Most dangerous animals in the world – black mamba to box jellyfish
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As any David Attenborough fan will know, the animal kingdom has been full of beautiful and magnificent creatures for billions of years.
Many of us have animals as pets for companionship and cuddles but others will have us running to the hills because of their deadly nature.
Some beasts will take down their prey in seconds and some creatures can kill humans with a single bite.
Whether its silent and slithery assassins or enormous beasts with huge jaws, there are plenty of killer creatures out there so here’s a round-up of seven of the deadliest you need to avoid at all costs.
With their eight legs and grasping pincers, scorpions are certainly avoided at all costs should you find yourself in a desert.
Amazingly, there are 2,500 different species and only a few scorpions have venom that’s potent enough to kill a human being.
These include the Israeli deathstalker and the Brazilian yellow scorpion.
Children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems are particularly vulnerable to the potent neurotoxins delivered by these two deadly creatures, which kill 3,250 people per year.
Mexico is one of the worst affected countries when it comes to scorpion deaths.
A parasite transmitted by blood-sucking tsetse flies is responsible for African sleeping sickness.
Also known as The Vector, tsetse flies resemble normal house flies and measure between 8mm and 17mm.
There are 23 known species of tsetse flies in Africa and although there is a treatment for the parasite transmitted by them, the disease primarily infects those in rural areas so proper treatment is hard to find.
The sleeping sickness infection moves into the lymphatic system and progresses into the blood stream, eventually crossing into the central nervous system and invading the brain.
It leads to extreme lethargy and eventually death. Around 10,000 deaths every year are caused by tsetse flies.
Mosquitos are still one of the most dangerous creatures on the planet due to the sheer amount of deaths each year attributed to the various pathogens carried by several of the more than 3,000 species around the world.
Found in every region on the planet except Antarctica, mosquitos can be the primary vectors of diseases such as malaria, encephalitis, elephantiasis and yellow fever.
Diseases spread by these long-legged killers collectively affect an estimated 700 million people and kill roughly 725,000 per year.
From the king cobra to the saw-scaled viper, there are plenty of deadly snakes out there, each one able to kill humans with their venomous bite.
The black mamba has earned its reputation as one of the snake world's top killers because it has enough venom to kill 10 people.
And that’s not the only reason why you should stay well away from it.
Africa's deadliest snake, its bite has a 100 per cent fatality rate and as many as 20,000 victims die a year.
The black mamba also happens to be one of the fastest of all snakes – slithering at a speed of around 12.5 miles an hour.
The good news is that the black mamba will only attack you when it feels threatened so best to avoid eye contact and run as fast as you can.
Great white sharks
Found in cool, coastal waters around the world, great white sharks are the largest predatory fish on Earth.
While no longer as feared as they were when box office hit Jaws was released the 70s, they're still pretty terrifying and best not to approach when you’re swimming in the sea.
Great whites grow to an average of 15 feet in length, but divers in Hawaii were in for a shock when they made the rare discovery of what is believed to the largest great whites ever recorded.
The seven-metre-long beast, nicknamed Deep Blue, was thought to be 50-years-old and weighed a mighty 2.5 tonnes.
On average, there are 16 shark attacks per year in the United States alone, with one fatality every two years.
Once an essential ingredient in any horror movie, wolves may not be as scary as they once were, but residents of the Russian village of Alexandrovna might disagree.
A few years ago, there were fears that a ravenous pack of so-called “super wolves” had killed three dogs and led terrified residents in eastern Siberia to stop their children from playing outside.
One enormous wolf as big as a lion was shot dead by one brave villager. The beast dwarfed the man who somehow managed to carried it away over his shoulder.
Thankfully, deaths from wolves are increasingly rare with eight fatal attacks in Europe and Russia, three in North America, and more than 200 in south Asia.
Pale blue and up to 10ft long, box jellyfish are also called sea wasps and marine stingers.
These invertebrates live mostly in coastal waters off Northern Australia and throughout the Indo-Pacific.
They are one of the most venomous animals in the seas, with each of its 15 tentacles filled with deadly toxins.
Along the tentacles are thousands of sitting cells that can simultaneously attack the heart, the nervous system and skin cells.
There is an antivenin to help victims but most people die of heart failure or go into shock and drown.
If you are lucky to survive, however, expect scars and excruciating pain for several weeks.
Jellyfish stings affect millions of people each year and only a few dozen die but many deaths go unrecorded.
The size of a pinhead, ticks may be almost invisible to the eye but they are one of the most dangerous creatures in Britain.
Around eight people a day catch Lyme disease from ticks and this horrible bacterial infection can cause heart attack, arthritis, partial paralysis and other symptoms.
Many people with early symptoms of Lyme disease develop a circular red skin rash around a tick bite.
Ticks tend to hide in the long grass and wait for warm-blooded passersby to walk past.
A tick bite can only cause Lyme disease in humans if the tick has already bitten an infected animal.
It is thought that approximately 300,000 people per year are affected by tick bites in the US.
False widow spider
Commonly seen in UK households during the autumn, false widow spiders are often confused with the more dangerous black widows.
There are three species of false widow spider in the UK – the rabbit hutch spider, the cupboard spider and the noble false widow.
They all have a similar dark-coloured, globular body.
According to the Natural History Museum, false widows were introduced to Britain from the Canary Islands more than 100 years ago.
Although there have been no reports of anybody in then UK dying from a false widow spider bit, they can cause feelings of numbness, severe swelling and discomfort.
In extreme cases, the bite can cause various levels of burning or chest pains.
Deaths from false widow spiders are rare in the UK, although a man from Devon died from a bite as recently as 2019, according to The Sun.
It’s not uncommon to see somebody hopping around British beaches after being stung by a weever fish.
They are pretty common in British waters, particularly around Cornwall, and the stings can be very painful indeed.
Deaths in the UK are rare but a Brit died on holiday in Costa Brave when a weever fish bit his neck.
The 16-year-old went into anaphylactic shock when the poison was unleashed, according to the Daily Mail.
Measuring 30cm in length, they spend most of their time living in the sand so they are hard to spot.
They have needle-like venomous spines along their back which stick out of the sand.
The best way to avoid being stung might be to keep your sliders on at all times.
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