue comes down to its territorial instincts. If they are concerned you’re after their young or coming too close, they will attack.
Now what makes them so dangerous is that they do not like to stop until they eliminate the threat completely. You may have to do a lot to tick off a swan, so if you do you may deserve what comes to you. They will literally attempt to rip your bones out to protect themselves and their family.
While human deaths to the swan are rare, they have happened. There was a case back in 2014 of a man being killed by one. While they really are unlikely to attack, they will. So do not test them or you will regret it as they do not care if you’re a human, dog, or alligator. You’re going to get swanned. Dun Dun Dun!
10. Leopard Seal
The Leopard Seal is known for seemingly being quite dull and very much pacifistic. This is unless you’re a fish or something. However, as you may have noticed from newer films that feature the animal…even animated, they can be quite deadly. Humans often feel they can simply drift on by the seal and expect it to not go toward them. On land, the human does have an advantage as the seal is a bit slower. However, on the water, you could be as good as dead.
They have been known to attack humans and they are tied with the killer whale for one of the top predatory animals in the world. They will normally steer clear of humans but like the swan, they will attack when they feel antagonized.
Back in 2003, a scientist was literally dragged into the sea and killed by a Leopard Seal. Whether this was done by confusion in the seal thinking this person was another animal or intentional, you will agree it is an awful way to go. We have since been very open to the idea that we need to look out for this particular seal in the wild.
9. Poison Dart Frog
It should come as no surprise that the freaking poison dart frog makes the list, but it does for a very good reason. People simply do not know they are poisonous until it is too late. Of course, the local tribes that use these frogs do, but they probably aren’t reading this list!
Typically a person will run across one in the jungles/rain forest of South America, so at least it is doubtful you will see one in your backyard. The reason deaths happen due to them is simply because humans pick them up and since you may find them in a forest, your skin could be cut and thus toxin gets in. Their skin oozes their poison, which is why tribes tend to have no problem holding them in cages and using their skin to add poison to arrows and things of that nature.
Not all of these frogs are lethally poisonous, but most have been known to kill. Possibly the most poisonous would be the Golden Dart Frog, which only requires one touch to kill you. Often times zoos and scientists can remove the glands that develop the poison in these frogs which allow them to become pets. They also remove certain insects from their diet that make them develop the poison too. However, beauty often times makes people ignore the danger they pose, remember that last girlfriend?
That said, the death toll is not large per year from direct contact. The poison is called batrachotoxin. It causes paralysis and death once it enters the bloodstream. So try and ignore these little guys, will ya?
8. Death Stalker Scorpion
The Death Stalker Scorpion is seen as one of the most beautiful looking animals in the world but it is also known for its massive poisonous abilities. You come across them more in the desert, and with its yellow look, you will often times miss them and get stung pretty bad. The camo they use it often for other insects and not humans, but if you get near them and they feel threatened, you will get hit. Again, this is never the intention but only as an active protective instinct.
Mortal Kombat’s Scorpion character was based on the Death Stalker, and it makes total sense in theory. Despite its look and name, The Death Stalker has a much higher survival rate than a lot of animals on this list. Sure, the sting is painful, but if you get to a proper doctor in time or at least have Epi-Pen handy, you should be okay.
Normally cause of death is due to anaphylactic shock, which means the body was allergic to the poison and could lead to breathing issues. Typically people run across these bad boys in areas where treatment is tough to get a hold of, which increases the fatality rate.
7. Cape Buffalo
While it may not seem like it due to how peaceful they look most of the time, the average Cape Buffalo is by no means friendly to humans. The reason for this is evolutionary understanding of predators. They tend to know who is out for them and either run or attack. Often times a wounded Buffalo will actually go harder at anything it interprets as a threat. Humans have often times tried to help a hurt Buffalo and found themselves hurt or killed.
Lions tend to go after an animal that they feel is good for food, but often times even they stay away from the Cape Buffalo. The reason makes sense, as buffalo will often travel in packs and move at high speeds. This particular type of buffalo kills an average of 200 people per year. They do it by charging and/or goring their victim, but like how Simba’s dad died, they also trample too. Most people fail to see them as a dangerous threat due to how nice they appear from a distance, but just like the hippo, it is best to stay away if at all possible.
6. Cone Snail
Ever go to a beach and think about collecting seashells with your friends, kids, or partner? Well, you may want to wear gloves when you do. Often times when people go to the beach, this is a popular thing to do to relax, but nothing is relaxing about interacting with the cone snail!
While the cone snail may not seem like a killer, they are. Disguised as a pretty shell, the cone snail will use its harpoon-like stinger to penetrate human skin. This will result in a deadly poison entering the human body. There is a special name for it now called the Conotoxin, which will cause similar things to a Neurotoxin and paralyze a person.
The toxin typically affects people as they are in the ocean, so drowning has occurred due to it. On top of this, breathing is incredibly difficult as your entire system shuts down. If you get help quickly enough, survival is certainly possible. However, oxygen and CPR is often needed. There is no cure for this toxin, so you have to wipe it out of your blood. This means full blood transfusions are often needed to rid your body of the toxin. This all comes from a snail that looks like a shell. Seriously.
5. Puffer Fish
The only animals on the list that can kill both before and after death are the puffer fish. In fact, most of the damage done by Puffer Fishes happen after they die. This fish is considered a delicacy on many areas of the world and is often served at sushi bars. However, one must know how to properly serve and cut it. If not served right, poison will enter your body. The two prominent poisons it secretes are Saxitoxin and Tetrodotoxin. These poisons are both very deadly alone, but together even more so. Tetrodotoxin. in particular, can cause muscle paralysis, numbness, and rapid heart rate. This may not seem like much, but things do get worse.
Due to this happening at sushi places more often, medical treatment does occur quite quickly. However, people have died before and the fish is too dead to even care. During its lifetime, the fish is actually quite tough to kill. In fact, most animals tend to stay away from it in the sea…even sharks. This is due to knowing what it can do to you, therefore predators tend to be minimal for it. Now that’s respect. Miss Puff doesn’t seem so weird now does she?
4. Hooded Pitohui
Often called the Flying Venom by scientists, the Hooded Pitohui may not seem like much of a threat at first sight, but they are very deadly. Most do not see birds as being deadly and typically think attacks from the beak would be the biggest concern.
Not with the Hooded Pitohui, which instead has a poisonous element to it. The poison has many similarities to the Poison Dart Frog in that the Pitohui secretes the poison from its body, rather than shooting it out or stabbing you.
The issue is when the poison enters the human bloodstream after you interact with the animal. God help you if you had any open cut! The extreme danger of this animal is why gloves and clothing are needed on every surface before even considering getting closer.
Scientists once did a study on the poison on lab mice. The average mouse would die in a couple minutes from other poison, sometimes even hours. With this poison, it was within seconds. This goes to prove how scary the poison could be on a human. Paralysis is the most common problem the Hooded Pitohui causes, but death has occurred for those who get untreated for their symptoms.
3. Blue-Ringed Octopus
Possibly the most beautiful animal on this list is the Blue-Ringed Octopus. Known for how beautiful it is to divers, there is often an issue with death for those that get too close to it. Many animals stay away because they see the problem. Remember, the more beautiful an animal is, the better chance it has to kill you. Not to mention our ex-girlfriend theory from earlier. The poison involved in this animal is insane. They contain, tetrodotoxin, 5-hydoxytryptamine, hyaluronidase, tyramine, histamine, tryptamine, octopamine, taurine, acetylcholine, and dopamine.
You wonder why people tell you to stay away now? Now humans have survived the attack, but that is mostly for helping to stop the symptoms and doing like we would do with the Cone Snail. There is no cure to all of the poison it puts in you, so flushing it out is the only way to help.
In some cases for those that have survived, blindness and permanent paralysis has happened. The Octopus will also give off their poison without realizing it, meaning it doesn’t even know how deadly it is! They are very deep sea animals, but people often learn about how beautiful and want to get near. If you need yet another reminder, the best thing to do is stay away.
2. The Slow Loris
The Slow Loris may look nice and cute, but remember what we spoke about regarding beauty? Works for cuteness too. The Loris has a toxin that it produces on the inside of its elbows through a special gland. This toxin, if eaten, would give one an extreme case of stomach pain. Due to knowing how easy their young can be to pick off for predators, mothers will put a ton of their toxin all over their young to protect them.
Now the toxin is usually mild for humans and often times non-fatal. However, humans have died from the Slow Loris as they tend to go through issues of anaphylactic shock. Of course, this does not happen with every human that runs across these lovely animals, but due to the fact it has occurred, they do make the list. Obviously, the toxin is secreted through the skin and the animal does not know when or if they’ll get attacked. So they do not seek out humans to hurt or care if they do. Sadly, deaths do happen.
1. Lanomia or “The Assassin Caterpillar”
The Assassin Caterpillar is exactly as it sounds. Like an assassin, you typically have no idea that you’re about to die until it is too late. As you can see by the image, the caterpillar has sharp barbs of sorts all over. Typically found in Brazil, people tend to die due to stepping on them, putting their hand on them accidentally, or sitting on them. It is not hard to do any of this as they blend into the environment very well. It may not seem like it, but this one animal is responsible for over five hundred deaths in the last few years. How may you ask? Due to the toxin it produces.
It causes disseminated intravascular coagulation(DIC), basically meaning you’ll end up bleeding out similar to what a hemotoxin does. The difference may be due to the shutting down or organs and platelets. Everything messes up so much on the inside that you end up shutting down and bleeding within which would end up seeing you bleed out from every single hole. It is the worst way to die that there is.
This poison can attack the human body quickly and while there is no cure for some of the symptoms, some of the fatal symptoms can be treated if caught in time.
If not, death can happen in less than a day from it. Usually, deaths happen due to heart attack, stroke, or simple bleed outs. It all truly depends on the person.