10 Deadliest Animal in the World

When you think about deadly animals in the world, images of giant sharks leaping into the air with mouths filled with rows of teeth may come to mind. However, sharks don’t even rank in the top ten. I’d argue these deadly animals are even more terrifying since four of them are unseen. They’re also very gross. Without further ado, the animals who kill the most people every year:

Mosquito: 725,000 people killed/year. Mosquitos top this list because they transmit so many deadly diseases, the most notable of which is malaria, but also West Nile, Zika, denuge, and yellow fever. Some subspecies of blood-eating mosquitoes can carry multiple diseases at once. The biting insects threaten over half the world’s population with their blood-sucking ways. (x)


Snakes: 100,000 people killed/year. The Guardian estimated that number could soon reach a quarter of a million deaths per year, because there’s less antivenom every year. While in the United States and Canada there’s fewer than 10 deaths from snake bite per year, in India over 10,000 people die each year from bites. Those lucky enough to survive a snake bite often lose the infected limb. (x)


Dogs: 35,000 people killed/year. Dog attacks make big news in developed countries, causing breed-specific legislation. But worldwide, it’s not the attack that makes dogs one of the deadliest animals in the world but the rabies they carry. According to the WHO, dogs are responsible for 99% of the reported incidents of rabies in the world, primarily in rural communities in Asia and Africa. (x)

Freshwater Snails: 20,000 people killed/year. In 78 countries in the world, freshwater snails release parasitic worms into the bodies of water where they live. Children who play and fish in water make up a majority of the reported 229 million cases every year. The larvae enter the bloodstream, where they grow to maturity and damage internal organs.(x)


Tsetse fly: 10,000 people killed/year. The fly transmits trypanosomiasis, commonly known as sleeping sickness. The disease is a parasitic infection, where microscopic parasites invade the body. Initial symptoms of the disease are innocuous and easy to ignore, such as fever, headache and muscle pain. However, once the parasites move into the central nervous system, they cause seizures, personality changes, and mental impairment. Death happens within a few months up to three years. (x)

Scorpion: 3,250 people killed/year. If you live in the United States, these insects aren’t a concern; in the past decade, scorpions stings have caused just 4 deaths. However, almost one-third reported deaths by scorpion take place in Mexico. While travelling, keep an eye out for the Deathstalker. They live across the globe with a venom made of a blend of neurotoxins, they’re one of the most deadly species of the scorpion.  (x)

Crocodiles: 1,000 people killed/year. While crocodiles don’t engage in active stalking behavior of human prey, they’re steadfast predators of opportunity. If they run into a person, they’ll attack and kill them. Recent attacks include journalist Paul McClean who was washing his hands in a lagoon when a crocodile dragged him into the water and Cindy Waldron, attacked when she went for a late night swim in Australia. (x)

Tapeworm: 700 people killed/year. Despite the legend that people (and Kelly Kapoor on The Office) used tapeworms to lose weight in the 1920s, they’re a dangerous parasitic infection. Tapeworms cause cysticercosis, an infection caused by larval cysts in tissues of the body, including the brain. As the larva grow, they cause seizures and eventual death.(x)

Hippopotamus: 500 people killed/year. Said to be the most aggressive animals in Africa, hippopotamus are legendary for killing more people every year than even lions. They’re fiercely territorial, the males get up to almost 10,000 pounds and 16 feet long. They kill people either by charging humans on land or attacking boats that get too close in the water. (x)


Cape Buffalo: 200 people killed/year. Some reports say that the Cape Buffalo kills more people on the African continent than any other mammal. They’re remarkable animals, in that they have exceptional memories and hold deep grudges. Hunters tell stories about 1,200 pound bulls stalking and killing individuals who wounded them years earlier. (x)

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