They have sharp welters and powerful claws. These claws can easily tear the flesh of prey in a matter of seconds, and this includes humans. Their jaws, plus their sharp claws. Make them the scariest reptile alive. If you’re swimming in a water hole and a crocodile springs at you out of nowhere, then you’re pretty much out of luck. Not only that, but “the crocodile’s bite strength is up to 3,000 pounds per square inch, compared to just 100 psi for a labrador retriever or 350 psi for a large shark” (Sheppard Software). That’s one way to put it into perspective. We might just stick with the sharks from now on.
The menu of a crocodile isn’t limited. They’ll eat anything and everything, and that includes humans. Let’s hope no humans are on the crocodile’s menu anytime soon. It’s said that crocodiles eat birds, fish, smaller crocodiles, and other mammals. They’re cannibals too. That’s just another reason why saltwater crocodiles are the scariest reptiles alive (Sheppard Software). It’s also said that “the diet of saltwater crocodiles shifts from crustaceans and fishes when young to birds, sea turtles and mammals including water buffalo, monkeys and wild boars as adults” (Sport Diver).
Saltwater crocodiles kill. They have a tumultuous past with human beings, and have injured thousands and killed many others. It’s said that “between 1974 and 2015, 21 people were killed by saltwater crocodiles in Australia’s Northern Territory, where they’re known as “salties” (Sport Diver). Saltwater crocodiles killed one too many people.
Saltwater crocodiles are so terrifying, that they even have a special way they kill their prey. It’s called the death roll. When they want to kill something, they’ll grab it and roll. This will drown the victim, even if it’s a human being, and then they’ll feast on it. It looks like saltwater crocodiles have it all figured out. We don’t want to be caught in a death roll of any animal, especially not a saltwater crocodile (Forbes). If you ever find yourself on a death roll with a crocodile, you need to fight like crazy. It’s either life or death, so you must do whatever it takes to get out of the death roll, or you’ll be dinner for the saltwater crocodile. Worst case scenario, you sacrifice a limb and that’s it.
Saltwater crocodiles will enjoy eating their prey. Unlike a shark, who mistakenly will bite the flesh of a human being and then probably regret it, the saltwater crocodile will not regret eating you. It will enjoy every piece of flesh it gets into its mouth. That’s terrifying. According to Forbes, “there is a crocodile dubbed Gustave, who has allegedly killed around 300 people. Gustave has reportedly killed people for fun. He’s killed them and went back to his business. So maybe they won’t even eat you. They’ll kill you and leave you for your family to find.” That sounds like a murder mystery. Seriously, that’s beyond terrifying. We can’t imagine a saltwater crocodile hanging out and killing a human being for fun. These creatures are scarier than we thought.
We already know that saltwater crocodiles hang out together, hunt their prey, and communicate the best way to kill them. They’re a friend group that hangs out together, murders together, and eats their prey. They’ve murdered anything from a human to a hippopotamus. Any piece of flesh looks like an appetizer, main course, and dessert to the saltwater crocodile (Forbes).
This picture says it all. This is one of the biggest saltwater crocodiles we’ve ever seen, and probably anyone’s ever seen. We can’t imagine standing next to that thing. No, thanks. The photograph is captioned, “8.6 Meter Salt Water Crocodile from Australia 1955” (Reddit). The photograph asks, “who wants to go swimming?” We’d never swim again if we knew just how close that saltwater crocodile was to us. It looks like a modern-day dinosaur, ready to prance at any piece of the flesh who dares get too close.
A human looks like a tiny piece of dirt next to a saltwater crocodile. They’re certainly the scariest reptile alive, and we can see why humans don’t have a chance at survival compared to one of these things. This is a “fully grown Australian saltwater crocodile in comparison to a human.” The woman in that cage is pretty brave for getting in there and swimming next to it. What if it suddenly decided to rip the cage open and attack her? Would she be safe? From what we learned about the jaws of a crocodile, we’re not sure she’d survive the attack. It’s best to just never get into the water, ever (Reddit).
Some humans are smart, while others aren’t. We’re not sure where we would put this guy on the list, but he’s certainly brave. This diver was captured swimming with saltwater crocodiles, even so much as putting his head within biting range of its jaw. They wanted to study the behavior of the crocodile, and said, “in this case, it is important to know the behavior of the crocodiles and to make sure we have supporting spotters to watch the crocodiles from the surface. ‘In the past, we have done films like this about Sharks, Killer Whales, and Anacondas, so we’re well seasoned in dealing with potentially dangerous animals” (Daily Mail). It’s not these guys’ first rodeo.
Don’t ever provoke or harass a saltwater crocodile. They’re unpredictable and aggressive and will attack a human or prey at any given second. But if you’re floating gently in a river, minding your own business, and you spot a saltwater crocodile, that’s a different story. Let’s say you’re swimming when suddenly, a saltwater crocodile appears. What would you do? Because they’re the scariest reptile alive, there’s not much you can do, but there are some things you can do to increase your chances of survival. Basically, “if you spot a croc, back away slowly and try not to make sudden movements. Splashing in water will only draw attention. If a crocodile heads your way, run away in a straight line. The myth about moving in a zig-zag motion is just thatâa myth. Crocodiles can move at 10 miles per hour, so remove those flip flops so you can run faster” (History). So all you need to do is run. Run as fast as you can.
Saltwater crocodiles have powerful eyes, but it’s also the most sensitive, vulnerable part of their body. One of the only ways you can survive an attack from a saltwater crocodile is to gauge its eyes out. In 2014, Stephen Moreen survived an attack by gauging a saltwater crocodile’s eyes out. “The croc began to roll him under the water when Moreen spotted the croc’s eye and poked it with his fingers. The creature released him and swam away. A crocodile’s eyes are impressive: They can see underwater at night and retract during a fight. They are also, however, one of the most vulnerable parts of the creature’s body” (History).
Even though saltwater crocodiles are the scariest reptiles in the world, they’re an animal. And all animals need love (or at least respect from a distance), even if they’re terrifying beasts. In 1989, someone shot a saltwater crocodile named Pocho in Costa Rica. Gilberto “Chito” Sheddon discovered him and aided him back to full health. The crocodile was 150 pounds, and when Sheddon tried to release him back into the wild, Pocho found his way back to him. The two became inseparable and were captured in a documentary titled The Man Who Swims With Crocodiles. While we don’t recommend trying to befriend a saltwater crocodile, there is some hope out there (History).