This article was last updated on 20th May 2022
The conflict between animals and the human race has been there for as long as we can remember.
Be it humans encroaching on the animal’s territory or wild animals drifting into a human settlement, the two have locked horns for centuries.
And this conflict is only getting more commonplace with the natural habitats of most animals shrinking due to increased human activity.
Deforestation, urban development, mining, commercial farming, etc., have severely affected the natural hideouts for wild animals and have resulted in the drastic disintegration of their habitat.
Humans are more dangerous to some of these animals instead. Agree?
And hence here we talk about the most dangerous animals in the world that needs saving from humans.
Most dangerous animals in the world photographs
This not only forces predators to lurk into the areas outside of their natural dwellings but also brings them in contact with humans more often.
These increased attacks might change our perspective towards some of the wild animals, but the fact of the matter is that none of the wild animals actually like to prey on humans.
In fact, they just want to be left alone. The attacks happen if there is an unwanted provocation, the animal feels threatened, out of his comfort zone, or when a mother is protecting her newborns. Apart from that, wild animals have not been reported to be human hunters, except for some really unusual cases.
Whatever may be the circumstances, there are several fatal attacks that happen around the world and the number of casualties has only been increasing on a yearly basis.
Based on the kind of attacks and their fatal nature, some animals are categorized as the world’s most dangerous animals in the world.
It could either be as a result of the brute force they apply to kill their prey, deadly venom that has a paralyzing effect on the human body, or bone-crushing powerful bites, these animal attacks can have a fatal effect on their prey.
Most dangerous animals by region
A recent report drew up a new list of the world’s deadliest animals, which include the following –
But before that, let us understand what qualifies as a particularly dangerous animal?
Well, it is the ability to cause injury to humans and the frequency with which such attacks happen often proves to be the yardstick for an animal to feature on this list.
That said, if we go by the dictionary definition, dangerous means an attack that can cause injury.
However, here we are talking about animal attacks that can potentially kill human beings. And that is why this list is a little different.
You might not find some of the most popularly believed deadly animals like great white sharks or some of the most venomous snakes on the list.
This is simply because the number of fatalities caused by their attacks on humans is far less than some of the other animals that feature on this list. You will definitely be surprised to see a few names for sure.
So, without further ado, let’s get down to the list:
Snakes are single-handedly responsible for 80,000 to 1,35,000 deaths per year across the world. Different species of snakes are found in every single continent except Antarctica.
Apart from that, there are no snakes in countries like Greenland, Iceland, Ireland, and New Zealand. Around 600 species of snakes are venomous, but only 200 of them can prove fatal to humans.
That means, only 7 percent of total snake species pose a fatal threat to humans. In spite of that, the number of people killed by snake bites is one of the highest across the world.
Amongst many venomous species of snakes, the black mamba is seen as one of the most fatal of them all.
Its venom is so potent that it can kill ten people in one bite. Similarly, Inland Taipan is yet another snake that has a very potent venom.
But no human fatalities are reported from its bite as it resides far away from human settlements. Similarly, the four most venomous species in India – Indian Cobra, Russlle’s Viper, Common Krait, and Echis Carinatus – amount to a large number of human deaths even though they are not the most dangerous snakes in the world.
This happens because they live in very close proximity to humans.
So, it is rather difficult to rank one snake that is the most fatal, but the likes of Black Mamba, Inland Taipan (found in remote parts of Australia), Saw-Scaled Viper (estimated to cause 8,000 deaths per year), Dubois Sea Snake (found in Coral Sea, Arafura Sea, Timor Sea, and Indian Ocean, and estimated to cause over 8,000 deaths per year) can be ranked as one of the deadliest animals in the world.
Yes, you heard it right.
Those furry friends, cute-looking, adorable fur babies cause a large number of deaths across the world.
It is estimated that around 5.9 million people are bitten by dogs in the US alone and many bites are proved fatal because of the severity of the bite or corresponding infection.
If statistics are to be believed, Pit Bulls bite the maximum number of people around the world, and their hold and shake bite can cause severe damage to muscles and bones.
It can result in permanent disfiguring of the injured part. Even though many dog species have powerful bites, they are not the reason for the deaths. It is the deadly virus Rabies that attacks the brain and causes deaths.
Rabies is responsible for causing 60,000 deaths globally with children making up almost 40 percent of the total fatalities. But most of the cases of rabies go unreported, so it is safe to say that this digit can be a lot higher in actuality.
Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia are the most affected areas where the highest number of deaths are reported by rabies (around 95 percent of all deaths across the world).
The number is a lot lesser in the US as most dogs are kept as pets and they are duly vaccinated. Rabies is a viral infection and it can cause severe inflammation in the brain and the spinal cord. The patients suffering from this virus experience sudden fear of different things like water, dark, etc.
Roundworms are parasites that feed off their host – mostly humans – and multiply in huge numbers very quickly.
They can grow up to 14 inches in length.
Ascaris Roundworms have been found to infect people largely in developing countries where people defecate in the open.
The larvae of roundworms grow in the soil that has been polluted by human feces and if they happen to reach inside the human body, they start multiplying at a terrifying rate. Roundworms usually develop in the intestines and cause severe infection and swelling in the abdomen, pancreatitis and peritonitis or even sudden death in extreme cases.
It is believed that one-sixth of the population in the world is infected with at least one kind of roundworm, but only 85 percent of them show any kind of symptoms. This makes roundworms quite deadly as their presence is not always detected.
Only a few years ago, studies showed the fatality rate from roundworms 5000 to around 2700 across the world, which seemed like a gross understatement. More recent studies by the World Health Organization have shown the number to be much higher – around 60,000 per year making it an eligible entry in our list. A majority of fatalities have been seen in Africa, East Asia, and China.
Tapeworms can be dangerously deadly for humans as they can grow up to 30 ft inside their bodies.
There was a case reported where a tapeworm of 59 ft was extracted from inside the body. Now that is scary. Tapeworms are a type of flatworms that grow in the intestines of cows and pigs, where they lay undetected and lay their eggs.
If the meat of either of these two infected animals is eaten, especially uncooked or raw, then the tapeworms enter the human body. It can also happen if you drink water that is being used by cows and pigs.
Tapeworms are commonly found in people living in rural areas where infection through water is commonplace. Eating raw or undercooked food is the second most common way of getting the infection. Out of the two, the tapeworm found in pork (T-Solium) is supposed to be more dangerous.
T-Solium spreads in two different ways – through larvae entering the body, or eggs. The infection caused by the eggs can be more fatal as when the larvae come out of the eggs, their small size allows them to penetrate through the walls of the intestine.
From there, they enter the bloodstream. As their number increases, they can form cysts that eventually invade the body tissues. These cysts can happen anywhere from the skin, eyes, muscles, spine or even the nervous system.
If the cyst develops in the brain, it can become really fatal. Studies have shown that almost 50,000 deaths each year are caused due to tapeworms.
Scorpions belong to the spider family and can be fatal. Around 3,200 deaths per year are reported by scorpion stings across the globe with Africa, the Middle East, South India, and south Latin America being the hotspots.
There are around 1500 species of scorpions found in different parts of the world, but only 55 of them are fatal to humans. That might look like a small percentage, but even then, their sting amounts to over 3k deaths globally.
Of all the species, the Indian red scorpion is considered to be the most dangerous. As you can guess from its name, it has a red-colored tail. But it can also differ in color in certain cases and can be of dark brown color as well.
Mostly found in the sub-continent, a sting from an Indian red releases a highly-toxic venom that spreads across the body quickly causing unbearable pain at the sting point, followed by vomiting, sweating, rapid fluctuations in blood pressure, and breathlessness.
The venom also attacks the lungs filling them with fluid. All these conditions combined together can have a fatal impact on the affected person.
They are the bad boys of saltwater and rivers. There is nothing more powerful than a saltwater crocodile in their habitat. And they make sure they make their supremacy clear with several attacks on their prey, including humans.
Crocodiles are quite agile underwater; they can grow up to 18 feet and have a bite that can crush potentially everything. Crocodiles are wily hunters and they patiently wait for their prey before attacking.
They are not choosy about what they eat and will attack anything that comes their way including small birds and bats.
That is why, if you are anywhere around saltwater bodies, especially in Indonesia, then it is better you don’t go too close to the water bodies.
Even though crocodiles are not known to hunt for humans, they will attack if the two come face to face. Globally, 1000 people die due to saltwater crocodiles, out of which 20 happen in Indonesia alone.
Apart from saltwater crocodiles, African crocodiles in the Nile are the second most dangerous amounting to 250-300 deaths each year.
Hippos, as the size says it all, can be extremely dangerous if not in the mood to be peaceful. With a bone-crushing bite, heavy and huge body that is filled with powerful muscles, hippos amount to around 1500 human deaths per making them one of the most dangerous animals in the world. Their massive teeth can alone bring things to an end for a human.
These teeth continue growing throughout their lives and they can grow up to 1 foot and 8 inches. Male hippopotamus are a lot bigger and heavier as compared to female hippos. They are known to grow up to 5 feet tall and can weigh about 3300 pounds.
Hippopotamuses are considered one of the strongest animals in the world for a reason. And that is the brute power that they can generate in their bite and their bodily attacks.
But hippos are herbivorous and they don’t attack humans for any other reason but protection of their calves or mistaken identity. Most hippo attacks have been reported by female hippos either during birthing or protecting their calves.
They are extremely territorial and if they feel a threat from anything around them, they will attack. Their sheer size makes most attacks fatal.
Their bites are ten times stronger than humans, so if they happen to bite someone, it will potentially crush everything.
African buffalo is easily one of the most powerful animals to roam the African land and it is popularly believed that no one escapes an African buffalo attack. It might sound very dramatic, but it is true to quite an extent.
These beats can grow up to 5.6 feet tall and 11 feet in length. Weighing just under a ton, a cape buffalo can rummage anything that comes their way.
Normally, these are grass-eating animals that have nothing to do with being ferocious, unless they are threatened, provoked or put under stressful situations. In such situations, they will attack. They are also known to be extremely social and live in a huge herd.
They are very protective of each other and can charge other animals trying to invade their herd. Yearly, cape buffalo attacks are known to kill around 200 people, although this figure hasn’t been verified.
You might have thought that lions would feature earlier in the ranking, but contrary to the popular belief, lion attacks on humans aren’t that common. The main reason is that these two species don’t have too many common meeting points, and thus the numbers are far less. But lions are inarguably the most formidable predatory force there is on land and their dominance is undeniable.
It has been difficult to estimate the exact number of lion attacks and fatalities across the world. But the most accurate estimate could be around 150-180 per year. Many see the loss of habitat as one of the main reasons behind lions attacking humans as there has been a steady rise in the number of lions attacking humans.
Tigers, mainly found in the Indian sub-continent are the only rivals of lions in size and strength. Their perfect camouflage and padded feet make them stealth predators and definitely one of the most dangerous animals in the world. Tigers who zero in on the prey and then pounce on them with extraordinary power. Even though tigers are also found in Siberia as well, the majority live in India.
Tiger attacks on humans are not that common and most cases that have been reported in India are due to people sticking their hand inside a tiger’s cage or other such ill-advised acts of bravado. In the wild, tigers have been believed to shy away and run if they come across humans.
Frequently asked questions about the most dangerous animals on earth
Which is the most dangerous animal in the world?
It is a rather difficult question to answer. What makes an animal dangerous is a matter of discussion. If we only go by the number of fatal attacks on humans, then snakes top the list. Snake bites amount to almost 60,000 deaths across the world every year making them one of the most dangerous animals in the world.
Why are dogs considered to be so fatal?
Although dogs are mostly kept as pets, dog bites are quite common across the world. And the fatalities that occur are more from rabies than the bite itself. The sheer number is what makes them so dangerous.
Which country has the most dangerous animals?
Northern Australia wins hands down in this case. It has the deadliest venom snake (Inland Taipan), Box Jellyfish (most venomous sea creature), redback and funnel-web spiders (the deadliest spiders), and the saltwater crocodile (most dangerous reptile).