6. Giant Anteaters
The giant anteater also called the “ant bear,” is a mammal that eats insects. Native to South and Central America, the giant anteater is one of the four living species of anteaters. Found in rainforests and grasslands, the animal feeds primarily on termites and ants.
Giant anteaters have no teeth and they also have poor vision and bad hearing. Now, you might think that an animal named “ant bear” with such features cannot possibly be that dangerous. Well, you would be wrong!
Giant anteaters have sharp claws that can be as long as four inches! As solitary creatures, these animals are usually not aggressive. However, when cornered, a giant anteater will stand up on its hind legs and lash out with its deadly claws. They are so fierce that they can even fight off a puma or a jaguar!
In 2012, a 47-year-old man went hunting and was faced with an adult giant anteater. In a confrontation, the animal grabbed onto the man and injured him so severely that he bled to death at the scene. (1, 2)
7. Golden Poison Frog
The golden poison frog, also known as the “golden dart frog,” is one of the most poisonous animals on Earth. Endemic to the Pacific Coast of Colombia, the golden poison frog is found in rainforests.
They tend to be small, and adults can be only one inch in size. Because of their tiny stature, they may appear rather innocuous, but these wild frogs can be lethally toxic. In fact, a single specimen contains enough poison to kill ten grown men!
The skin of the golden poison frog is densely coated by an alkaloid toxin. The poison stops the victim’s nerves from transmitting impulses, causing the muscles to go into an inactive state of contraction, which can then lead to fibrillation or heart failure.
8. Reef stonefish
Synanceia verrucosa, also known as the “reef stonefish,” is the most venomous fish in the world! As the most widespread stonefish species, the reef stonefish is found in the shallow waters of the Indo-Pacific and the Red Sea.
It grows up to about 30 to 40 centimeters long and has a grey or brown coloring. Their skin is uneven and rocky, which gives them the perfect camouflage in between corals and rocks. The dorsal area of the reef stonefish is lined with 13 spines. Each of these spines has two venom sacs.
These spines are so sharp and stiff that they can even pierce boot soles. What’s worse is that because of its camouflage, the reef stonefish can stay perfectly hidden, and any unsuspecting diver or snorkeler can step on it without knowing it is there.
9. Amazonian giant centipede
Scolopendra gigantea, commonly known as the “Amazonian giant centipede” or the “Peruvian giant yellow-leg centipede,” is one of the largest centipedes in the world with adults reaching up to 12 inches in length.
Found in several places in the Caribbean and South America, the Amazonian giant centipede is a carnivore that feeds on any animal it can overpower and kill.
What’s interesting is that the Amazonian giant centipede cannot only overpower invertebrates such as millipedes, spiders, and scorpions, but it can also kill small vertebrates such as frogs, lizards, sparrow-sized birds, bats, and mice.
They also produce a powerful venom that causes rapid paralysis in their prey. The nasty toxin wreaks havoc on the nervous, respiratory, and cardiovascular systems, which allows the centipedes to kill prey that is 15 times larger than them in a matter of 30 seconds! In 2014, a four-year-old Venezuelan child died after being bitten by a giant centipede. (1, 2)
10. Sydney Funnel-Web Spider
If you have arachnophobia or an intense fear of spiders, you might want to skip this one!
The Sydney funnel-web spider is a species of venomous spider that is native to eastern Australia. Adults have a body length of 0.4 to 2 inches, and they tend to be dark-colored with a glossy appearance.
One of Australia’s most fearsome spiders, the male Sydney funnel-web spider has been recognized as the most venomous spider in the world by the Guinness World Records. The spider produces a venom that is highly toxic for humans, and if left untreated, a single bite can cause serious illness or death.
The bite of a Sydney funnel-web spider tends to be very painful with clearly visible fang marks on the site. In some cases, the spider latches onto the victim after biting and does not move until it is forcefully removed. Some common symptoms include difficulty breathing, muscle twitching, secretion of saliva, confusion, disorientation, and unconsciousness. Once a child died within 15 minutes of being bitten by a Sydney funnel-web spider. (1, 2)
11. Cone snail
If you like going to the beach and picking up snails, you might want to rethink that!
Cone snails or cone shells are small- to medium-sized sea snails that look rather gorgeous. Their shells come in a great variety of colors and patterns and you may want to add some to your collection.
However, you should refrain from doing that since cone snails are extremely venomous and predatory snails that are capable of stinging humans. You must never touch live ones because they sting without warning, and a single sting can prove to be fatal.
The larger the cone snails, the more dangerous they are to humans. Their venom contains various toxins, and the deadliest cone snails are often called “cigarette snails” because they deliver a toxin so strong that death comes as fast as it takes a person to finish a cigarette.
12. Puss caterpillar
Here’s a caterpillar that looks more like a toupee, but before you think it is cute and kind of fuzzy-looking, know that it is also the most venomous caterpillar found in the United States.
The furry puss caterpillar sting feels more or less like a bee sting, but the pain is so intense that it can make your bones hurt! How bad the sting will hurt depends on where you have been stung and how many spines have lodged into your skin.