One creature is far more deadly than the rest
Earth is covered with dangerous animals, but there are a few that stand head and shoulders above the others when it comes to the number of humans deaths they cause. Some animals that are often thought of as scary and dangerous don’t come close to making the list. Sharks, for example, are only responsible for about six deaths a year.
Before we reveal the world’s most dangerous animal, here are some worthy runners-up:
Photo: Camilla Faurholdt-Löfvall/flickr
Hippos tick a lot of the ‘deadly animal’ boxes: sharp teeth, aggressive nature, enormous weight (up to 2,750kg) and unnerving speed (30km/h at a full run). They’ve long been considered Africa’s deadliest large land animal, killing around 500 people a year.
The saltwater crocodile is the largest reptile on the planet, with speed and strength to match its size. Their huge mouths and sharp teeth even allow them to eat other predators, so they’re high risk to humans. Crocodiles are responsible for about 1,000 deaths a year, and have overtaken hippos as the most dangerous large animal in Africa.
Photo: Ben Fruen/flickr
Most of the damage done by dogs is not from attacks; it’s from a deadly virus that they carry. Rabies has been eradicated from some parts of the world, and many people are protected from it by vaccines, but it still claims 35,000 lives a year. Rabies can also be transmitted by bats, but dogs are responsible for about 99 per cent of cases.
Photo: Bernard Dupont/flickr
Not all snakes are harmful, but those that produce venom kill cause 100,000 deaths each year. One of the main dangers of snake bites is the shortage of antivenom available to treat them, so it’s really best to avoid upsetting a venomous serpent. One of the scariest species is the black mamba, the fastest snake on the planet and an aggressive one too.
So what could possibly beat these aggressive, sharp-toothed beasts? The winner is:
Photo: John Tann/flickr
Dwarfed by all the other contenders on the list, the tiny mosquito is responsible for more deaths than all of them put together, and then some. Mosquitoes are found everywhere except Iceland and Antarctica and, while many are harmless, a large number carry harmful illnesses and pass them on when they bite. It’s thought that these insects transmit diseases to 700 million people each year, killing between 750,000 and 3 million humans annually. Malaria is the cause of over half of these fatalities, but thankfully incidences of the disease are falling.