I love all creatures great and small, but I'm a little bit wary of any which have the propensity to kill or maim, and there are some deadly creatures you're going to want to avoid, whether you're on your travels or just sitting in your back yard. Whilst most of us are unlikely to stumble across many of these unless we're traveling to some far flung exotic location, it's worth knowing about some deadly creatures before you pack your hiking boots, bikinis and all important sun protection.
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Australian SaltWater Crocodile
It seems a year doesn't pass without a story emerging about someone being maimed or worse by one of these crocs. These reptiles, which can reach up to 23 ft in length, are very cunning creatures indeed. They use what is known as the 'death-roll' to suffocate and ultimately drown their prey. Over 2,000 people die each year as a result of stumbling across an Australian SaltWater Crocodile, which is why they're one of the most deadly creatures.
Now, I can't abide by spiders at the best of times, but I love bananas so this is something of an oxymoron for me. Recently, a woman in the UK found one of the world's deadliest spiders nesting on her banana which she had purchased from a well-known supermarket. After the deadly Brazilian species had effectively invaded their home, the family were forced to spend three nights in a hotel whilst their property was fumigated. It's safe to say that the supermarket in question had a little explaining to do. The females of the species, which are also known as Brazilian Wondering spiders, can grow to have a leg span of 6 inches and this is one spider I would not want to find in my bath tub. Their bite can kill within two hours and according to the Guinness Book of World records, they're the most toxic spiders on earth. As you can imagine, ever since this story hit the headlines, I have been a little wary of my innocuous looking bunch of bananas!
Mosquitoes tend to make a meal out of me when I go to warm country. I'm convinced that as soon as I land and hit terra firma, they call all their mosquito buddies and have a party on my person, because I tend to get consumed alive by the macroscopic beasts. Luckily, the mozzies which have munched on me have not carried malaria, as mosquito borne malaria is a big killer and has taken the lives of more people than any other disease. It is reported that the disease kills 1.2 million people every year, with most of the deaths in children.
Most of us have seen the films and these ferocious fishes, which live in the rivers of South America, may be small but they have the capacity to strip an animal to the bone in minutes. They are the stuff of nightmares and have recently made the headlines by attacking a group of bathers in Argentina who were trying to cool off in the 100 degree heat. Around 70 people were attacked by the razor-toothed fish, who tore flesh from the unsuspecting bathers. Don't go into the water guys!
Golden Poison Frog
Don't let this Disney sounding name fool you as this is one frog that is not going to turn into your Prince Charming if you kiss it! If you happen to be traveling around Colombia, beware of this creature. They may be small and bright and otherworldly looking but the poison from this frog is used to tip arrows and is toxic enough to kill up to 20 people, causing heart failure and fibrillation. Their scientific name says it all: Phyllobates terribilis.
Japanese Puffer Fish
Also known as Fugu, which literally means river pig, this is one fish I can go without trying. I know it's an expensive delicacy which I should add to my bucket list and if prepared correctly by one of the few highly trained chefs, there is no risk. However, the fact that they contain a poison which is more toxic than cyanide and for which there is no antidote, is reason enough for me to omit it for now.
Also known as a box jellyfish, this sea creature has tentacles up to 30 ft long and each one has enough poison to kill up to 60 people! Its venom can cause death within three minutes and it is the most deadly marine creature you would ever have the misfortune to encounter. With over 5,500 deaths attributed to these creatures, it's another reason not to go into the water!
Have you ever come across any of these deadly creatures? Clearly you've survived to tell the tale and I want to know about it!
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