When you think about the deadliest animals on earth, the obvious choices immediately come to mind. Lions, bears, tigers, sharks, and other large predatory animals, atop each of their respective food chains. While these animals are undoubtedly not to be taken lightly, none of them actually crack the top 5 most dangerous animals in the world (don’t read until after) as according to annual deaths. In fact, of those three, only lions and sharks are in the top 15, with lion at #13 with 100 annual human deaths, and sharks at #15 with 10 annual human deaths. taking a look at the top 15, I was very surprised by the top 3 in particular, or should i say the top 4, excluding humans at #2, which I think is already pretty obvious.
When looking at the Worlds Deadliest animals, the last thing I expected to see was such a common pet as one of the deadliest animals in the world, but at the 3rd (really 4th) deadliest spot is dogs. At first, I thought there was no way that could be true, dog attacks are relatively rare, and the number of people who are killed by dogs each year cant be very high, especially not 25,000 deaths a year high. Then I realized that dog attacks aren’t what make dogs so deadly, its how common they are carriers and transmitters of the real killer, rabies. Rabies is an infectious viral disease, which is generally transferred through saliva into an open wound, usually a bite or a scratch. Of the 25,000 average annual deaths caused by rabies, about 95% take place in poorer areas in Asia and Africa, where proper medical treatment is very difficult to come by. Though there is a vaccine, rabies is so deadly because once someone is infected and shows any symptoms, it is fatal 99% of the time. In other words, if you cant get the vaccine beforehand, and you cant reach it directly after being exposed to rabies, there is nothing that can be done to stop it. It is also very easy to come in contact with a dog with rabies, or for your dog to come into contact with a wild animal with it, considering 99% of infections are from domestic dogs. Most of these deaths take place in poor remote communities where vaccines and modern medicine are not available, with the most common victims are children ages 5-14. It is due to this virus that dogs rank in as the 3rd deadliest animal in the world.
At number 2 (really number 3), is a bit more predictable animal to see atop this list, and one of the most commonly feared animals, snakes. Admit it, along with spiders and, well I guess insects in general, everyone either is or knows someone who is terrified of snakes. It turns out that this fear is very valid, as snakes are responsible for 50,000 deaths each year (though with unreported incidents around the world the real total is estimated at 94,000). How are they so deadly? For the same reason rabies is so deadly, because many areas of the world such as south Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa don’t have access to proper medicine or doctors, which means that these potentially preventable deaths happen very frequently, and often go unreported. These areas of Africa and Asia are also where many of the deadliest types of venomous snakes live, meaning that interaction between them and humans happen very often, making snakes an incredibly deadly animal.
Finally, what would you guess is the deadliest animal in the world? Similarly to the last two, the deadliness of this animal, which is responsible for 725,000 deaths annually, is so deadly due to the lack of advanced medical care in areas like southern Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Similar to dogs, it also isn’t the animal itself that is so deadly, but what that animal is carrying, which with this little guy can be any number of deadly diseases, which it then injects directly into your bloodstream. That’s right, mosquitos are the deadliest animal in the world. Collectively, mosquitos have killed more people than all wars in history. Outnumbering every other animal on earth during breeding season, mosquitos can be found everywhere on earth (save Antarctica), which means that they have access to nearly every single person on earth. Different species of mosquito can carry different types of diseases, from yellow fever to west Nile virus, and of course the most obvious and the deadliest, malaria. Malaria is responsible for roughly a million deaths each year, most of whom are children in Africa. It lives in the red blood cells of infected individuals, meaning that it is not contagious through contact and cannot be sexually transmitted. This means that the only way to get it is through surgeries or medical procedures, from mother to infant, using dirty or used syringes, or from the main source, mosquitos.
So it turns out that disease and poison on smaller animals is the most deadly thing out there, not the big alpha predators that occupy peoples nightma
res and movie screens all over the world. Definitely not what I would have predicted.