When most people think deadly animal, images of sharks probably come to mind. Unfortunately, sharks are shouldered with a misleading reputation as mindless killing machines. Sure, sharks attacks of humans do happen, but they are rarely fatal. Take 2018, for example. That year, 66 people were victims of unprovoked shark attacks. Of those, 4 were deadly, according to the International Shark Attack Files.
Obviously, it’s still important to be mindful of your surroundings when you visit the ocean. Just know that the risk of a fatal shark encounter is quite low. You are much more likely to die from any number of other incidents, including heart disease, the flu, and bike accidents.
In fact, there are several other animals that have a much deadlier track record than sharks. It should come as no surprise that the disease-carrying mosquito is the deadliest animal on Earth. However, other animals deadlier than sharks might be a bit more surprising. Check out some of the most shocking below!
Bessie is deadlier than Jaws. A CDC study shows that nearly 22 people a year die from cow-related incidents in the United States. And sharks? Well, the United States only experiences a single lethal shark attack every year or two. This makes cows over 20 times as deadly as sharks in the States alone!
Those cute, cuddly looking hippos you see at the zoo? They are actually extremely aggressive animals that you should leave alone if you ever encounter one. According to this infographic, the hippopotamus is responsible for about 500 human deaths annually.
Bigger doesn’t always mean deadlier. Just take a look at the roundworm. This devastating parasite causes thousands of deaths every single year. Specifically, the Ascaris lumbricoides variety causes the most infections. How many does this disease kill? An estimated 1.2 billion billion people annually are infected and kill more than 60,000! The roundworm itself is responsible for roughly 2,500 deaths annually.
2. Freshwater Snails
The freshwater snail is the small killer you never saw coming. Some species are great carriers for Schistosoma parasitic larvae. These parasites can cause schistosomiasis, a potentially lethal disease. WHO reports that about 200,000 around the world died from schistosomiasis in 2000. Fortunately, WHO estimates that this number is probably lower now. We can thank large-scale preventative treatment campaigns in vulnerable areas for this improvement.
(Don’t worry, escargot-lovers: that delicacy is made with land snails.)
Unfortunately, you read that right. Human beings are one of the deadliest animals on the planet. In fact, only mosquitoes kill more people than other human beings. According to WHO, roughly 470,000 people around the world were homicide victims in 2015.
What Animal Kills the Most People?
Mosquitoes, cows, and even other people are deadlier than Finding Nemo‘s Bruce. So next time someone asks you to name a deadly animal? Well, you have some other (sometimes depressing) answers to give instead of sharks.