By Mark A. Upaa
When we are asked to mention a deadly animal, we usually think shark, lion, snake or crocodile. However, the deadliest animal in the world is smaller. There are more than 100 varieties of this species, and it feeds on humans, well at least our blood, it is a vector for a variety of diseases and is responsible for the death of over 725,000 people every year. Figure it out, yet? That’s right, the mosquito is the deadliest creature on earth. The numbers don’t lie: According to the World Health Organization, malaria alone is responsible for killing about 600,000 people a year, while other mosquito born diseases like dengue fever, yellow fever and encephalitis are responsible for about 125,000 deaths annually.
“One of the reasons mosquitoes are such successful assassins is that they’re able to adapt easily to new environments,” Another reason the bugs are so deadly is that they breed quickly: Mosquitoes have learned to procreate in as little as a few small drops of water, and each female mosquito can produce between 50 and 500 eggs in her first brood. Their populations also peak at different times in different areas all over the world, making it nearly impossible to avoid being bitten. And every bite increases the risk of contracting a serious disease. In areas where mosquitoes are pervasive and carry deadly diseases, local authorities try to control the population through routine pesticide applications. You can protect yourself by eliminating places where standing water can accumulate. Here are 15 more innocent-looking animals that are surprisingly dangerous.
The next deadliest animal after the mosquito is another one you wouldn’t expect: humans. Around 475,000 people die every year by the hand of another human, which, when you think about it, sadly isn’t that shocking. Finishing out the list of the five deadliest animals in the world are snakes, dogs, and the Tsetse fly. Coming in much further down on the list are hippopotami (killing around 500 people every year), elephants and lions (around 100 each), and wolves and sharks (around 10 each). These stats are pretty surprising, considering those are the stereotypical animals that people think of when it comes to dangerous species, not a tiny mosquito.
The moral of the story is to stay safe, the two most deadly creatures on the planet are the ones you can barely see buzzing around you and the ones that you pass on the street every day. Yes, the animal kingdom is a lot more complicated than you think.