The Most Dangerous Wild Animals You Can Encounter In The US
The Most Dangerous Wild Animals You Can Encounter In The US
- 1 The Most Dangerous Wild Animals You Can Encounter In The US
- 2 10. Bison
- 3 9. Scorpions
- 4 8. Sharks
- 5 7. Bees
- 6 6. Wolves and Coyotes
- 7 5. Mountain Lion
- 8 4. Bears
- 9 3. Alligators and Crocodiles
- 10 2. Snakes
- 11 1. Spiders
- 12 About the Author
- 13 Tick Season: How to Survive
- 14 25 Most Dangerous Bugs In The World
- 15 The 7 Most Horrifying Parasites on the Planet
- 16 What’s Your State’s Flea-and-Tick Season?
Great white sharks, spiders, and scorpions are some of the most dangerous animals in the US.
Great white sharks are one of the most dangerous animals in the country. Photo by Anton Chernyavskiy on Unsplash
Just the thought of some animals is fear-inducing for some people, like those terrified of snakes or who shriek at the sight of a spider on the wall, and may be enough to keep them safely indoors. Others admire wildlife for its majestic beauty and long to come across a wild deer or spot a bear lumbering through the forest.
While animals can be awe-inspiring, their habits drawing curiosity and intrigue, there are some from which you may want to steer clear if you stumble upon them along the hiking trail.
You never know what could lurk around the bend — these are the 10 most dangerous wild animals found in the United States.
Often spotted in a zoo or natural habitat preserve, the American bison (not to be mistaken with the European buffalo, its close cousin), is actually more likely to cause injury in a national park than wild bears — particularly during the breeding season when the animals become especially aggressive. If provoked, bison will not hesitate to attack and will do so with great speed, as the two-foot-long, 2,000-pound animals can gallop up to 40 miles per hour and jump six feet into the air.
Never approach bison on foot, and stay at least 330 feet away from the animals to remove any potential perceived threat. If one is lurking on the trail, stop immediately and give it a very wide berth to avoid being attacked.
Found in desert landscapes, all 90 types of scorpions found in the US deliver venomous stings. The most deadly of the species is the Arizona bark scorpion, which lives in the Sonoran Desert of its namesake state. They tend to prefer more moist areas of the desert, residing near riverbeds.
The brown-toned, nocturnal scorpion is only about three inches long but its venom can cause severe pain, partial paralysis, and difficulty breathing. Because it does not burrow, the scorpion is often found inside homes but luckily its victims rarely succumb to their stings — only the most susceptible, such as the elderly and children — tend to die after being stung.
The most feared of this species is well-known to be the great white shark, which accounts for about one-third of all human attacks. It is the largest of all predatory fish, with the largest of the sharks spanning more than 20 feet.
Great white sharks tend to be found off the coast of California and the northeast Atlantic Ocean, especially common around the New Smyrna Beach in Florida, known as the Shark Capital of the World.
What makes the great white so terrifying is its tendency to bite without provocation because the animal can easily mistake human beings for prey. Since 1900, there have been 1,657 unprovoked shark attacks (not all from great white sharks) and 144 of them were fatal.
There are other common species lurking in the waters off the US coast: tiger sharks and bull sharks are also seen regularly. Tiger sharks are responsible for the majority of fatal shark attacks in North America, with surfers bit most often.
Killer bees — properly known as Africanized bees — are called this because of the highly defensive nature that makes them aggressive if they detect any threat against their hive. Even the noise of a vehicle can send the hive into a frenzy, attacking in swarms and chasing their prey up to a quarter of a mile. Not only that, but the bees will also hold a grudge and maintain their aggression for up to 24 hours.
The Africanized bee was the result of biologist Warwick E. Kerr’s desire to create a hybrid insect that could produce more honey. He bred European and African bees together and the result was the killer bee species, which is now growing in population in America due to its expansionist and territorial nature. Their population moved from Brazil, through Mexico, and into the US, where it is becoming prevalent in the south.
Their venom may not be lethal, but since the attack comes from an entire swarm, there could be a lot of pain and swelling after being stung. Those who are allergic to bees could die from an encounter with killer bees.
6. Wolves and Coyotes
Late at night, it’s not uncommon to hear the crooning of coyotes, a very vocal animal whose howls and barks can be heard in the wild and remote locales. Though they won’t attack humans directly unless starvation strikes, coyotes carry diseases and parasites that can be dangerous for other animals and people alike. Though they pose more of a threat to livestock than humans, a pack of coyotes is capable of killing an average adult male.
The grey wolf is the largest in North America, and fearsome with its heavy build and large teeth and a bite twice the force of domestic dogs that can break bones apart. The animal is also able to jump 16 feet in one bound. What makes the grey wolf particularly dangerous is that it lives in packs, but it does not tend to attack unless provoked or starving.
5. Mountain Lion
Known by several different names, the mountain lion — or cougar or puma — is the largest feline in North America. The cats commonly kill farm animals and pets in remote communities, although their coyote and wolf counterparts often get the blame, since mountain lions are sleek and stealthy, and rarely seen by the human eye. The cats will stalk their prey for miles before finding an opportune moment to attack or giving up the pursuit entirely.
Mountain lions typically will not pursue a human in earnest unless starving or threatened, but if a person breaks into a run to escape the cat, the chase will be on. It’s no safer to play dead when in the vicinity of a mountain lion, as the victim will be seen as easy prey. The best defense is to be loud and assertive, make eye contact and fight back if attacked.
One of the biggest animals found in the wilderness of North America, bears are usually more concerned about foraging or fishing than what humans are up to. However, different species may react to encounters with people in different ways.
Grizzly bears are by far the most aggressive and largest bears in the US, and it’s best to avoid the animal if possible. Unlike the black bear, which can be scared off with loud noises like banging pots and pans together and making yourself seem as large as possible, the grizzly will be undeterred by those actions and may still attack. They live primarily only in the northernmost regions of the US, and outside Alaska, the most likely place to find one would be Yellowstone National Park.
Don’t be fooled by the skittish nature of the black bear, though. While its first instinct may be to run up a tree, there are documented cases of attacks, like one that killed three teenagers in Algonquin, Canada.
Polar bears are also found in the northern reaches of the States (like Alaska) but are unlikely to attack — though their size and strength could do damage should they choose to put it to use.
Like most wild animals, bears will not usually attack unless provoked, or if they are protecting their young or hungry.
3. Alligators and Crocodiles
Whereas bears tend to lurk in the northern regions of the United States, the south is known for its alligator and crocodile population. The most dangerous of the two is the crocodile, which is responsible for about 1,000 lives worldwide each year — but thankfully only resides in the southernmost reaches of Florida.
Alligators are more widespread among southeastern America, mostly along the gulf coast.
What’s the difference between the two? Alligators have square noses compared to the pointed nose of the crocodile, and crocs tend to be darker in color and have a big toothy grin often depicted in drawings and cartoons.
The alligator thrives in lakes and swamps and is a powerful swimmer, but is also known to sunbathe and climb trees, meaning it could also be on land. As an opportunistic predator, it will eat anything, but not typically people — the gator’s diet is mostly comprised of fish, birds, frogs, snakes, but it will also take down deer, dogs, and calves.
There are 16 species of rattlesnakes in the United States, and every one of them can be deadly. In addition, some varieties of the coral snake, cousins of the cobra known for their red and yellow bands, are also lethal.
Snakes are one of the most commonly seen dangerous species, as there are only two states that are not home to at least one type of killer snake: Alaska and Hawaii. Because they are cold-blooded, snakes often curl up around hiking trails to catch some sun — often in the same resting place hikers ay choose to rest or have a snack.
The western diamondback is the most deadly rattlesnake, responsible for most bites in Mexico and the US. It is highly aggressive and will strike shortly after sounding its rattle, leaving little to no time for escape.
There are between 7,000 and 8,000 rattlesnake bites each year, resulting in about five deaths. If help is sought immediately, most people recover from their bite with a dose of anti-venom within two hours of being attacked.
Many people have an irrational fear of spiders, and though most of the time their terror is unwarranted (the common house spider isn’t going to kill anyone anytime soon) there are species in the United States that pack a mighty punch in their small bites.
There are about 3,400 types of spiders in America, but only a small number are venomous and of those only two or three have the potential to be lethal. The most dangerous in the US are the brown recluse, the hobo, and the infamous black widow spiders. At least one type can be found in most places in the country, though the west coast and southern states are where sightings would be most likely.
The brown recluse spins irregular webs and can be found inside cool, tight spaces like shoes, cardboard boxes, drawers, gloves, or laundry piles. Their bite doesn’t hurt right away but can get extremely painful and itchy after two to eight hours, and over time can do damage to the skin around the bite as well as muscles and blood vessels.
Black widows carry a neurotoxin in their venom that attacks the nerves, causing severe pain and cramping within 15 minutes of a bite, and profuse sweating. The toxin can kill humans, but death is rare and bite symptoms will typically subside on their own.
The hobo spider is related to the house spider, and while venomous, it is the safest of the three dangerous American spiders, though its bite is still unpleasant and causes painful sores.
About the Author
Krista Conrad is an award-winning Canadian journalist and creative writer with a BA in English and diploma of Journalism Arts. She loves storytelling and delving into research, particularly in areas of social, historical, environmental and human interest. A busy mom of five, she lives for family and creativity, and enjoys bringing stories and facts to life with firm belief in the power of the written word.
Tick Season: How to Survive
Ticks are tiny bloodsucking parasites that are hard to spot but once they bite you, they can cause lots of troubles to your health. What to do to secure yourself and your family members from these insects? You will find the answers here.
What You Need to Know About Ticks
What makes ticks so dangerous? All ticks are unsafe for humans, however, some species are more threatening. For example, one of them transmits Lyme disease whilst others can cause Babesiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia, and others — Meredith Hayes health expert from beezzly says.
There are almost one thousand species of ticks in the world and each species is active during a certain time. However, in general the “tick season” starts in the period from late March till April when it is getting warmer and those parasites come out to start their hunting time. Ticks reduce their activity and stop being active at all in autumn when the first freezing comes.
When are Ticks Most Dangerous?
Tick’s period of development includes several stages starting from a larva (that is the first stage) and ending with a mature insect.
Any tick reaches its highest level of harmfulness for people when being at the nymph stage. Such immature insects cause infection when biting their victim.
Even though most of the ticks’ bites will hardly cause something more traumatizing than an ordinary swelling, there are bloodsuckers whose bite can lead to a blood disease! If you are interested in detailed information here are related source.
So how to behave during the “tick period” of the year?
What to Do If a Tick Bit You
If you have spotted a tiny bloodsucker on yourself or someone else, do the following.
- Take it off accurately with the tweezers at once by grabbing the whole insect and pulling it out. Make sure you don’t leave its head under your skin!
- To cause illness, some ticks need to stay on your skin for at least 36 hours. The sooner you take it off the better.
- Go to the nearest hospital for examination (in case some part of the insect remained). Also, some medicine may be prescribed to you to prevent any disease.
How to Prevent Yourself From Being Bitten?
To avoid being bitten by a tick, follow simple rules when being outdoor.
- Wear light-colored clothing with long sleeves and trousers
- Cover your head with a hat or a cap as ticks can also get to your scalp from the trees
- Avoid tall grass, humid and dark places, and low bushes as they are ticks’ favorite kinds of ambush
- In the wood or park area, walk in the middle of the path as these bloodsuckers prefer to stay closer to its edge in grass
- Wash your whole body from head to toes properly after you were on a walk outside
- Examine your whole body for any signs of bloodsucking parasites
- Tuck your trousers into the socks before you go for a walk in a rural or woody area
- If you are going to spend several days outdoor, apply insecticide permethrin to your clothes and any repellent containing DEET on uncovered skin
25 Most Dangerous Bugs In The World
Does a cockroach make you squeal? If so, this list is the most DANGEROUS bugs in the world will make you flip your lid. These crazy bugs may look little, but below the surface is a extremely dangerous (and even deadly) bite that you just won’t believe. Get ready to learn all the insects you should avoid (and where they might be hiding) in this amazing list. You’ll end up thanking us.
These tiny terrors pack a mean bite that can leave you wishing for a ride to the hospital. As scary as it is to think some of these bugs exist, it is even scarier to think that these bugs can live just about anywhere. These bugs to stay away from range from the smallest of tiny creatures (small enough to crawl into your ear and live there) to bugs large enough to make a home in your favorite boot, you will be shocked to learn about some of these scary bugs. Even worse than being scary or potentially deadly, some of the bugs on our list have bites so painful you would do anything to escape them. Make sure to leave us a comment after watching this video to let us know what you liked the most and what you would like to see next!
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Did you know that the small and unassuming deer tick can leave a bite so painful that sufferers are in pain for years? Or that the vicious army ants can eat upwards of 500,000 bugs in a DAY? Did you know that the German Yellow Jacket is so aggressive that they mark and follow their prey? If you have ever thought about a caterpillar, you probably have envisioned a cute little bug that wiggles his way through a pile of food. But the Puss Caterpillar is just the opposite, hiding vicious spines that can cause numbness, weakness, and put you in the hospital! From scorpions to ants and mosquitos we have every kind of crazy bug that you never knew existed. Make sure to watch all the way to the end to see which dangerous bugs made our top 10!
Music Credit: Stranger Danger by Francis Preve
The 7 Most Horrifying Parasites on the Planet
- Matthew Hayden ·
- March 30, 2009
As soon as your doctor says you’ve got parasites in your body, you don’t need to hear any more details. They’re all horrible, right? How can it get worse than little tiny worms or something feeding on your insides?
Actually, it can get way, way worse. As it turns out, there’s nothing in nature more creative than a parasite. And we don’t mean that in a good way. For instance.
Technically, your body is full of tiny creatures already. Bacteria, viruses and so on. So really, should we get freaked out when we find out that there’s a specific kind of worm that lives under our skin? And should it really bother us that said worm can grow to be longer than your leg?
This brings us to the guinea worm. It starts small, really small. It begins life as a microscopic larva tiny enough to fit inside of the common water flea. Like the elderly residents of Florida, water fleas love to hang out in stagnant pools of water, gossiping and doing water exercises until they are unknowingly ingested by big, thirsty, humans.
So you go swimming and the flea makes its way down your throat. Now, not being adequately equipped to survive the harsh environment of the human stomach, the water flea is dissolved away, leaving the guinea worm larva behind. It finds a soft, fleshy cavity to burrow into and starts growing.
About a year after infection, the full sized guinea worm is no longer microscopic, but instead measures two to three goddamned feet long. As long as a three year-old human child.
Being so large, a cramped human body is no longer adequate real estate. So the worm wants to get out, and here’s where it gets even weirder. The worm burrows to the surface of the skin and creates a blister, and causes a burning sensation. It does this on purpose, because the worm has figured out that a burning feeling in a limb makes humans want to dunk it in water.
This is exactly what the worm wants. It pokes its wriggling head out of the blister, and releases its foul, milky brew into the water, containing hundreds of thousands more larvae. They are promptly eaten by water fleas and the whole thing starts all over again.
On one hand, you can relax because this one doesn’t affect humans. as far as we know. On the other hand, it’s about the most fucked-up thing you’ll ever hear.
Cymothoa exigua is a tiny crustacean that sneaks up on a fish (specifically, a red snapper) and works its way in through the gills. Typical parasite behavior so far.
Then it attaches itself to the base of the fish’s tongue, the tongue evidently being the tastiest part of the fish (get it!?). The parasite uses its claws to dig into the tongue and drink the fish’s blood—and that’s just the beginning.
As cymothoa exigua grows, less and less blood is able to get into the fish’s tongue which causes the tongue to slowly atrophy and ultimately fall off—well, not so much «fall off» as pathetically float away, but you know what we mean.
With the tongue dead and gone, the parasite settles in and replaces the lost tongue with its own body. Somehow, cymothoa exigua is able to attach itself to the fish’s tongue muscles, allowing the snapper to use it just like a normal tongue, the parasite flapping around as a permanent fixture in the fish’s mouth for the rest of its life.
Why does it do this? We don’t know, but we’re going to go with the commonly held opinion that the cymothoa exigua simply thinks it’s funny.
Imagine you’re a happy grasshopper for a moment, joyfully kissing your grasshopper wife and kids goodbye as you leave the house, tiny briefcase in hand, ready to hop to work for the day.
Suddenly, on your way to the office, a sudden urge overtakes you, an urge that cannot be ignored. You obediently follow the siren song to the nearest body of water, and promptly fling yourself in. For weeks afterward, your widowed wife and friends will wonder what could have possibly made a perfectly happy and content grasshopper tragically commit suicide, by drowning no less. Depression? An affair gone wrong? Crushing gambling debts? No, it turns out it was just another strike from the soulless and evil menace known as the horsehair worm.
Resembling a coarse, thick horse hair (well, duh) the horsehair worm infiltrates insects, and sometimes even crabs, as a larva when the insect drinks tainted water. From inside the aforementioned grasshopper, the worm goes to work.
It weasels its way into the body cavity, and nourishes itself on the insect’s tissues, sometimes growing up to a foot long. After a time, when the worm has matured, it starts to get horny, as teenagers do, and decides that the time has come to find himself a sexy mate. The problem is, all of the sexiest female worms hang out at the swimming pool club, and he’s stuck inside of a prudish grasshopper.
That’s a problem easily and dickishly solved by the horsehair worm, however, by simply reprogramming the insect’s brain to seek out the nearest body of water and to hop right in, despite the sad fact that grasshoppers, like many other insects, can’t swim.
As his former host panics and gasps its last breaths of sweet life, the worm casually slithers out of its anus, bids adieu to the drowning grasshopper and swims in search of the orgies of knotted up worms he’s heard so much about.
Fucking mosquitoes. As if there weren’t enough reasons to hate these living dirty needles, the bastards are responsible for yet more horrifying diseases thanks to the multitude of parasites they unwittingly inject into us every time they feed.
One such parasite is the almost too-weird-to-be-real filarial worm and, yes, it does affect humans.
After a year spent bumming around in our bodies, the worms mature into adults and finally take up the job they were born to do, by moving into the lymphatic system. Doesn’t sound so bad.
Well, here’s the thing. The lymphatic system keep excess fluids moving out of your body. It’s one of those unnoticed bodily tasks that you don’t appreciate until it stop working. Like if, say, a bunch of worms clogged it up. The filarial worm does just that, bunches of them all working hard in the vessels near the lymph nodes, causing those vessels to become obstructed and inflamed. Shit starts backing up, and the tissue starts inflating like a freaking balloon.
What’s Your State’s Flea-and-Tick Season?
Although fleas and ticks pose a threat to pets year-round, they become most active during the warmer months, starting as early as March in some areas of the United States. Find your state on the map shown here to learn when your pets are most at risk for fleas and ticks.
As a responsible pet owner, it’s necessary to prevent your pets from being affected by these parasites. Ticks transmit not only Lyme disease, but also other illnesses like babesiosis (a malaria-like disease), ehrlichiosis (a bacterial infection), and even tick paralysis. There are more than 200 species of fleas affecting dogs, and these can also transmit disease, not to mention lead to a costly and time-consuming extermination process if your home becomes infested. The best defense is to keep your pet on a year-round flea and tick preventive medication as recommended by your veterinarian.