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The 25 Most Painful Bites And Stings On The Planet
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7. Black Widow

  • Pain Index: 3.8

No, we’re not talking about the character from Marvel Comics, but the spider version of the Black Widow is just as deadly. They are known for killing and eating their mates after the male helps them reproduce. While not all Widows are incredibly poisonous, there are some that have what looks like an hourglass on their bodies. There are 25 species types, of course. The black widow (Latrodectus mactans) inhabits the southern half of the country. Most common in northern states such as Illinois is the northern black widow (L. variolus) which is replaced in the Southwest by the western black widow (L. hesperus).

The 25 Most Painful Bites And Stings On The Planet
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However, in spite of the poison they have, many bites are often dry bites. On top of this, those that do release poison are not usually fatal. The antivenom used for Black Widow bites is typically given to people to help eliminate the horrific pain of the bite. Pain symptoms can last up to a week for people, even when they are given painkillers.

The 25 Most Painful Bites And Stings On The Planet
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6. Maricopa Harvester Ant

  • Pain Index: 3.8

Both the Maricopa Harvester Ant and Red Harvester Ant have some incredibly painful stings, but the Maricopa stands out. It is likely due to the Red dying off while the Maricopa is still widespread in North America. It is found in the U.S. state of Arizona, but it is also known from California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Texas and Utah, and the Mexican states of Baja California, Chihuahua, Sinaloa and Sonora. The sting of this Ant is actually venomous with more venom than the honey bee in each sting. In fact, it’s the venom that makes the sting so painful.

The 25 Most Painful Bites And Stings On The Planet
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It is filled with amino acids, peptides, and proteins. For humans, when this is in venom, we experience great pain from it. On top of this, the venom has alkaloid poison. This actually releases a pheromone that other Maricopa can smell and sense as an alarm to come help. This results in many people being stung repeatedly, which can cause severe or fatal reactions. Especially for those allergic to it all.

The 25 Most Painful Bites And Stings On The Planet
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5. Irukandji Jellyfish

  • Pain Index: 4.0

Irukandji Jellyfish account for most of the jellyfish attacks annually. They are active and fast hunters when going after prey, unlike other jellyfish that tend to drift along. This is important to remember, as their speed can be pretty deceptive. In humans, a tentacle will attach to the skin and insert nematocysts into the skin. Irukandji are usually found in tropical waters, from Bundaberg in Queensland, up around the northern coastline of Australia, to Geraldton in Western Australia. They have been found as far south on the eastern coastline as Hervey Bay, but this is not common

The 25 Most Painful Bites And Stings On The Planet
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This is a specialized barbed and/or venomous coil that can also be projected in times of self-defense or hunting. These nematocysts will cause numerous stings and cause unbearable pain. It is so frequent that people have compared it to being shocked by electricity. This jellyfish lands on our list of the most painful bites and stings simply because of the torturous pain it causes. It is even known to kill some humans, who will all die in severe pain. What a horrible way to go.

The 25 Most Painful Bites And Stings On The Planet
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4. Tarantula Hawk Wasp

  • Pain Index: 4.0

The Tarantula Hawk Wasp landed on our list of the most painful bites and stings due to being known for one of the most agonizing stings known to mankind. As their name suggests, this wasp is known for preying on tarantula spiders. While they hunt them as food, keep in mind that this species is also a parasitoid wasp. These essentially will dig a hole into another insect and lay its eggs in them. Once the larva hatch out, they will then feed on the insect they’re inside.

The 25 Most Painful Bites And Stings On The Planet
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This is as zombie-like as it gets. Part of what helps them accomplish such extreme outcomes is their sting, which acts almost like a neurotoxin for insects. In humans, their venom adds to the pain of their sting but it is not enough to hurt most people. It does hurt horribly, likely due to the large stinger and venom combo. It is said to be blindingly painful and could even make some pass out from it. Thankfully, the pain only lasts 5 to 10 minutes.

The 25 Most Painful Bites And Stings On The Planet
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3. Bullet Ant

  • Pain Index: 4.0

The Bullet Ant is well-known for its sting, which is considered to be one of the absolute worst a human can experience. Schmitt once described it as “pure, intense, brilliant pain…like walking over flaming charcoal with a three-inch nail embedded in your heel.” Definitely not a problem insect you want to run into on a walk. It inhabits humid lowland rainforests from Nicaragua and the extreme east of Honduras and south to Paraguay

The 25 Most Painful Bites And Stings On The Planet
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We’ll take his word for it, but what makes the sting hurt so much? It’s possibly the venom, which contains poneratoxin. This is a neurotoxin peptide, which is capable of paralyzing many animals. Of course, it won’t paralyze humans but it can cause nerve damage at the site of the sting. The real worry is being stung by several at a time, which can happen if you’re not careful.

The 25 Most Painful Bites And Stings On The Planet
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2. Giant Desert Centipede

  • Pain Index: 4.0

The Giant Desert Centipede lives up to its name as a giant. In fact, it is the single largest centipede found in North America. It measures out from 6.5 to 8 inches, which may not seem like a lot. However, that can be quite large for an insect. Especially one with a bite as vicious as the Giant Desert Centipede. It is quite notable for having one of the most painful bites and stings on the planet. It’s especially worsened when it bites more than once. Despite their name, giant desert centipedes are most often collected from rocky woodlands. They have been located in Arkansas, Southern Missouri, Louisiana, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Northern Mexico

The 25 Most Painful Bites And Stings On The Planet
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It contains a venom, making the pain even more intense as it goes through the body. This is a much more potent than the venom of other centipedes in its species line due to how large it is. It is comprised of serotonin, histamine, lipids, proteins, and enzymes. The venom works as a hemotoxin and cardiotoxin. Therefore causing issues with the heart and blood clotting of humans. This is why though they rarely do, the Giant Desert Centipede could kill humans with its toxic bite.

The 25 Most Painful Bites And Stings On The Planet
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1. Warrior Wasp

  • Pain Index: 4.0+

The Warrior Wasp is known for possibly the worst sting one can experience. The name suits them, as the Warrior Wasp is known to be incredibly aggressive. Swarm-founding Warrior Wasps are found throughout the tropical regions of South America. They will go to battle with anyone, uncaring of the size. These wasps will guard their nest until they see a threat and then attack, causing their target to experience often numerous stings at a time. The stinger is actually barbed, and like stings from bees, it will actually kill the Warrior Wasp more often than not.

The 25 Most Painful Bites And Stings On The Planet
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This results in the wasp attacking like a Kamikaze Pilot. It’s a suicide mission, causing them to come at you in full force with an impactful sting. To be fair, they will warm potential threats of possible stings by creating a drumming noise inside their nest. Due to the suicide mission stings cause, it is the last resort of the Warrior Wasp. When you think about the most painful bites and stings on the planet, you’ll want to avoid this wasp. Otherwise, you’ll experience 2 hours of intense pain that never lets up.

BONUS INSECT

The 25 Most Painful Bites And Stings On The Planet
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Jack Jumper Ant

  • Pain Index: 1.5

The Jack Jumper Ant is native only to Australia and Tasmania, so it would be rare for anyone outside of these areas to even see one. It is one of the few venomous ant species known to man. While all ants can bite or sting, the venom from the Jumper Ant makes its sting a heck of a lot worse. Everyone has a different reaction to it though. This is often based on pain tolerance, previous bites taken, and much more.

The 25 Most Painful Bites And Stings On The Planet
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The venom is generally mild enough to not be harmful to humans. However, allergic reactions can still happen. All of the known deaths from the Jumper Ant have been due to this. For some reason, many Australians have an allergy to it and it makes up 90% of the ant allergies in the continent/country. From 1980 to 2000, 4 people died due to this ant, all from anaphylactic reactions.

The 25 Most Painful Bites And Stings On The Planet
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Fire Urchin

  • Pain Index: 2.0

Fire Urchins as well as most other urchins are known for being absolutely horrible to deal with. The main thing that makes the Fire version stand out is likely both their color as well as the sting they have. It is said to be incredibly painful, which is probably due to the venom it has. The Fire Urchin, of course, has a lot of spines all over it. All of these spines carry venom. The fire urchin is found in the tropical Indo-Pacific region.

The 25 Most Painful Bites And Stings On The Planet
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It’s unlikely to kill a human being unless they are potentially allergic to it. More often than not, humans will just experience the pain that comes with the urchin sting and venom itself. Sometimes, urchin spines will break off as they pierce into the body. While rare, this can cause even more pain. Unlike with a bee or hornet, the urchin spines can potentially sink further into the body. This makes them dangerous for a separate reason entirely.

The 25 Most Painful Bites And Stings On The Planet
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Nile Monitor Lizard

  • Pain Index: 2.0

While the Nile Monitor Lizard is nowhere near the size of some of the other monitor lizards out there, they can be just as dangerous. They are well-known in the United States with many having one as an “exotic pet.” Yet some of those people have experienced major injuries from the Nile Monitor due to not taking them seriously as a wild, dangerous creature. They are highly aggressive and have never had a problem attacking larger animals.

The 25 Most Painful Bites And Stings On The Planet
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Like other Monitors, they have bacteria in their mouths. This bacteria is venomous and can potentially kill any human that is allergic to it. However, so far, all we have seen is that it causes more pain when they bite humans. This is likely why the Nile Monitor’s bite has become so well-known, especially by owners of the species. Some will eventually tire of the species and release it into the wild. This only causes more problems, as it has become an invasive species across parts of the U.S.

The 25 Most Painful Bites And Stings On The Planet
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European Hornet

  • Pain Index: 2.5

While the European Hornet is obviously native to Europe, it actually came with English settlers to the New World in the 1800s. This resulted in the hornet ending up in North America. Many claim it is “the only true hornet” in North America due to this. It is not a fan of human beings and usually does its best to steer clear of them, but WILL sting if it feels threatened. Their sting is considered quite painful to those who have experienced it.

The 25 Most Painful Bites And Stings On The Planet
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This might very well have to do with the venom each sting releases. It contains dopamine and serotonin, as well as Apamin and enzymes Phospholipase A & Hyaluronidase. This is accompanied by proteins Melittin & Bradykinin. All of these form to cause severe pain with every sting. While most do not require medical attention. Mostly, it only causes headaches, blood pressure issues, and nausea. Yet the real troublemaker is the tingling & pain. Both subside.

The 25 Most Painful Bites And Stings On The Planet
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Dingo 

  • Pain Index: 2.6

Many consider a Dingo no more dangerous for you than a dog at the same size. In some ways, this is true. There are now rarely any pure Dingoes left as many have mated with domestic dogs, so there are more hybrid Dingoes these days. Therefore, they have become relatively good with humans. Yet like wild dogs, Dingoes can be extremely dangerous. They have a higher bite force than Hyenas and wolves, with a bite pressure of 1,500 pounds per square inch. Dingoes are primarily found in Australia.

The 25 Most Painful Bites And Stings On The Planet
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Most dog breeds of any type only bite humans when they feel startled or threatened. Yet Dingoes might also bite or further continue biting some humans who feed them in the wild. This seems to be more of an issue on Fraser Island with tourists feeding the Dingoes in spite of local authorities advising against it. They do still bite in captivity but they are less likely to hold on or attack humans here. Yet a Dingo does have an impressively strong and painful bite.

The 25 Most Painful Bites And Stings On The Planet
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Piranha

  • Pain Index: 2.7

Piranhas are often given a bad name due to how they have been portrayed by the media in movies or television shows. Contrary to popular belief, they do not randomly just attack anything that gets into the water. They do, however, go after anything that might be bleeding. This is similar to that of a shark, as Piranhas are able to smell or sense blood and find it. Specifically, the black piranha is considered the most dangerous of the species, as it has the strongest bite. Piranhas range from northern Argentina to Colombia, but they are most diverse in the Amazon River, where 20 different species are found.

The 25 Most Painful Bites And Stings On The Planet
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The average is 14 to 75 pounds per square inch. At the same size, this is stronger than that of an alligator by more than 3 times. Due to their biting pressure and speed, they can rip through flesh. If a human was bleeding in the Amazon River around piranhas, he or she might likely experience their flesh being ripped apart by a hoard of piranha in minutes. The pain from their bite is known to be quite horrible.

The 25 Most Painful Bites And Stings On The Planet
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Reticulated Python

  • Pain Index: 2.8

Every species of python could be considered dangerous. Truly, it all depends on how threatened or hungry they happen to be at the time. The Reticulated Python is not poisonous, rather, it restricts or squeezes its prey until it’s dead. What makes the Reticulated Python more dangerous than others could likely be the impressive bite they have that can hold prey in place until the life is squeezed out of them. Their squeeze strength is pretty good but it would take a while to kill humans. Reticulated pythons are found in Southeast Asia, Indochina, Indonesia and the Philippines.

The 25 Most Painful Bites And Stings On The Planet
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They squeeze at around 7.8 pounds per square inch. Pythons like this can get pretty big, as it is among the top three heaviest snakes in the world on average. There have been a few cases of these pythons killing and even eating humans before. Their bite is pretty large, with teeth that can easily go heavily through human skin. It might only bite with a pressure of 200 pounds per square inch but it does a lot of damage with one bite. Thus making the bite quite painful.

The 25 Most Painful Bites And Stings On The Planet
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Komodo Dragon

  • Pain Index: 3.1

Komodo Dragons are extremely large monitor lizards (largest living lizard species) that have the same type of poisonous bacteria that the other monitor lizards have. If it bites onto prey and it does not kill, the hope is that the bacteria from their glands will slowly do the job. For most humans, this is usually not venomous enough to kill. Yet the bite could certainly do that on its own. The Komodo Dragon has a bite that could take off an arm if he desired to do so. Komodo dragons have thrived in the harsh climate of Indonesia’s Lesser Sunda Islands for millions of years. They prefer the islands’ tropical forests but can be found across the islands.

The 25 Most Painful Bites And Stings On The Planet
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The average an extremely powerful bite pressure is 1,000 pounds per square inch. They rarely attack humans unless they feel like they have to. Humans have been able to cross by them with no issue for many years. Therefore, if they bite it is for protection purposes only. Of course, their bite could leave a mark with some severe pain due to the bacteria. Death is rare though. Between 1974 to 2012 there were only 24 reported attacks. Of those attacks, on five people succumbed to their injuries.

The 25 Most Painful Bites And Stings On The Planet
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Hyenas

  • Pain Index: 3.1

Contrary to what you might have seen from Harley Quinn in the Birds of Prey film, owning a Hyena as a pet is incredibly dangerous. In fact, they do not mind attacking humans and have done so many times. They typically hunt or operate in packs where they fight among themselves and take chunks from one another. If they do this to their own pack, what does that tell you about a human’s chances? It lives in north and northeast Africa, the Middle East and Asia, all the way to southern Siberia. Hyenas can adapt to almost any habitat and are found in grasslands, woodlands, savannas, forest edges, sub-deserts and mountains as high up as 13,000 feet.

The 25 Most Painful Bites And Stings On The Planet
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Hyena packs have taken down full-grown male lions as well as full-grown elephants. Since they bite anything and anyone just for kicks, they might be more dangerous than lions. As most of the time, they only attack humans when threatened or hungry. They’re lazy otherwise. Hyenas bite a lot and bite hard with a pressure of 1,100 pounds per square inch. Easily enough to tear off human limbs. In spite of this, their bites are quite painful but not as extreme as others.

The 25 Most Painful Bites And Stings On The Planet
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Goliath Birdeater

  • Pain Index: 3.2

The Goliah Birdeater did not get its name randomly. In fact, it is the largest spider species by mass on the planet. The Giant Huntsman Spider is the largest in leg length. They are found in the wild throughout northern South America. As the name suggests, they will eat birds and have been known to catch them for dinner. Although, they do not generally prey on birds simply due to the difficulty.

The 25 Most Painful Bites And Stings On The Planet
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They have two defensive capabilities. First are the fangs, which are quite large and can pierce human skin. Within each bite, the Goliah releases venom. It can release the same venom once picked up via hairs as it excretes venom through its mucus membranes and out through its skin. Neither version of this venom will kill a human unless they are allergic. The venom will result in the spider bite being far worse. It has been compared to ramming a nail through your finger.

The 25 Most Painful Bites And Stings On The Planet
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Cobra

  • Pain Index: 3.3

Cobras like Vipers are known for their impressive bite. Also like Vipers, Cobras are venomous creatures. It is unlikely that they will bother humans unless threatened but they have been known to be territorial and will attack humans for that reason as well. Some cobra species will also randomly end up around humans in places like India due to the snake trying to get out of the elements. This is where most bites tend to happen. Cobras live in hot tropical areas in Africa, Australia, and Southern Asia and their relatives, the Coral Snake, can be found in the United States. They can be found underground, in trees, and under rocks. The King Cobra is not only an excellent climber but a super swimmer as well. They live in forests near streams

The 25 Most Painful Bites And Stings On The Planet
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Cobras do not have the most potent venom among snakes but their deadly neurotoxins will cause severe pain. This is mixed with paralysis and eventually breathing trouble. Their venom, in a single bite, delivers two-tenths of a fluid ounce of venom. Yet it is still so strong, it could kill 20 people or a full-grown elephant. It is said that their bite alone is horrible but the pain caused by everything that comes with it might be the horrific way to die.

The 25 Most Painful Bites And Stings On The Planet
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Portuguese Man O’War

  • Pain Index: 3.5

The Portuguese Man O’War is well-known as one of the weirdest animals in the animal kingdom. It might look like a jellyfish, but it’s not. The species is made up of several multicellular beings that come together to form one single being. Once this occurs, they are unable to separate and live. While they have rarely killed humans, they have the potential to do so. Mostly, they sting people but rarely cause death. At least 10,000 Australians are stung by the Man O’War each year. They are found found in the Atlantic Ocean and Indian Oceans.

The 25 Most Painful Bites And Stings On The Planet
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Since their tentacles are still numerous living beings, detached tentacles can still sting just as bad as it can be associated with the main body. Most sting pain lasts 1 to 3 hours but some can last for two to three days! It has been known to cause symptoms of allergic shock or reaction, without actually being one. Unless one is stung badly by one, medical attention is not “technically” necessary. As the pain will go away on its own. But bad stings should result in a person seeking professional help.

The 25 Most Painful Bites And Stings On The Planet
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Crown-Of-Thorns Starfish

  • Pain Index: 3.5

The Crown-of-Thorns Starfish rarely is meaning to attack humans nor does it seem them out. Every single time they end up stinging humans, a human has come by them and either stepped on one or pushed up against it. They get their name from looking like a large crown made of, well, thorns. This is also likely from the Judeo-Christian story involving Jesus Christ, who was forced to wear a crown of thorns. This creature looks a lot like the image of the said thorny crown from the story. These spiky marine creatures occur naturally on reefs in the Indo Pacific region, including the Great Barrier Reef.

The 25 Most Painful Bites And Stings On The Planet
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Their spikes are quite painful and can even grow back if one comes off. Once the spikes go into an animal or human, they immediately will be hit with their venom. Humans will experience massive sharp pain at the site of the wound(s) that might last for several hours. The venom also has a platelet destroying property that will cause humans to bleed consistently without clotting. Sometimes the spikes can go so far into human flesh that surgery is required to remove them.

The 25 Most Painful Bites And Stings On The Planet
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Lionfish

  • Pain Index: 3.6

The Lionfish is known for its unique look but also for its venomous fin rays. These will sting human beings as much as any other animal that seeks to make it dinner. They contain a special venom known as Pterois. In humans, it’ll cause nausea, fever, breathing issues, dizziness, headache, numbness, sweating, and much more. Yet in some rare cases, it can cause convulsions, heartburn, and vomiting among others. The big symptoms that will come with every “sting” from a Lionfish is paresthesia.

The 25 Most Painful Bites And Stings On The Planet
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Historically, the lion fish’s natural habitat is the South Pacific and Indian Ocean. But it can now be found along the United States East Coast from Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, to Florida, and along the Gulf Coast to Texas. This is a “pins and needles” feeling at the site of the sting, as well as extreme pain. The pain caused is considered to be among the worst any fish species can give. Their venom might cause a lot of symptoms but it’s rarely fatal. Pain can last up to several days but kids can potentially die from the stings, and they are the ones who typically do. Outside of those simply allergic to the venom. Yet the fact that the sting leaves such horrible pain for severe days alone makes it one to avoid.

The 25 Most Painful Bites And Stings On The Planet
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Crocodile

  • Pain Index: 4.0

Crocodiles are found all over the world, both in freshwater and saltwater. They are found on every single continent except Antarctica and Europe. Although they were used in Rome for Gladiator fights or zoos centuries back, with some escaping and entering the environment. Crocs just hate the cold honestly. It’s likely that the most dangerous of the species is in saltwater due to the size those tend to reach. Some versions of crocs are actually on the endangered list sadly.

The 25 Most Painful Bites And Stings On The Planet
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This is mostly due to hunters that kill them in the wild for their hide. Their bite is said to be extremely painful for any human that experiences it. Saltwater Crocs can shut their jaws with 3,700 pounds of force per square inch. This is among the highest of any aquatic species, with sharks only averaging a little more. Force is not all, as their teeth are also formed in such a way that it becomes almost impossible to escape. Meaning if a croc bites, it’s guaranteed to take flesh.

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