We all have a lot of irrational fears. Snakes and spiders are two big ones for a lot of people, as just an example, but there are a shocking number of animals in this world that can incapacitate or even kill you with just a single bite or sting. It’s not just limited to spiders and snakes either. If you enjoy sleeping well at night this might not be the list for you, especially if you swim the ocean, travel or spend time in the great outdoors. Here are the ten most poisonous animals in the world – try not to step on any of them.
10 Puffer Fish
The Puffer Fish looks all funny and cute and they don’t bite – so why are they on this list? Simple, in places like Japan and Korea people consume parts of the Puffer Fish – parts that are poisonous if not prepared correctly. One wrong bite into the wrong organ or fish part and you can suffer headaches, dizziness, vomiting, increased heart rate, paralysis, and even death. Seems a bit of a pain just for some tasty fish that is not only deadly if incorrectly prepared, but also very expensive.
9 Poison Dart Frog
These cute little frogs just might be the most poisonous animal on earth in regards to the amount of poison per body weight. No, really. One tiny little frog contains enough venom to kill 10 adult humans, and while many animals are more toxic, few can match the deadliness of this frog on a pound-per-pound basis. Luckily you are only liable to be poisoned if you touch or eat one, and since they are only found in the rainforests of Central and South America and Hawaii, the odds are most of us don’t have to worry about it. Still, these frogs are so poisonous that indigenous jungle natives used to coat their blow darts and arrows with the poison in order to kill or incapacitate their foes.
8 Inland Taipan
Ah finally, a snake to scare us all! Well, those of us that live in the arid Australian desert at least. This Australian snake is the most venomous snake on earth. The Taipan’s venom is somewhere around 200 to 400 times more powerful than that of the feared cobra. A single bite contains enough toxin to kill 100 humans. Even so, there’s never been a recorded human fatality from this snake because it is incredibly shy. Most bites are quickly treated with anti-venom – but if bitten and untreated a human can die in as little as 45 minutes.
7 Brazilian Wandering Spider
Now that’s more like it – a creature truly from our nightmares. Not only is this large hairy spider terrifying to behold, it’s also extremely large and shows up in surprising places. The Guinness Book of World Records called this the most poisonous animal on the planet in 2007. Luckily for most of us these things are found in Brazil where they love to linger on bunches of bananas, thus earning them the name Banana Spiders. They also like to hide during the day in places like houses, clothing, boots, and cars – fun! Oddly enough a bite from this creature might result in paralysis and death, but also a very long-lasting erection. Scientists have been attempting to transform this poison into a Viagra-like drug because of this wondrous side effect.
Hideously ugly, the stonefish poisons people with the use of a series of stingers along its back as a mode of self-defense. Some people have described a sting from the stonefish as the most unimaginable pain – even to the point of wanting the stricken limb amputated. That’s just one rollicking side effect of a sting from the world’s most venomous fish. Other side effects include tissue damage, shock, and paralysis. So if you ever see one of these incredibly ugly fish while diving along the barrier reef, the Pacific or Indian Oceans, or the Red Sea you might just want to steer clear of them. If they sting you the poison might kill you or you might simply drown from shock.
5 Deathstalker Scorpion
We’ve made it a rule around here to just avoid any type of animal with the word death in its name, because what possible good could come from ever encountering such a creature? Oddly enough, the Deathstalker Scorpion is mostly harmless to humans – go figure. A sting from this creature will only cause some extreme pain, numbness and swelling in most cases, unless you're elderly, a child, or infirm. Most adults will survive but the wound is going to hurt in ways you can only imagine. However, those who are vulnerable or allergic could easily die.
4 Blue Ringed Octopus
These beautiful creatures are extremely small - only roughly the size of a golf ball, but they pack a punch. Inside one of these creatures is enough venom to kill 26 humans, all within minutes. Oh, did we mention there’s no known antidote for this poison? Even worse, if you were ever bitten by one you might not even realize it because their bite is nearly painless but quickly causes weakness, numbness, restricted breathing and then death. The Blue Ringed Octopus can be found in tide pools in the Pacific.
3 Marbled Cone Snail
Who knew a snail would show up on this list? Despite their attractive exterior do not ever pick one up if you happen to spot one of these in a body of salt water. A single drop of its venom can kill 20 people. The venom is used primarily for defensive purposes and to catch food. If stung you might experience extreme pain, numbness, swelling, vision loss, paralysis, restricted breathing and even death. In fact, there have been about 30 recorded deaths from these animals and there is no known anti-venom.
2 King Cobra
Even though this snake doesn't have the strongest venom, it’s easily the most deadly. It’s also the longest venomous snake on the planet and can reach upwards of 18 feet in length! The cobra primarily eats other snakes for sustenance – which we would be thankful for if it wasn’t such a scary creature. When agitated the King Cobra spits it venom in the face of its prey in order to incapacitate it. King Cobra venom is so powerful that it can kill an elephant within 3 hours. While the King Cobra isn’t as venomous as other snakes it injects about five times more venom than a Black Mamba into its prey with a single bite, which kinda makes up for it. King Cobras are found in Southeast Asia and India.
1 Box Jellyfish
These jellyfish are primarily found in the oceans around Australia and Asia and they are considered the most poisonous animal in the world. If stung by one of their tentacles the toxin will elevate blood pressure and cause cardiac arrest, and probably a quick death. There have been over 5,500 recorded deaths attributed to this creature since 1954. Many die just by being stung and drowning because of the immense pain and shock. Surviving a sting is nearly impossible unless you get immediate treatment – and even then, you need to treat the wound with vinegar. One primary mode of sting prevention? Well, wearing pantyhose while swimming actually helps because they provide enough resistance against stings.