Weird Nature
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12 Insane, Otherworldly Creatures Of The Nile River You'd Never Want To Encounter

Updated June 4, 2020 7.8k votes 1.2k voters 54.3k views12 items

List RulesVote up the scariest creature of one of the world's longest rivers.

The longest river in the world is going to have at least a few creepy critters as residents but some animals living in the Nile River are beyond scary. Sharp teeth, deadly venom, and things of unusual size are not uncommon sights in its waters as it flows through several countries in Africa. The Egyptians may have worshiped it, but they probably could have done without the scary animals from the Nile River.

Nile River creatures can be terrifying, and some are even blamed for a number of human deaths each year. In addition to being home to Africa's biggest crocodile, a whole bunch of horribly venomous snakes, and a little insect spreading disease all over the world, the Nile hides all kinds of crazy creatures that could maim or kill you. It's almost like a crazy complement to the scary animals found in the Amazon River. If you've ever wondered what creatures live in the Nile, here are some of the craziest.

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    African Rock Python

    Photo: Tigerpython/Materialscientist / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA 3.0

    The largest snake in Africa can also be found around the Nile River. African rock pythons can grow up to 20 feet long and are not known for being friendly. They can be extremely aggressive when provoked or hungry and have killed humans. Although they are not venomous snakes, they will constrict themselves around their prey, tightening their grip each time the victim exhales. Rock pythons swallow their prey whole and are able to consume animals as big as crocodiles and antelopes. Their digestive system is so sophisticated, a huge meal gives them enough to digest for an entire year.

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    Photo: James Gathany/CDC / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    The West Nile virus was discovered in 1937 when a woman west of the Nile in Uganda was affected. It has since spread all over the world, thanks to birds transporting it and mosquitoes passing it on. Malaria is another disease which can be partially blamed on mosquitoes and even though there is a cure, the World Health Organization reports it still causes somewhere around one million deaths each year. Since mosquitoes incubate their larvae in water, the Nile River is most likely home to many of these blood suckers. Since 90% of the all the malaria cases in the world appear in Africa, perhaps it's mosquitos which are the most deadly thing around the Nile.

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    African Tigerfish

    Photo: Sablegsd / Wikipedia Commons / CC-BY-SA 3.0

    Related to piranas, African tigerfish are another aquatic creature with a carnivorous reputation. Their powerful jaws and protruding sharp teeth are used to kill and consume other fish, making them one of the most vicious predators in the Nile. They aren't picky eaters either, as tigerfish have been known to dine on whatever they are able to find in the water, including creatures bigger than themselves and sometimes their own kind. Although tigerfish can grow quite large at almost 41 inches long and weigh as much as 62 pounds, they are about as dangerous to humans as piranas (meaning not nearly as much as in the movies).

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  • The monitor lizards found around the Nile River may not be as big as their crocodile relatives, but they are still some of the largest lizards in Africa, able to grow up to almost 80 inches long. They use their powerful tails to swim like pros, but can also whip them with strength and accuracy when self-defense is needed. Nile monitors are known as vicious predators and are not discriminating about their prey, killing and consuming fish, frogs, birds, and small mammals. They have also been observed using teamwork to distract female crocodiles from their nest while another lizard steals her eggs.

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