Typically I like to focus on the cute and cuddly parts of nature. You know, pandas, foxes, fairies, and even adorable spiders. I’ve never been one to shy away from creepy crawlers and dangerous creatures but putting them together into a single list makes me a little hesitant to step outside. Lucky for us, truly dangerous animals are rare and you often have to go out of your way to find them. But, in keeping with the season of spooks and frights I’ve decided to bring some of them to you. So without further ado, here are 10 of nature’s most terrifying creations.
Out of all the creatures on this list millipedes creep me out the most. There’s just something about all those little crawling legs. It doesn’t help that some of them are actually quite toxic. Many of them can secrete a fluid that contain various kinds of acids which can cause blistering, burning, and even blindness. If you have to handle them I suggest wearing gloves and goggles. Although moving to the arctic is also an option.
Some animals look like they were designed by a special effects studio for horror movies. The anglerfish looks more like some kind of fish demon than something you would find in the real world. They’re well known for their sharp knife-like teeth and the bioluminescent lantern they use to attract prey. Fortunately for us, they only live in the deepest, darkest parts of the ocean.
On the surface the scariest thing about wasps is their painful sting. Unlike bees, it doesn’t take much provocation to get them to attack. However, if you dig a little deeper into their breeding cycles a very disturbing pattern emerges. Various different species of wasps have a habit of paralyzing other animals and planting their eggs inside of them. Whether that animal is a spider, caterpillar, or even an unhatched egg, these monsters beat Alien to the punch by a few million years.
This one doesn’t even really need an explanation does it? Leeches are basically worms that usually (but not always) live in water, and use their needle-like teeth to latch onto animals and suck their blood. They’re literally blood-sucking worms. Oh, and yes, they love to latch onto humans.
#5: The Brazilian Wandering Spider
The Brazilian Wandering Spider is the most venomous spider in the world. Their bite contains a potentially deadly neurotoxin that makes them one of the few spiders that’s actually dangerous to people. Also, they love to wander (who would have guessed?) which means that during the day they find shelter in houses, cars, clothes, and any dry place they can hide. Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about them unless you live in central or south america.
#6: Black Mamba
It’s only fitting that the world’s most venomous spider be followed by its most venomous snake. Like the wandering spider the Black Mamba also sports a potent neurotoxin that it delivers through bite. Without antivenom people typically collapse in the first 45 minutes after being bitten, and then die somewhere between 7 and 15 hours later. To make matters worse, these snakes are also incredibly fast. However, unless you live in Africa, you aren’t likely to run into one in the wild.
Scorpions are found almost everywhere in the world so unlike the other creatures on this list, you’ll likely encounter one at some point in your life. They famous for their venomous stingers and sharp crab-like pincers. But there’s good news. Of the 1000+ species of scorpion known only 25 of them are deadly to man. That’s pretty good odds right? Right?
#8: Moray Eel
I used to call these guys the snakes of the sea until a biologist friend of mine smacked me. Despite their terrifying appearance and sharp teeth, moray eels want nothing more than to be left alone, and only attack when something intrudes on their territory or threatens them. Next time you go swimming in the ocean I suggest watching where you step.
This one seems pretty self-evident. These cold-blooded killers have been feared and revered for as long as humanity as bothered to keep records and tell stories. They can replace their sharp teeth up to 50 times in their lives and can bite with a strength of up to 22,000 Newtons. In fact, they have the most powerful recorded bite in the animal kingdom. If they get a hold of one of your limbs, you aren’t getting it back.
10: Box Jellyfish
Despite its loose and plastic-bag appearance, the Box Jellyfish is actually the most venomous animal on the planet. To make matters worse their sting is incredibly painful and they are almost invisible in the water leading to their nickname “the suckerpunch of the sea”. If you are stung and don’t have access to proper medicine, experts advise pouring vinegar on the wound.
There you go. I bet you didn’t know you had so many scary neighbors. Just remember the golden rule of nature and you’ll be fine. If you leave them alone, they’ll leave you alone. Next time you encounter a deadly or dangerous creature in the wild suppress your ancient, natural instinct to run up and take a selfie with it and you’ll be fine.