Have you ever heard your own heart pounding in your chest? Probably, but rest assured, you’re usually the only one who can hear it. Unless there’s a saltwater crocodile nearby. These creatures can sense a mammal’s heartbeat from a long distance; up to one kilometer away (half a mile). Not only do they have super powerful senses, but they have one of the most acute senses of touch in the animal kingdom. Apparently, “the crocodilian sense of touch is concentrated in a series of small, pigmented domes that dot their skin all over their body” (News).
Scientists aren’t sure why, but saltwater crocodiles show aggression beginning at birth. They’re short-tempered, and scientists studying saltwater crocodiles concluded that’s it ever since they were hatched. One theory, though, is that it’s because of competition with other crocodiles. Plus, saltwater crocodiles have such a large size, that they’re naturally aggressive animals (The Guardian).
Saltwater crocodiles aren’t only aggressive to humans or their prey, but they’re also angry towards each other. They don’t seem like the nicest animals in the world. “They get agitated then wind themselves up and swing their heads into other crocodiles. When you see larger salties, especially males during mating season, it’s quite fearsome. It’s like a sledgehammer that would certainly shatter your head” (The Guardian). Based on this description, we never want to see a saltwater crocodile, ever.
Even if saltwater crocodiles are aggressive towards each other, they will also set aside their differences to hunt prey. There’s power in numbers, and humans aren’t the only ones in the world that know this. Saltwater crocodiles also gang up on their prey. They have special communication skills that they use underwater to try and catch their prey. Apparently, “in addition to being solitary ambush hunters, some species can hunt in groups demonstrating coordination and collaboration among members. Crocodiles have sophisticated communication abilities, including threat calls, distress calls, and infrasonic “booming” sounds.” We wouldn’t want to see a bunch of saltwater crocodiles collaborating to gang up on their prey, but it happens. Just make sure you’re not the prey (Biogeoplanet).
Even though this is obvious, the larger the crocodile, the more aggressive they are. More than likely this is because they’ve survived based on their acquired survival skills (i.e. aggression, territorial domination, etc.) If you see a two-meter crocodile, you can feel a lot safer than if you see a four-meter one. But if you do see one that’s four meters or longer, you better run for your life. This is because, according to experts “a two-meter croc won’t eat a human, but once you get an animal that is four meters long, humans are certainly on the menu. You do have to take precautions in croc habitat” (The Guardian).
If you thought saltwater crocodiles had a fault, think again. These guys can breathe underwater. So, not only can they survive on land, like humans, but underwater… unlike humans. This makes them unstoppable, should an apocalypse come. They already survived one apocalypse, so they might be able to survive another. It’s said that “the saltwater crocodile has a valve at the back of its throat that allows it to open its mouth while breathing through its nostrils without ingesting water” (Sport Diver). If only humans could do this, then we may have saltwater crocodiles beat. But it looks like they’re the more powerful species when it comes to survival and fighting skills.
According to the users of Reddit, who ran into a saltwater crocodile, they’re absolute beasts. The caption reads, “this absolute unit of a Saltwater Crocodile. Just terrifying, I would not want to mess with these beasts. Metal as f**k.” They have cute T-rex claws, but we wouldn’t want to get anywhere near them. He looks like he’s looking right into the soul of whoever took the picture. It looks like a good time to run the other way, and fast (Reddit).
These reptiles are the best predators on the planet and are called ambush hunters. Not only are they incredibly smart and tactful, but that, paired with their acute sense of smell, hearing, and touch, makes them terrifying beasts to be around. It’s said that “they have excellent vision, highly developed smell, extraordinary abilities to sense movements in the water, and an acute sense of hearing. When you combine these with their immense jaws and teeth, you have a formidable predator” (Biogeoplanet).
Authorities warn humans about saltwater crocodiles. Saltwater crocodiles injure over 1,000 people and more than 500 die. The largest saltwater crocodile attack in history happened in 1945. It happened “as a result of Operation Matador, an attempt to take back Ramree Island from the Japanese army in 1945. The British and Indian forces attacked Ramree Island with 6,000 soldiers, pitting them against roughly 1,000 Japanese soldiers. Casualty reports state that 500 Japanese soldiers died, 500 fled, and about 20 were captured. We can’t say for certain that all 500 were killed by crocs, though” (AZ Animals). That’s a lot of humans to get killed by saltwater crocodiles. Not only that, but they kill “hundreds of people each year in parts of South-East Asia and Africa” (Sheppard Software). With that information, we want to stay far away from these reptiles.
It doesn’t look like saltwater crocodiles are going extinct anytime soon. Even though it’s horrible to wish that they would go extinct, to make it safer for humans to swim in fresh and salt water, it looks like they might outlive humans. They already outlived the dinosaurs, so what makes them any different from outliving us? It’s said that “female saltwater crocodiles build a large nest of rotting vegetation, adjacent to a body of water, where they lay up to 90 eggs” (Sport Diver). Ninety eggs is a lot. That’s a lot of saltwater crocodiles out there. If only one female lays 90 eggs, imagine 100 saltwater crocodiles laying 90 eggs, each. That’s 900 new saltwater crocodiles. We may reconsider ever swimming again.
We have good news for you. Even though saltwater crocodiles are incredibly fast and have insanely sharp jaws for tearing flesh, they cannot open their mouths if their jaws are held closed. People that survive saltwater crocodile attacks usually hold their jaws together. Even though the saltwater crocodile can probably knock you over if you do try to hold its jaw together, if you’re already in that kind of situation, it’s the final attempt at survival. One-third to one-half of saltwater crocodile attacks are fatal, and you’ll have a better chance of playing and surviving a game of Russian Roulette.
If you think you’re a bad swimmer because of their gargantuan size, then you’re out of luck. The saltwater crocodile can and will chase you if you happen to be in its way. Even if you’re the fastest swimmer in the world, chances are, the saltwater crocodile is way faster and will do anything in its power to catch you. We don’t even want to imagine being in the way of an aggressive saltwater crocodile, who wants nothing to do with us, and will do anything in its power to kill and eat us. Apparently, “the saltwater crocodile can swim at speeds of 15 miles per hour, holding its limbs against its body to become more streamlined.” They have a tactful way of swimming and capturing their prey, and aren’t afraid to move as fast as they can to capture their prey. Have you ever been in a car moving 15mph? It’s fast, especially if you’re in the water (Sport Diver).
While sharks are predictable, saltwater crocodiles are not. Whether you’re in the water or by the edge of the water, you’re fair game to the crocodile. You have no chance at survival if you’re in the presence of a saltwater crocodile. They’re also aggressive, and as we’ve already learned, they’ll bite and kill their prey for the fun of it (Forbes).
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).