The Deadliest, Most Destructive Hurricanes Ever

Hurricanes can instill fear in the public due to their ability to level entire towns, throwing communities into turmoil. When a hurricane strikes, the lives of people and animals settled along the shores are threatened by powerful winds and strong waters. Some of the strongest hurricanes in history have absolutely devastated thousands of residents. While meteorologists do their best to predict such storms and emergency officials try to encourage prompt evacuation, you can only do so much to prevent loss of life, property damage, and other tragedies when a natural disaster strikes. Despite the best efforts of all involved, a storm is simply too unpredictable to manage effectively. The world's biggest hurricanes - those in the highest hurricane categories - will remind you to be thankful for your shelter and loved ones, as our planet is, at times, tremendously dangerous and unexpected weather patterns can suddenly disrupt stability. 

What is the largest hurricane ever recorded? The Great Hurricane of 1780 resulted in over 20,000 lives lost. However, less deadly hurricanes have wrought unspeakable damage to infrastructure, leading to massive displacement, job loss, and economic upheaval. The destruction wrought by the world's most destructive hurricanes is always devastating, but you often see communities come together in the aftermath to rebuild. While always tragic, these types of natural disasters can be a testament to the enduring willpower of people across the globe. So, what's the worst hurricane in history?

To get some sense of the proportion of the damage caused by these storms, here's a look back at the strongest hurricanes ever recorded - ranging from the 1700s to recent history. 

If you're interested in more natural disasters like this list of the worst hurricanes, check out the worst tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, wildfires, and earthquakes in history.