15 Shockingly Deadly Animals
What’s the most dangerous animal in the world? You’re probably thinking about lions, tigers, and bears. While these ferocious beasts can be deadly under the right circumstances, some of the most dangerous animals are creatures you’ve never heard about - or least expect! Check out these fifteen surprisingly deadly animals, from ostrichs to mosquitos!
You might think this is just a pretty shell, but you’re wrong. This is the cone snail, one of the most venomous animals in the world. There are a variety of cone snails known for their beautiful shells, and most are completely harmless to humans. But large species of cone snail (such as the fish-eating “conus geographus” found in Australasia) can kill you if you’re not careful! Cone snails have a venomous tooth that is similar to a dart or harpoon and just as sharp as a hypodermic needle. The tip can penetrate your skin and even a wetsuit to release a deadly venom. While smaller snails might give you a sting like a bee, the larger species can be fatal. In fact, the “conus geographus” is called the “cigarette snail” because, according to the legend, you’ll have just enough time to smoke one last cigarette before you die. Victims of a fatal injection suffer from excruciating pain, vomiting, paralysis, and then respiratory failure. Every year, fifteen people pick up a beautiful shell on the beach and are stung by the cone snail - for the first and last time.
What is the most ferocious animal on the savannah? It’s not the lion, the rhino, or the hyena - it’s the cape buffalo. The cape buffalo is a squat beast rippling with muscle with thick horns fused to their skulls that form a shield of bone known as the “boss.” While they have a placid appearance reminiscent of a cow, cape buffalo have never been domesticated and are incredibly unpredictable and very dangerous. They have no natural predators, and even lions and crocodiles will only attack advantageous prey. The whole herd will fight to the death when threatened using their hooves and horns. Buffalo will kill lions and even hunt and trample cubs in revenge. In fact, cape buffalo have long memories - they are known to attack hunters that have harmed them years afterward and, similarly, will reward former protectors. In fact, hunters consider the cape buffalo one of the “Big Five”—the most dangerous animals to hunt in the world. Buffalo that are wounded by an overambitious hunter will turn the tables and ambush their attacker, emerging from the undergrowth in a ferocious charge that can flip a car. Buffalo gore more hunters than any other game animal in Africa and kill over 200 people every year.
While they might be safe behind aquarium glass, you don’t want to encounter these jellyfish in the water. Found primarily in tropical waters, different species of box jellyfish are known for their vicious stings. The most dangerous? The sea wasp, located in Australasia. From certain angles, the sea wasp looks like a translucent human skull surrounded by a cloud of ten-foot-long tentacles tipped with microscopic darts. When you’re underwater, the jellyfish is almost invisible - until it decides to strike. Smarter and with a more advanced neutral system than many other jellyfish, the sea wasp is always on the hunt for fish and can move in bursts of surprising speed with a powerful jet of water. If you’ve been stung by a sea wasp, you only have two to three minutes to find antivenom or medical treatment. While Australia has medical stations on their beaches, people in the Philippines aren’t so lucky—every year, at least 40 people are killed by migrating sea wasps. The venom is so painful that victims have been known to go into shock and drown before making it back to shore. If you make it back to the beach, look for a treatment station or use vinegar on the wound to counteract the effects of the string. But the next time your swimming in that part of the world, avoid the beautiful jellyfish floating in the water!
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