The weight of an elephant’s body alone is enough to kill a human being. These lumbering animals are usually not dangerous, but when provoked, they’re a lot more dangerous than you think. Under the careful eye of a trained professional, humans can pet elephants and get up close to their over-large ears and tough skin. When they are provoked, though, elephant trunks and powerful stomp can trample a human being in a matter of seconds. Stay as far away as possible from an elephant if you see it’s agitated or aggressive. Male elephants are most dangerous when they’re in musth, which is an increased state of testosterone. This is when they’re looking to breed with females and are on the hunt. During this time, don’t go anywhere near the elephant (via Best Life Online).
Your neighbor’s dog might’ve bitten a stranger when provoked, so it may not be so surprising that these animals are more dangerous than you thought. The thing that makes dogs so dangerous, though, is their transmission of rabies. If a dog isn’t vaccinated and is bitten by a rabid, it will get rabies. If they bite a human, they’ll transfer rabies to the human, which is incredibly fatal. Symptoms include confusion, fever, body aches, delerium, and eventually, death. Not only that, but if an angry aggressive dog attacks a human, the bite can lead to serious injury. If it attacks a child, they could potentially kill it (via Science Focus).
When we think of otters, we think of adorable, soft, fluffy, round animals surfing the ocean waves and twitching their whiskers. It seems like all they do is play and strut around with a performative skill that’s unmatched by any other animal. But these animals are much more dangerous than you think. They protect their habitats with strong, sharp teeth and will do anything to protect their area. They’d also be considered terrible house guests, as they leave fish detritus behind and don’t clean up their waste. This fish tends to attract deadly insects that potentially carry diseases. It’s recommended you stay at least five kayak lengths away from otters to be safe if they do feel threatened. If an otter does notice your presence, it means you’re standing too close (via Best Life Online).
These miniature creatures are harmful to humans. Their name says it all, but they’re likely more dangerous than you thought. They have potent venom that carries parasites. They’re good for the garden, but that’s about it. The bite is extremely painful, much like a bee sting. After a bite, the area around the bite may become numb. It’s best just to avoid these bugs altogether and let them prance around your garden without any interference. Their bites can transmit Chagas disease, which may lead to heart failure and death (via Science Focus).
Even though chimpanzees are closely related to humans, these animals are much more dangerous than you think. They’re stronger than the average human, unpredictable, and have sharp teeth that could tear a person’s arm off their body with one swift bite. Their muscles are estimated to be four times stronger than human beings. The next time you see a chimpanzee and want to give it a brotherly hug, stop yourself. You may not make it out alive (via Best Life Online).
As one of the strangest, cutest creatures on this list, it may come as a shock that they’re much more dangerous than you think. Their duck-like bills and webbed feet make them seem adorable and friendly. How could an animal with a beaver tail and webbed feet hurt you? They’re the only mammals to lay eggs, but also incredibly venomous. The male has a venomous spur on its hind foot that isn’t strong enough to kill a human, but powerful enough to cause a lot of pain. These are the best sort of animals to watch from afar and appreciate their cuteness from a good distance away (via Best Life Online).
Dingoes look like a mixture of a fox and a wolf and are fiesty creatures that are a lot more dangerous than you think. When provoked, these animals are aggressive and violent. They roam around the lands of Australia and are often considered pests. Australia is home to some of the deadliest animals and insects on the planet, and these animals are no exception. Even though human attacks are rare, their unpredictable nature makes them dangerous and it’s recommended you stay far away from them. Attacks are rare, but they still may happen (via Business Insider).
In the backcountry of America, any local will tell you that it’s the moose you need to be wary of, not the black bears. These giant creatures are deadly and a lot more dangerous than you think. When a moose feels provoked or threatened, it’ll aggressively charge at a human, leading to injury or death. In Alaska, moose kill more humans every year than bears. If you happen to find yourself in front of an angry moose, try to put a large object between you and the moose, like a rock or a car. If that doesn’t work, officials suggest you run as fast as you can, away from the moose (via RD).
Beavers impress us. Their building skills surpass some human’s building skills, and you can’t help but admire their wide tails and determined attitude. They work day in and day out to build dams for their families, which makes them seem like friendly, hardworking animals. But they’re much more dangerous than you think. Those tails that help them build those expert dams are a warning sign for humans. If a beaver believes you’re getting too close, it’ll vigorously slap its tail on the water to get rid of you. If you do get too close, you better watch out for those sharp teeth he’s certainly not afraid to use (via Best Life Online).
We all know those pesky insects are annoying, but they’re a lot more dangerous than you think. Even though they bite you and leave an itchy welt, did you know they could also transfer deadly diseases? Dengue, malaria, and the chikungunya virus are several diseases transmittable by a mosquito bite. These viruses will leave you with a nasty fever, body aches, headache, rash, and all sorts of other horrible symptoms. There are four strains of the dengue virus, and if you catch it a second time, it could be deadly. If you catch any of these viruses, it’s a good idea to head straight to the hospital instead of waiting it out (via Science Focus).
Deer seem friendly and docile, especially when they’re prancing around the forests or grazing in the trees. We’ve all heard of the movie Bambi, so it makes sense we believe all deer are cute and kind. But they’re a lot more dangerous than you think, and it’s not because they’re aggressive. Deer tend to dart across highways, resulting in many car crashes and deaths every single year. About 1.33 million crashes in the USA every year are a result of deer. Always drive cautiously and slowly if you’re in a wooded area, and don’t swerve if you hit a deer. It’s recommended to hit them straight on (via Best Life Online).
When we think of elegance, we think of swans. These beings gently glide across the water, flap their pearly white wings, and act cool, calm, and collected. But they’re a lot more dangerous than you think. When a human treads too closely to their protected terrain, they’ll fight back. They’ll arch their neck and hiss to scare you away, but if this doesn’t scare you off, they’ll try to beat you with their wings. They can break bones. Imagine if humans did this. That’s one way to scare off a potential, unwanted mate or someone who gets too close to your space (via Best Life Online).
You’ve probably heard of the lovable anteater Arthur. Kids fell in love with the big-eyed, cute character. Unfortunately, in real life, they’re much more dangerous than you think. They may look adorable and innocent, but they have tough, strong claws that could potentially disembowel a human being. Their bad hearing and eyesight don’t deter them, either, and they’ll do whatever it takes to make sure you’re a goner if you happen to provoke them. There have been reports of anteater deaths, for example,” in a new case report, scientists detail a gruesome anteater attack that left one hunter dead in northwestern Brazil, just two years after another man was killed in a similar confrontation with one of the long-nosed creatures.” Never get too close to an anteater, because you’ll never know how it’ll end up (via RD).
Tasmanian Devils are the world’s largest carnivorous marsupials. These little creatures only weigh up to 26 pounds. Even though they appear cute and harmless, they’re vicious. They’re much more dangerous than you think, so it’s best you stay far away from these guys and don’t provoke them. Their name says it all, though, and they didn’t randomly earn the name “devil.” When they feel threatened, they become aggressive and display their sharp teeth for their predator. They’ll likely run in the opposite direction when they see a human, but if they feel threatened or want to defend their mate, they’ll attack with a strong bite (via Best Life Online).
These large balls of white fluff may look cute and cuddly, but they’re much more dangerous than you think. If you happen to spot a polar bear, keep it in the distance. They’ll keep to themselves, unless they’ve been provoked, or need food. They have sharp teeth and claws that’ll shred a human being to bits. Polar bear attacks on humans have been on the rise, with more than 20 attacks on humans occurring in recent years (via Best Life Online).
The animals with the funniest laughs are hyenas. It also sounds like they’re on the verge of a laughing fit, but even if they sound funny, they’re far from the opposite. Even though they’re small, they’re aggressive. They have razor-sharp teeth that’ll bite any person in a matter of seconds, leaving a horrible wound. Hyenas tend to target children, women, and the elderly, and the more aggressive gender is the male. You’ll know it’s a male because they’re larger than the women (via Best Life Online).
Raccoons are annoying, especially when you find your trash thrown across your entire lawn, earning them the nickname “trash pandas.” That’s not what makes them dangerous, though, and they’re more dangerous than you think because they carry rabies. If they feel threatened by a human, they’ll bite and scratch. Even if their bites are minor, you’ll still need to go to the hospital if you’re bitten because they carry rabies. Rabies is a deadly disease with no cure. Dogs also carry rabies, but it’s much less common since they receive the rabies vaccine (via Business Insider).
Red pandas, also known as “firefoxes” or “lesser pandas,” are small, carnivorous mammals native to the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China. They are closely related to raccoons and have reddish-brown fur, a long, bushy tail, and distinctive markings on their face. Red pandas are about the size of a domestic cat and weigh around 6-14 pounds. They’re more closely related to raccoons. When they feel threatened, they rear up on their hind legs and strike with claws sharp enough to tear human flesh. They’re not known for their aggressive behavior, however when threatened, they can be vicious (via Best Life Online).
When you see a mouse scurrying across your kitchen floor, you might shout in fear. But the element of surprise is not what makes these animals more dangerous than you think. These critters won’t gnaw your eyes out or bite your hand off, but they can spread several diseases, either through direct contact or indirect transmission. If you see a mouse in your house, it’s recommended you get rid of it. They can carry diseases including monkeypox, rat-bite fever, and Lassa fever (via Best Life Online).
Generally speaking, hedgehogs will try to run away from humans if they feel scared or threatened. But it may be surprising to find out that they’re a lot more dangerous than you think. Even though many people have hedgehogs as pets, their spikes can be dangerous to human skin, or anything else for that matter. They’re still on our side, though, because when a human picks them up, they curl their bodies and pull their spikes inwards. But when they’re threatened, they extend their spikes vertically. It’s also possible that their spikes carry a host of bacteria, so if you do get pricked, make sure you clean it. Adult hedgehogs also have a more powerful bite than smaller ones (via RD).
Don’t badger the honey badger! They don’t like sharing their honey, and even if they look cute, they’re not. They’re much more dangerous than you think, and if they bite you with their powerful jaws, they might break the bones in your hand. Their jaws are powerful enough to crack a tortoise’s shell. It’ll only attack if it feels threatened or cornered. They’re also incredibly smart and can figure out a locking mechanism. They’ll also jump out of a window if they’re hungry and looking for food. Even though we probably wouldn’t do that, we can relate to the need for food (via Best Life Online).
Most species of catfish are not dangerous to humans. They are generally peaceful, bottom-dwelling fish that are not aggressive towards people. Catfish have venom on their dorsal, but they are not typically strong enough to cause harm to humans. However, some larger species of catfish, such as the Mekong giant catfish, can grow up to 10 feet long and weigh over 600 pounds. These fish may be capable of causing injury if they were to accidentally strike a person with their body or tail while swimming. It is best to exercise caution and avoid handling or trying to touch large catfish in the wild. (via Best Life Online).
These round, large hippos may seem like animals that only eat and hang out, largely due to the game Hungry, Hungry Hippos. But they’re much more dangerous than you think. These water-loving creatures act docile, but they can cause death by drowning. They’ve also charged at humans. Don’t be fooled by their yawn, either, since it’s an aggressive signal that’s warning you to stay far, far away. It’s been referred to as the world’s most dangerous land animal and kills up to 500 people per year in Africa. In fact, recently, a CNN headline reported that a two year old boy was rescued from a hippo while playing in his own back yard in Uganda. The hippo had already swallowed half of the toddler’s body before a brave neighbor stoned the hippo and pulled the boy from its jaws. (via Best Life Online).
Owls may seem like innocent, nocturnal tree creatures, but these animals are much more dangerous than you think. You don’t want to ruffle their feathers the wrong way. They have sharp talons they’re not afraid to use. When they have a nest of young owls they want to protect, they’ll do anything they can to jab their predator with these talons. Don’t go anywhere near their nests, or you’ll regret it. The most at-risk are joggers and hikers, who may look like they’re charging at the owl’s nest (via Best Life Online).
Even though these huggable animals may seem like the cuddliest creatures in the world, they’re a lot more dangerous than you think. They’re marsupials with powerful jaws that give an intense bite. They’re not afraid to use their jaws when they feel threatened or cornered, so don’t think about giving them a big hug. Attacks are rare, considering they sleep 22 hours per day and sleep in the trees, but if you do spot one, try not to startle them. The most unnerving part about koalas, though, is that they can transmit chlamydia to a human who comes into contact with their urine. They’re also known for being more aggressive than crocodiles (via Best Life Online).
The name says it all. These frogs are, in fact, poisonous. Don’t be fooled by their small size. Poison dart frogs are small, brightly colored frogs that are native to Central and South America. They get their name from the toxic secretions on their skin, which were once used by indigenous people to poison the tips of darts and arrows. One single frog carries enough poison to paralyze and kill ten grown men. It is important to avoid touching or handling poison dart frogs, as their toxins can be absorbed through the skin or mucous membranes. Their bright, vibrant color is a sign of just how poisonous they are. If you see one, don’t go near it (via Business Insider).
When you see a hooded pitohui, you may fall in love with its beautiful beak, dark red eyes, and orange feathers. From afar, the bird looks graceful and peaceful, but it’s much more dangerous than you think. It’s one of the world’s only toxic birds. They have a toxin in their skin deadly to humans. It’s called batrachotoxin, and in high enough doses, this toxin can cause cardiac arrest, paralysis, and eventually, death. It’s the same toxin found in the poison dart frog in South America. They don’t develop this toxin naturally, they get it from their food source, myeloid beetles. Only observe this bird from afar, if you do happen to run into it (via AZ Animals).
There’s no way dolphins are aggressive or dangerous, right? These graceful sea creatures are loved around the world. But they’re much more dangerous than you think, even if you have already found yourself swimming with dolphins in Mexico. In some cases, dolphins may approach humans in a friendly manner and seem to want to interact with them. This can be an exciting and enjoyable experience, but it is important to remember that dolphins are wild animals and should be treated with respect. It is never a good idea to try to touch or ride a dolphin, as this can be harmful to both the animal and the person Even though we admire their beauty and intelligence, they occasionally bite humans and will drag them underwater. You may think twice about swimming with dolphins next time (via AZ Animals).
The Australian Outback is home to some of the deadliest, most dangerous animals in the world. Kangaroos may look cute, but they’re much more dangerous than you think. Like all animals, kangaroos can become aggressive if they feel threatened or if they are trying to protect their young. It is important to respect a kangaroo’s space and to give it plenty of room to retreat if you encounter one in the wild.They have strong legs, and if you encounter an aggressive kangaroo, you better back away quickly. You might not have much of a chance, though, since an adult kangaroo can catch up to a human being in no time. They’ll kick you and can inflict some serious injury on a human who gets too close (via Best Life Online).
Even though cats tend to keep to themselves, they certainly have a mysterious side. It always seems like they’re up to no good, and they know more than we think they do. They’re responsible for more than 2.4 billion bird deaths every single year. If we were to switch birds with humans, then cats would be responsible for eliminating the human race twice over, every single year. Let’s keep these animals on our good side. Humans can also catch diseases from a cat bite, so if you are bitten by a domestic cat, take good care of cleaning the wound (via Best Life Online).
It may come as a surprise that pufferfish is one of the most poisonous vertebrates in the world. To protect themselves, they’ll inflate their bodies and release tetrodotoxin. This toxin is lethal to not only fish but humans, too. One pufferfish carries enough toxins to kill 30 human beings. This poison is up to 1,200 times more toxic than cyanide. The pufferfish is also considered a delicacy in Japan. Only professional, trained chefs can prepare a pufferfish for human consumption. With one wrong move, someone eating pufferfish will die almost instantaneously (via RD).
Even though giant pandas aren’t related to red pandas, it doesn’t make them any less dangerous. Even though these cuddly animals seem friendly and inviting, they’re a lot more dangerous than you think. Their teeth are strong enough to cut through bamboo, so you can only assume what those teeth could do to a human. No one wants a 250-pound bear chasing them, either. Even though these animals like to avoid any confrontation, they’re not afraid to attack when they feel provoked (via Best Life Online).
Wolverines are medium sized, carnivorous mammals that are native to the northern regions of North America, Europe, and Asia. They are known for their strength, ferocity, and tenacity, and have a reputation as being one of the most formidable predators in their range.This creature will hunt anything and everything it happens to come across, and that includes human beings. While wolverines are not generally considered to be dangerous to humans, they are solitary animals and can be very territorial. They’ve been videotaped fighting wolves, and even though they’ve never killed a human, it’s best to stay far away from these animals (via Best Life Online).
Seals may seem like gentle, blubbery sea puppies, but they have us fooled. They have a dangerous streak. Leopard seals are large, carnivorous mammals that are native to the Southern Ocean surrounding Antarctica. They are named for their distinctive spotted coat and are known for their powerful jaws and sharp teeth. Leopard seals are one of the top predators in the Antarctic ecosystem and are known to prey on a variety of other animals, including seals, penguins, and fish. Even though they have cute faces and whiskers, they’re still aggressive predators that have been known to drown human beings. One researcher was killed in Antarctic waters after an aggressive leopard seal attacked him while snorkeling. Seals will kill any other warm-blooded prey, and that includes other seals (via Best Life Online).
Even though you might already know that lions are dangerous, they’re even more dangerous than you think. Observing these animals during a safari in Africa is relatively safe, but because they’re unpredictable, it’s recommended you keep your windows closed and limbs inside the vehicle during a safari. It is especially important to be careful around predators like lions, which are adapted to hunting and killing other animals. They kill an average of 100 humans every single year (via Best Life Online).