Let's face it, bears are cute animals. Their cubs are absolutely adorable and every part of our nature instructs us to pick them up and cuddle with them. Unfortunately, if you do this, you might learn the lesson Leonardo Dicaprio's character learned in The Revenant: do not, under any circumstances, be anywhere near a bear cub—much less ever pick one up. Each and every one of us should have a healthy fear of bears. It's natural to be afraid of bears and that has a lot to do with their sheer size and ability to kill with a single swipe.
Seeing as they are so cute in appearance, a lot of folks may not realize it, but bears are really dangerous to humans. They are the largest carnivore on land and dominate their respective ecosystems as the alpha predator. Generally speaking, you really shouldn't mess with them. A look, but don't touch policy works, while getting close enough to look may be fatal.
Bears aren't going around eating people or anything; they subsist mostly on berries, fish, and other items found in their environment. However, they are highly territorial animals who will use their gigantic claws and teeth to get their point across in a deadly way—should any human come snooping around. The scariest and worst types of bears that attack humans are pretty much every species of bear. They know they are better than you and will assert themselves if threatened so it's ok to be afraid of bears... especially the ones on this list.
Size: They can get up to 1,500 lbs (680 kg) in size and able to stand up to 9.8 feet (3 meters) in height.
Location: Originally, they were known to inhabit most of North America save for the East Coast, but now only live in the Western and Northern regions extending through Canada and across all of Alaska.
Distinguishing Features: Grizzly Bears have a brown, shaggy fur that covers their bodies. Their name refers to the golden and grey tips of their hair, not a nasty disposition as many people incorrectly believe.
Why You Should Be Scared: Grizzlies are incredibly aggressive when defending their young and their territory. When a grizzly attacks a human, it most often results in the person's death. The bears will slash with their long claws, bite with their powerful jaws, and bounce atop their prey to ensure they are dead. It is not uncommon for a grizzly bear to continue to attack a person long after they are no longer a threat.
Kamchatka Brown Bear
Size: The Kamchatka brown bear is a very large subspecies of brown bear reaching a maximum weight of 1,433 lbs (650 kg) with a height of 10 feet (3 meters).
Location: The Kamchatka brown bear can be found in the Anadyrsky District of the Former Soviet Union with subspecies found in Saint Lawrence Island in the Bering Sea.
Distinguishing Features: Even across the many different subspecies, nearly all examples are brown in color as the name suggests. Their fur can feature a violet tint with light-colored individuals rarely seen.
Why You Should Be Scared: Kamchatka brown bears are incredibly large carnivores and while they do not typically attack humans, they are deadly when they do. Like most species of brown bears, they are highly territorial and protective of their cubs so wandering into their den and picking one up should not be on your bucket list.
Size: Adults can get up to 1,500 lbs (680 kg) in weight.
Location: The islands of the Kodiak Archipelago in Southwest Alaska
Distinguishing Features: Kodiak bears are incredibly large and rank second as the largest bears in the world. They have light-brown shaggy hair and are sometimes referred to as the Alaskan brown bear.
Why You Should Be Scared: Kodiak Bears avoid humans whenever possible and prefer to fish in local streams as far away from people as possible. Unfortunately, some people wander a bit too close and while they aren't the most aggressive bears in the world, they will attack a human who gets close to them. There is an average of about one serious injury related to a Kodiak bear attack each year.
Size: Polar bears are the largest bear species weighing in at a maximum of 1,534 lbs (700 kg) and standing nearly 10 feet (3 meters) in height.
Location: Polar regions within the Arctic Circle.
Distinguishing Features: A polar bear's most distinctive feature (other than its size) is the white fur that covers its body. Some individuals have been noted to have a brown coloring, which is likely due to crossbreeding with other bear species.
Why You Should Be Scared: Unless you spend a lot of time on the ice flows, you probably don't have much to worry about. Unfortunately, global climate change has resulted in an overall loss of habitat for the polar bear, which has pushed its range much further south than previously observed. Being the largest of all land carnivores, interacting with one who is hungry would be an unwise decision. They can be incredibly aggressive despite what you may have learned from Coca-Cola commercials.