What makes an animal truly dangerous? Does it make a difference if it is venomous (actively seeking to kill other creatures) or poisonous (usually killing only out of a need for self defense)?
In our opinion, poison is poison regardless of the reason one creature has for killing another. Each is dangerous in its own rite and should really be avoided. We searched high and low to determine what some of the most dangerous animals in the world are and where they’re located. Here’s what we found.
7. THE BOX JELLYFISH
The box jellyfish is one of the most venomous animals in the world and has taken the lives of over 5,500 people since the mid-1950′s. There are several different species of box jellyfish found around the world and not all are dangerous to humans. They are most often found in the warmer waters surrounding the northern section of Australia and their populations tend to increase between October and May each year. They have been found in the waters around Asia as well.
The venom released by box jellyfish contains nematocysts that enter the bloodstream causing excruciating pain and, eventually, damage to the heart or cardiac arrest. The most useful treatment is the application of vinegar which, if applied quickly enough, will help to remove the tentacles from the skin before the venom is absorbed into the bloodstream.
6. KING COBRA
The king cobra is one of the most venomous snakes in the world. The snake itself can grow up to 18+ feet (5.6 meters) in length and while it usually eats other snakes has been known to attack animals as large as Asian elephants.
The venom contained within a king cobra is not as dangerous as what is found in other snakes but the main problem is that the king cobra can inject up to five times more venom than any other snake. The toxic venom can kill a human being in a matter of minutes. These snakes are often found in South Asia and South-east Asia.
5. BLUE-RINGED OCTOPUS
The blue-ringed octopus is certainly a beautiful creature to behold but trust us when we say you’d prefer to see this little guy from a safe distance. These small yet dangerous creatures reside in the Pacific Ocean, usually around Japan and Australia, and are usually found in tide pools.
Resist the urge to touch if you should happen to see a blue-ringed octopus. The creature is only the size of a golf ball but contains enough poison to kill 26 humans. You may not even feel the bite, but the neurotoxins released into your bloodstream will eventually cause numbness, muscle weakness, respiratory failure, and death.
Image Credit:Boogies with Fish
The stonefish, on the other hand, is incredibly ugly. They are usually found in tropical waters in both the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Also known as Synanceia, the stonefish can release venom that is fatal to humans.
Image Credit: ~Sage~
The venom is rumored to cause so much pain that those who have been bitten by this nasty fish have begged to have their limbs amputated. Sadly, most who are bitten by this fish, found above the tropic of Capricorn, usually experience shock, paralysis, and a number of other gruesome symptoms as well. If the victim obtains immediate medical attention he may be saved.
3. POISON DART FROG
The poison dart frog is another creature you might find cute if you found it in the wild but just touching this little guy can put you in harms way. Native to South and Central America, the frog got its name because indigenous tribes used to use the poison as an addition to their blow darts.
Image Credit:Edgley Cesar
Poison dart frogs only grow to be around 2 inches (or 5cm) long but hold enough poison to kill up to 10 humans at a time. Believe it or not, chemicals found in this endangered species have been known to have painkilling properties up to 200 times stronger than morphine but the negative side effects far outweigh the benefits.
2. DEATH STALKER SCORPION
Most people are afraid of scorpions because they know their bites will cause pain, but usually not much else. The death stalker scorpion, on the other hand, will cause a bit more than a mere local reaction. Its poisons can cause not only pain but fevers, coma, seizures, and even death.
Image Credit: kevinzim
Death stalker scorpions are often found in the Middle East and in North Africa. The sting from a death stalker scorpion is incredibly painful but, especially if treated, rarely causes death in healthy adults. Special care and immediate medical attention should be obtained immediately if a death stalker scorpion bites a small child, an elderly person, or anyone who is already ill.
1. MARBLED CONE SNAIL
Most of us see snails and think they’re cute and, in reality, most are. The marbled cone snail, however, is a distinct exception. Found in the Indo-Pacific region, these tiny snails produce a venom so toxic one drop could kill up to 20 people.
The symptoms caused by these venoms may appear immediately or might be delayed. They include pain, swelling, trouble breathing, paralysis, and more. While there is no anti-venom it is important to note that only 30 people have ever been killed by a marbled cone snail.
Mother Nature has presented us with a number of stunning creatures. Never forget, however, that many are as deadly as they are beautiful. Never approach or touch a species you are unfamiliar with. You never know if it may be your last encounter on this earth!