Animals

The Scariest Types of Bears in the World 

Ranker Science
Updated June 10, 2019 4.5k votes 1.1k voters 45.4k views 10 items

List Rules Vote up the most terrifying species of bear you hope to never encounter in the wild.

Let's face it, bears are cute animals. OK not the biggest bears, but 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 just about any bear species as bears are aggressive animals. 

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 tougher than you and will assert themselves if threatened so it's ok to be afraid of bears... especially the ones on this list.

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Himalayan Brown Bear is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Scariest Types of Bears in the World
Photo:  Wikipedia
5
Himalayan Brown Bear

Size: Relatively small reaching heights of between 6 and 7 feet (1.8 and 2.2 meters).

Location: Northern Afghanistan, Northern Pakistan, Northern India, west China, and Nepal.

Distinguishing Features: Himalayan brown bears have short, light-brown fur all over their bodies. They are small bears, which are currently critically Endangered due to habitat loss and poaching.

Why You Should Be Scared: Though they clearly look like bears, many people believe the Himalayan brown bear gave rise to the legend of the Yeti. The Nepalese name for the bear, "Dzu-Teh" has been associated with the bear and the Abominable Snowman. Though they are small bears, they can be deadly when cornered or their habitat is threatened much like the other bears on this list.

Would you run from this bear?
American black bear is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Scariest Types of Bears in the World
Photo:  Wikipedia

Size: Black bears can range in size between 90 and 550 lbs (41 to 250 kg).

Location: Throughout most of North America.

Distinguishing Features: American black bears look very much like grizzly bears, but have a black coat, which is where their name comes from. Despite this, they can range in color from light brown to jet black due to the large number of subspecies.

Why You Should Be Scared: Black bears typically keep away from humans as much as possible. Their sheer size and weight affords them an easy win in any human/bear interaction, but they tend to keep to themselves. They become dangerous whenever they feel their cubs or den are being threatened. Black bears are relatively intelligent and are often trained by humans for a number of purposes. They can be trained as guard animals where they will certainly intimidate anyone who approaches, but are more than capable of stopping anyone who gets too close.

Would you run from this bear?
Asian Black Bear is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Scariest Types of Bears in the World
Photo:  Wikipedia
7
Asian Black Bear

Size: Their average size puts them at about 300 lbs (136 kg) with a height of 75" (190 cm).

Location: The Himalayas, in the northern parts of the Indian subcontinent, Korea, northeastern China, the Russian Far East, the HonshÅ« and Shikoku islands of Japan, and Taiwan.

Distinguishing Features: Asian black bears are black, but feature a white v-shaped marking on their chests, which looks somewhat similar to Batman's logo.

Why You Should Be Scared: Asian black bears are typically not aggressive, tending to favor shy behavior and caution around humans. They can become aggressive if threatened and are more aggressive than other brown bear species across Eurasia. When threatened, they can become incredibly savage and vicious animals capable of easily killing a human.

Would you run from this bear?
Sloth Bear is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Scariest Types of Bears in the World
Photo:  Wikipedia

Size: 270 to 420 lbs (124 to 192 kg) with a standing height of up to 6.2 feet (1.9 meters).

Location: The Indian Subcontinent with an isolated subspecies in Sri Lanka.

Distinguishing Features: Sloth Bears are covered in black, shaggy hair with a lightened muzzle. The sloth Bear was the inspiration for Rudyard Kipling's Baloo in The Jungle Book.

Why You Should Be Scared: Sloth bears are typically docile animals and they are often trained for a variety of purposes. They can become highly territorial and will attack any humans who stray too close to their territory. When this happens, they can be quite deadly. They behave aggressively when they perceive a threat, which is what they consider humans to be. A sloth bear will lash out with its long claws, which can severely injure any person who falls victim to the bear's deadly swipe.

Would you run from this bear?