The 10 most dangerous animals in the world based on the number of fatalities per year:
10. Bears: 5-10 fatalities per year
Habitat: Canada, North Pole, USA, Russia - and a few other isolated pockets globally.
Many of us had teddy bears as a child. Beautiful and cuddly in appearance, real-live bears - grizzly, polar, and black - are all beautiful but immensely strong, quick, and defensive creatures. The more humans encroach on their territory, the more aggressive they are forced to become. If faced with an angry bear who is snuffling or pawing the ground, back away slowly while throwing sticks and stones and shouting.
9. Sharks: About 100 fatalities per year
Habitat: waters around Florida, Australia, Hawaii, South Africa
Unlike bears, sharks have a solid reputation as killers thanks to the movie Jaws. This is not an entirely unfair representation because Snappy Bull sharks are very aggressive and Tiger, Great White, Oceanic Whitetip are known to be killers. There are a high number of shark attacks, but actual fatalities are quite low.
8. Jellyfish: About 100 fatalities per year
Habitat: Northern Australia, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam.
These fascinating and beautiful creatures can be tiny or very large. Jellyfish tentacles can paralyze a human and cause a heart attack. The Box Jellyfish is one of the most venomous ocean creatures in the world and it's sting can kill a human within minutes following a brush of contact. Swimming is banned during jellyfish season in many areas. If you are stung, get out of the water and apply vinegar to any stings left in the skin to remove the venom. Brush or lift off the sting using a credit card or anything else handy.
7. Hippopotamus: 100-150 fatalities per year
Habitat: African waters - lakes, rivers, wallows.
Hippos are highly aggressive animals who are often thought of as docile, lazy bathers. Their mouths can open to 4 feet and they will not hesitate to attack humans. Despite their stocky build, hippos are incredibly fast runners and can easily outrun a human on land. It is
inadvisable to come between between a hippo and its calf or to block it off from deep water. Like bears, hippos do not react well to being surprised so making noise to alert them to your presence is wise.
6. Elephants: 300-500 fatalities per year
Habitat: Africa, India
Although many people associate elephants with the friendly giants they've seen in zoos, these creatures often attack without warning and have been known to kill zookeepers they have known for 15 years. Their sheer size combined with their massive, sharp tusks make them an almost unbeatable opponent. It is best to avoid startling an elephant and should it take charge, the best one can hope to do is make noise to put it off or find a large tree to climb.
5. Crocodiles: 600-800 fatalities per year
Habitat: Africa, Australia, Florida
It is no surprise that crocodiles have survived on the earth virtually unchanged for about 200 million years These are skilled predators who need one meal to keep them going for quite a long while. This means they have time to wait and plan for their next attack.
4. Big Cats: About 800 fatalities per year
Habitat: North America, Africa, India
Lions, tigers, and jaguars make up this category. It is no surprise that these incredibly fast, muscular animals are easily capable of killing if necessary. As big cats continue to lose their habitat and prey species to humans, their attacks on humans seem to be increasing in number. Mountain lions in North American parks account for about 5-7 deaths per year.
3. Scorpions: 800-2000 fatalities per year
Habitat: worldwide, but concentrated in Africa, the Americas, Central America
These creatures have a venomous sting that causes a large number of fatalities primarily because they tend to be found in isolated places. Although smaller in stature than most of the creatures listed 10 - 4, the scorpion is still quite intimidating to look at. Although there are about 1500 species of scorpion in the world, only about 150 of these are considered dangerous. Shake out any sleeping bags or bed clothing before climbing in and wear thick socks! If in Africa, beware the spitting scorpion that can launch its venom up to a metre.
2. Venomous Snakes: 50,000-125,000 fatalities per year
Habitat: Africa, Asia, North America
Most deadly snake attacks occur in Africa, Asia, and North America. There are 250 species of snake that can kill and there are over 450 species that are venomous. Many snakes are beautiful and others are just fascinating to watch, however most people who are attacked report that they were "moving closer for a better look" or trying to capture the offending snake. Snakes that feel threatened will attack. Some snakes can spit venom into your eye which sounds more unlikely than it is.
1. Mosquitoes: 2-3 million fatalities per year
Habitat: Worldwide, harmful in Africa, Asia, North America
These tiny pests are not only annoying, but they are incredibly efficient at spreading disease and so easily earn their spot at number one. Mossies spread malaria and elephantiasis, yellow fever, dengue fever, and West Nile virus. The latter was introduced to North America by the mosquito and is now prevalent throughout. Mosquito nets are the best way to protect yourself. One treated with DDT is most effective. In malaria zones, wear long, light-coloured clothing in the evening.