When I think about the deadliest animals in the world, my mind immediately goes to a toss-up of humanity versus the animal kingdom. I think of large wild animals such as sharks, lions, and crocodiles. Then I remember snakes, and they shoot to the top portion of my list. Ultimately, I decided to go with humans as the deadliest, followed by snakes, then wild animals.
As we can see on this infographic, I had not spread my cast of potential killers wide enough. At the bottom of the list, sharks and wolves are tied for the last place, with only ten fatalities per year. They are followed by lions and elephants at 100 killings each. These animals trailed the hippopotamus at 500 deaths and crocodiles at 1,000 fatalities a year.
I was surprised by the elephants and the hippos. I always thought of these animals as large herbivores that are relatively calm. Enraged elephants account for their share of the deaths and weigh in between 5,000 and 13,000 pounds. A little research shows hippos are omnivores, range from 3,500 to 9920 pounds in weight, and are known to be very aggressive towards humans–even going so far as to tip over boats.
A bigger surprise is that dogs claim the number 4 spot as the world’s deadliest animal. Dogs are the cause of 25,000 deaths annually. Although known as “man’s best friend,” there are twenty-five breeds known to “most likely…turn on their owners”! Snakes take the number 3 spot as the deadliest animal.
Although humans account for 475,000 deaths a year, they rank second behind the not-so-big but nasty mosquito. Mosquitoes are by far the world’s deadliest animal responsible for 725,000 deaths a year. The most aggressive killer is the tiniest in stature but the most murderous animal in the world.