The most fearsome animals on the planet are very well known. They are the animals that rule their ecosystem. Apex predators that do not fight for territory they take it, they do not struggle for a meal because they capture their prey with ease. Whether it is the shark in the ocean, the lion in the savanna, the wolf in the wilderness or the bear in the forest. These animals are feared by those below them in the food chain and respected by the rest. Yet the number of people who are killed each year by these terrifying animals is surprisingly low. When it comes to the deadliest animals the top five is a very different list.
The mosquito is by far the worst animal in the world. It kills over 700,000 people every year. The most common disease that it carries is malaria which accounts for over 85% of the deaths with dengue, yellow fever, and encephalitis some of the killer viruses that it spreads. The mosquito is detrimental to many countries around the world and is so ruthless that it can cause upheaval across many of the poorer countries making it difficult for them to escape poverty.
The snake is the second most deadly animal in the world. It kills approximately 50,000 people every year. Already though you can see how terrible the mosquito is at it kills 14 times more people every single year. The snake is a puppy in comparison.
There are many types of snakes with various levels of venom that are responsible for the 50,000 murders. The most deadly snake is the saw-scaled viper. It is low on the venom chart but it kills over 5,000 people each year. It manages to kill this many because it is very prevalent in highly populated areas. Other snakes that have more venom, like the Inland Taipan can kill a human in 45 minutes but it is low on the death figures because it rarely bites humans.
It may be surprising to see the most loyal animal in the world third on the list but it is sadly true. Dogs kill 25,000 people every year. Dogs with rabies are a widespread problem in many developing countries and bites from these animals kill a great number of people.
In India, for example, there are large packs of strays that roam some of the poorer streets of the country. Is it estimated that the deaths from dog bites in India alone account for over one-third of the worldwide death figures. Rabies is the real killer though as only 30 people each year actually die from the bite itself.
The Tsetse Fly
10,000 people die from bites of the tsetse fly each year. The fly appears like a harmless house fly but will suck blood from animals and humans. If bitten you can catch a disease that will cause paralysis, joint pain, and eventually possible death. The fly is most common in Africa.
Crocodiles do manage to make it into our top five as they kill around 1,000 people per year. This is far behind the mosquito but far ahead of a shark with a kill rate of closer to five people per year. This makes the crocodile the most deadly animal in the water. Crocodile deaths are most common in small rural towns of Africa. Of all crocodile attacks about one-third result in death.
These figures are an eye-opener in terms of understanding who are the truly deadly animals in the world today. While many people fear sharks it is the mosquito who should strike much more fear in people.