World's deadliest animals

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10. Cape buffalo


Known for making completely unprovoked attacks, Africa's cape buffalo creates an annual death toll ranging from 20 to 100 people. Both male and female cape buffalo possess sharp tusks that they can use to gore their attackers. These animals, valued highly by African hunters, are particularly dangerous when wounded and will attack in mobs, leaving a single human nearly defenceless.

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9. Box jellyfish


Rubbing up against the average jellyfish will usually result in a mild rash, but the notorious box jellyfish is a very large exception. These animals have some of the most poisonous venom in the animal kingdom, using it to hunt their prey by sending their victims into cardiac arrest and killing 100 humans a year.

Sometimes called sea wasps, this strand of jellyfish is found lurking throughout the South China Sea off the coasts of Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia, as well as Australia, the Philippines and Hawaii. The threat posed by box jellyfish gives humans a reason to love sea turtles, which are immune to the venom of box jellyfish and frequently feed off the creatures.

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8. Hippopotamus


Visually, the hippopotamus radiates laziness, appearing to be a slow creature that consistently naps in African waters. Despite being herbivores, these creatures are unsuspectingly responsible for 200 to 300 annual human deaths, taking place both in the water and on land.

Hippos are known to overturn boats and shred canoes that disturb or provoke them. They will also charge humans when they feel that they or their calves might be under threat, doing so at speeds of up to 45 miles per hour.

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7. Elephants


Instead of attacking with teeth, elephants simply trample people. The African elephant population is growing at a rate of 4.5%, forcing herds to expand their territory, trampling through villages at speeds of 25 miles per hour on the way. Elephants kill an estimated 500 humans a year across Africa and India by simply running over them with their four to six tons of weight.

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6. Crocodiles

Despite possessing 20 or so fewer teeth than their alligator brethren, crocodiles are the world's most dangerous reptile. The long, versatile snout of the crocodile enables them to prey easily on mammals, and for those that are large enough, that includes humans.

Crocodiles kill between 600 and 800 people a year. In sharp contrast, alligators only killed 17 people between 1948 and 2006. Attacks in Africa are chiefly caused by the Nile crocodile, while those in Asia and Australia are mostly the responsibility of the saltwater crocodile, which can grow to six meters in length and weigh up to 3,000 pounds.

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5. Large cats

When it comes to physically overpowering humans, big cat species do the most annual damage to the human population. They kill between 1,300 and 1,700 lives every year, stalking their prey then disabling victims by striking at the jugular vein.

Tigers in India maul between 600 and 800 people a year, while lions and leopards kill 700 to 900 people across Africa. Mountain lions cause fewer than 10 deaths a year in North America.

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4. Scorpions


As hideous as they are small, scorpions annually kill up to 2,000 people. Despite this high number, your chances of survival after a scorpion sting are actually quite good. Less than five percent of scorpion stings require medical attention and less than one per cent end up being fatal. These insects creep into dark spaces during the day and do most of their damage at night, when roughly 75% of stings occur.


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3. Dogs


In most cases, man's best friend is a reliable house pet and peaceful companion. Hidden behind their cute smiles and playful attitudes, however, can be the potential to cause extreme harm. Dogs that are not domesticated or who have not received rabies immunisation shots are a huge threat.

"Rabies is transmitted by a bite from a mammal species. That could be bats, foxes, rodents, etc. In the majority of cases it’s dogs," says Dr. Francois Meslin, a senior scientist of tropical diseases at the World Health Organisation. According to Meslin, 98 per cent of rabies cases are associated with a bite from a dog, resulting in 50,000 deaths a year. The majority of these occur in Asia, in countries such as India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

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2. Venomous snakes


While you're bound to run into the occasional garden snake, the potent breeds of the world's deadliest animal runner-up are unlikely to cross your path in the UK unless you make a visit to the zoo.

A report by the World Health Organisation estimates that nearly one out of every twenty venomous snake bites are fatal, resulting in an estimated 125,000 annual deaths. 50,000 of these deaths occur in India. The Indian cobra, listed as the world’s most poisonous snake by the UN's World Conservation Monitoring Centre, only needs to inject .009mg of its Peak V toxin to kill a human.

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1. Mosquito


The mosquito rarely lives longer than a month and is not ferocious or visually intimidating but it comes in much higher contact with humans than any other animal on our list. It also leads to the death of more humans than any other member of the animal kingdom.

By injecting parasites and viruses into the blood stream, the mosquito causes upwards of two million deaths a year. According to Dr. Mark Rowland of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, malaria is responsible for 800,000 to one million of those deaths.

Elephantiasis, West Nile virus, dengue fever and yellow fever are also spread by mosquitoes. While the most dangerous breeds of the bug are local to Africa, Asia and North America, it’s still a good idea to stock up on bug repellent for those humid, mosquito-filled nights.