Did you know there are approximately 1.2 million species of animals, and 91 thousand species of insects on earth? Most of which have been undiscovered because they live deep in the ocean or are just too small to see. But how many of these species are friendly, and how many of them are violent? From land, underwater, and to the skies, there are many different species that are dangerous to humans.
Many people assume sea animals, like the great white shark, would be a top contestant for one of the most dangerous sea animals. Although this is true, it is not exactly at the top of the list. Surprisingly, one type of jellyfish can kill humans faster and have a higher amount of human kills per year. This is the box jellyfish, a type of jellyfish found in warm waters, like Australia. Box jellyfish range in size, but one thing is for sure, they are incredibly deadly. In fact, it is considered the most toxic marine animal we know of. Their tentacles (which can be up to 10 feet long!) can kill humans if you receive two meters or more of physical contact, and kill you within two minutes. Jellyfish don’t actually swim, but glide along in the water. This means that swimmers can be stung not because jellyfish specifically want to sting humans, but because they might accidentally come into contact. Jellyfish will sting people because they have special cells along their tentacles called cnidocytes. Within these cells are harpoon-like structures full of venom. The venom is shot out when triggered by touch. Even if you don’t get too much contact with them you will feel intense stinging and have side effects like itching, rashes, nausea, and even more. Although these animals are very venomous, only around 20-40 people in only the Philippines die every year from their stings, and only 16 shark attacks are recorded per year in the United States (most of which are just injuries).
Although not all creatures are “venomous,” there are many animals who are dangerous in their own way. One of the most dangerous land animals is the hippopotamus. It is very different from a box jellyfish, like their height, weight, and aggression. Box jellyfish aren’t necessarily a very aggressive animal, while hippos are extremely aggressive and unpredictable. They are built to fight, and have very large teeth and tusks to fight off predators, which includes us humans. Although they can easily kill a human, they don’t actually eat meat. Instead, they can knock over boats with people in them, which can cause alligators to find and kill us. Hippos can weigh from 3300 to 4000 (male), and 2900 to 3300 pounds (female). If you were to come in close contact to them or their territory, you could easily be crushed by their huge mass. However, you really don’t have to worry about this animal attacking you, unless you live in Africa. They only kill about 500 people per year there, and that number is decreasing due to them becoming more vulnerable, and their population shrinking.
This next one may surprise you, and is basically the opposite of the Rhino in physical appearance, but can be way more deadly. This is the mosquito, which is estimated to kill 725,000 people every year. This is from the diseases these mosquitoes spread, but the main one is Malaria. Although most people are able to recover from this disease, it can easily kill young children, who don’t have a very strong immune system. Only female mosquitoes will bite humans, and the male ones will eat nectar and honey dew off of plants. Although it seems like a nuisance, female mosquitoes have to bite humans so they have enough protein to produce eggs, similar to how humans will eat plants and often animals to survive. Mosquitoes tend to live in warmer environments, and thrive in the summer and in water. Most people in America don’t have to worry too much about malaria, but people in Africa, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and more do. The mosquito population is increasing rapidly, and some scientists are trying to figure out ways to decrease this rise in population.
There are millions of animals on earth, with a very big variety. Some big and some very small, but many have a lot in common. We can see many similarities with a huge animal like a rhino, a jellyfish that lives underwater, and a tiny mosquito. They all share a common aggression, and have a common goal to survive. You can find out more about these animals and other creatures in the links below.