Where there is beauty, there is also evil. Okay, well maybe not “evil,” but definitely danger. We here at The Rainforest Site love nature. Absolutely love it.
We do understand, however, that something so gorgeous and giving of life also has a food web; there are predators, and there is prey. And, whether they are the aggressors, or they are the victims, some animals have evolved into creatures we as humans must be made aware of.
That’s what you’ll find on this list: animals that, whether it’s intentional or not, pose a lethal threat to us.You’ll find eight creepy but lovable creatures that you may have never heard of.
And, if you’re frightened, don’t worry; so are we.
Found mostly in tropical and subtropical ocean waters, there are over 120 species of pufferfish. According to National Geographic, biologists believe that pufferfish ‘developed their famous ‘inflatability’ because their slow, somewhat clumsy style makes them vulnerable to predators.” The species pictured above, the porcupine puffer fish, even comes equipped with spiny skin, something quite common amongst many of the 120 species. But, having spiny skin and being able to expand yourself doesn’t necessarily make you dangerous, does it?
What does make the pufferfish dangerous is a little thing called tetrodotoxin, a poison 1,200 times more harmful to humans than cyanide. The upside? As long as you don’t eat them, you’re fine, though pufferfish is something of a Japanese delicacy.
Found only in Australian waters, blue-ringed octopi pack a lethal punch for the same reason as pufferfish: tetrodotoxin. The difference is that with blue-ringed octopi the poison is delivered via bite, rather than by it being consumed. The problem with that is that the bite itself is so small and painless that the victim has little idea that they’ve been bitten at all.
Within minutes the victim can be left paralyzed and entering respiratory arrest. And, no oxygen means no heartbeat. Bottom line: proceed with caution.
This species of box jellyfish can be found wandering the waters between northern Australia and Vietnam. Well, wandering may not be the best word to use; this advanced species can actually move up to four knots, and carries with it one heck of a punch. Its tentacles, while delicate, are deliverers of a potent venom that has been known to attack human hearts, nervous systems, and skin cells, causing shock and, in some cases, drowning. If one person were to survive the sting from a sea wasp, they likely would endure weeks of pain and be reminded of the incident often by scarring.
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Marbled Cone Snail
In the photo above, do you see that white tube extending from the snail? That’s what is called a proboscis. But it’s also the carrier of a venomous harpoon.
Primarily, the marbled cone snail hunts fish, snagging them with the barbed teeth of the aforementioned harpoon, then reeling them in after they’ve gone limp. The amount of venom these snails carry is enough to subdue a human, but there’s a whole lot of information on treatment, should one fall victim. Typically, with serious but not severe bites, what a human being experiences is: intense pain, sweeping numbness, and vomiting.
We’ll admit it: that fella pictured above is pretty darn cute. And he looks harmless. But, if he were harmless, he wouldn’t be included in this list, now would he?
Basically, if you live on the Pacific coast of Colombia, don’t touch this cute frog. Like, ever. The dart frog’s skin is coated in alkaloid poison, which, in addition to halting nerve activity altogether, can lead to heart failure and fibrillation.
Brazilian Wandering Spider
Here’s what the Brazilian wandering spider likes: darkness, and hunting. Both of which, when taking into account its propensity to wander, make this spider one that you should be nervous about.
See, the Brazilian wandering spider likes to make its way through densely-populated areas. It seeks darkness in banana crates, in cars, sometimes clothes, and even boots. Oh, and have we told you that they’re considered to be one of the most venomous spiders in the world? That’s right. Their bite transmits a neurotoxin called PhTx3 that, at potent concentrations, causes loss of muscle control and respiratory function.
We wouldn’t say that the stonefish WANTS to hurt you; but we will say that it can. Oh yes, it can. The stonefish is known for its ability to camouflage itself with the ocean floor. As you can see in the photo, it does a pretty swell job. But, this makes it very difficult for humans to spot them. And, well we have feet…
The problem with stepping on a stonefish is that there are venomous sacs along its thirteen spines. Doing so will, yeah, you guessed it: you’ll experience excruciating pain, you’ll have trouble with your nerves, and potentially heart failure.
Let’s just start here: tissue and organ degeneration, bleeding from the gums, bleeding from the nose, severe clotting, internal bleeding… Yeah, that’s all caused by one bite from the boomslang snake. And there’s a name for it: hemotoxic. Hemotoxic is a fancy way to say that red blood cells are destroyed, and the clotting process is disrupted. How excited are you for next year’s trip to sub-SaharanÂ Africa?
But they’re pretty snakes, right!? Right?
Have you ever encountered these creatures in the wild!?
Let us know in the comment section!