22 Animals That Are Deadlier Than Sharks
There’s just a one in 1,384,594 chance of being killed by an animal in the United States, but you should still be extra careful around these species.
Depending on where you live, this may or may not come as a surprise: Deer are the deadliest animal in the United States, killing an average of 120 Americans annually. It’s not because they’re vicious, though; most of these deaths are caused by car accidents, especially as urban development continues to shrink the animal’s natural habitat. And compared to global data on deadly animals, death-by-deer hardly makes a blip in the numbers. The deadliest animal in the world is the Asian cobra, causing nearly 50,000 fatalities a year. That’s followed by the puff adder snake, the ocellated carpet viper, the kissing bug, the assassin bug, the freshwater snail and the tsetse fly, all of which have more than 10,000 fatal encounters with humans a year.
Bees, wasps, and hornets
After deer, the number of Americans killed by an individual type of animal drops significantly. Each year, around 58 citizens are killed by a bee, wasp, or hornet, according to CDC data. Of course, bee stings aren’t lethal events for most people. But for the two million Americans who are allergic, a sting means it’s time to get to the hospital ASAP. These are the 10 most dangerous bugs you need to watch out for.
It turns out man’s best friend has a dark side. An estimated 28 Americans are killed by dogs each year; that’s compared to the 44 percent of us that own one. Unfortunately, many of these attacks are carried out by dogs that were mistreated by humans in their past.
While you might underestimate a cow’s violent tendencies—after all, these animals are featured in many children’s zoos—cattle kill around 20 Americans a year. And while some of these deaths are accidents—cows standing in the road or falling off cliffs onto vehicles below (yes, really!), about 75 percent are deliberate attacks. In 2015, animal behaviorists found that 10 of the year’s cow-related deaths were caused by bulls, six by cows, and five by group attacks. Yep, you read that right—cows sometimes team up to coordinate an attack. “When they’re feeling defensive, cows will gather in a circle, all facing outwards, lowering their heads and stamping the ground,” writes Gizmodo. “When they’re feeling offensive, certain cows lead the charge.”
Horse-related deaths occur just as frequently as cow-related ones: around 20 times a year. Unsurprisingly, most of these deaths are related to riding injuries. These 15 innocent-looking animals are surprisingly dangerous.
Black widow spider
Every arachnophobe fears this spider most: the black widow. Found most often in western states, these spiders sometimes make their way into bags of produce and faraway kitchens. They kill around seven Americans a year, but that doesn’t mean you should live your life in fear. One study found that the spider is most likely to bite when it’s pinched along the entire length of its body. Even poking the spider repeatedly wasn’t enough to get it to bite. That means you’re probably safe if you see this arachnid on your wall. But if you sit on her, you’ll want to get help immediately. And don’t assume the worst. In 2013, there were 1,866 reported black widow bites. None resulted in death.
These seemingly harmless little flies can actually do a lot of damage. Mosquitoes carry a lot of diseases and when they transfer them to humans it can cause death. They kill around 725,000 people every year.
You might not have guessed this, but hippos are very aggressive. They are the deadliest large land mammal and have very sharp teeth. Hippos kill about 500 people every year in Africa. Not only can they kill by biting, but they also can kill by sitting on humans—they weigh over 6,000 pounds. Yikes!
Fire ants are native to South America and kill around a dozen humans every year. Their sting typically isn’t life-threatening, but the secondary infections it causes can lead to death. You probably have these “facts” about animals all wrong.
Jellyfish are beautiful creatures, but they can also be deadly. They kill around 20 to 40 people in the Philippines alone every year. Make sure you know what they look like and where they reside before going in the water.