The Top 29 Most Deadly Animals

There are only a few things more beautiful than an animal in its natural habitat (a pizza fresh out of the oven, a text message from Ryan Gosling...), but even those things may not top seeing a gazelle run across the plains of Africa. But you should also beware of the animals on this list: the most deadly animals. It's wild how close we live to these dangerous animals, just waiting to present us with our doom. Most of the deadly animals on this list have gained their title because we humans can't seem to leave them well enough alone, or because they are capable of carrying all kinds of scary diseases.

This list of cute but deadly animals with high human body counts is sure to make your skin crawl, or at least make you watch your back the next time you take a late night walk. You may not find any sharks or Gila monsters in your neighborhood, but you never know when you'll happen upon a loose moose or a black widow spider, waiting to strike.

After you read this list, share it with your friends and compare horror stories of running into stray giant anteaters or tell them about that time you were stung by a bee at the pool and your face swelled up like a pufferfish. These animals are packing some serious heat, so get close at your own risk!

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  • Gerbils

    Gerbils
    Photo: Unknown / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

    How cute are these things? They're the cutest! As cute as they may be, gerbils are now believed to have been the culprit behind the black plague that lasted from the mid-14th century until the 1800s.

    We might owe rats an apology - or we should just shift the blame to fleas

  • Mosquitos

    Mosquitoes may be one of the smallest animals on this list, but they are among the deadliest.

    These insects are carriers of fatal or at least very damaging diseases, such as malaria, dengue fever, and Zika virus.

  • Tsetse Flies

    Tsetse Flies
    Photo: International Atomic Energy Agency / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

    If you're not freaked out by bugs yet wait until you hear about the Tsetse fly. 

    The Tsetse fly is responsible for spreading sub-Saharan African sleeping sickness or Trypanosomiasis, which affected nearly 1,000 people in 2018 and has sickened many more in previous decades.

  • Snakes

    Snakes
    Photo: Bouke ten Cate / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

    If you're afraid of snakes, you're probably smarter than the average bear. Snakes kill an average of 50,000 people around the world every year, as of 2016.

    The most venomous snake is the Inland Taipan of Australia, though they rarely attack humans. 

  • Crocodiles

    Crocodiles
    Photo: Goutham89 / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

    No duh crocodiles are on this list. Just look at these creeps! About 1,000 people are killed by crocodiles each year based on a source from 2016. 

    At least Captain Hook escaped mostly intact. He's a real guy right?

  • Scorpions

    Known as one of earth's oldest residents, scorpions evolved from sea-dwelling creatures to land menaces over 400 million years ago. Around 1,500 species of scorpions exist in the world but only 30 of them have poison that is dangerous enough to kill humans. Nevertheless, according to 2008 statistics, around 1.2 million people are stung by scorpions each year, and 0.27% of them (3250) are killed.

    Scorpion attacks are most common in South Latin America, South India, the Middle East, and Sahelian Africa.