Attacks by poisonous animals account for thousands of deaths around the globe every year. Because most can be found in places like the beach or one’s own backyard where they can be easily overlooked, it pays to be extra cautious and be well-informed of the possible precautionary and first aid measures in order to prevent injury, or worse, death. Here are the top ten poisonous animals in the world that you should avoid at first sight.
1. Box JellyfishFound in the oceans of Asia and Australia, the box jellyfish is considered as the most poisonous animal in the world. It has tentacles covered with cnidocysts that produce nematocysts. As it pierces through the skin and enters the wound, it will cause blood pressure elevation, cardiac arrest, and eventually, death upon the victim.
First aid treatment for box jellyfish found in tropical waters includes rinsing or soaking of the stung body part in vinegar for 15-30 minutes. For a non-tropical water box jellyfish casualty, seawater should be applied on the wound, as such can eradicate and the nematocysts immediately. Avoid rubbing the area or applying hot water or ice.
2. King CobraAlso known as the Ophiophagus Hannah, the king cobra is hailed as the most venomous animal in the world. It comes in black, olive, or brown, and is usually found in the jungles of China and India. When threatened, it forms a hood and spits toxin into the eyes of his prey. The neurotoxin, once injected, will cause a painful sensation. Once it enters the blood stream, it can result to death if medical intervention is not provided right away. The poison is so harmful that 7 milliliters of king cobra venom can kill 20 people, even an elephant.
3. Marbled Cone SnailThe marbled cone snail is one good proof that looks can be deceiving. This small animal is definitely terrible, as it delivers venom that can result in pain, inflammation, tingling sensation, and numbness. In severe cases, the Marbled Cone Snail venom can bring about vision and breathing problems and muscle paralysis. There’s no existing anti-venom, so be careful when you see this animal; it usually thrives in warm saltwater environments.
4. Blue-Ringed OctopusAlthough the blue-ringed octopus is just as tiny as a golf ball, it has gained notoriety as one of the most poisonous animals in the world. Found in the waters of Australia, Japan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, and Indonesia, this animal releases two types of poison that come from its saliva. Symptoms of poisoning caused by the blue-ringed octopus are vision loss, blindness, nausea, loss of motor skills and respiratory arrest. Because of the lack of antidote for blue-ringed octopus attacks, immediate ventilator assistance is crucial for the individual to survive.
5. Death Stalker ScorpionTrue to its name, the death stalker scorpion can launch an attack that can maim a person and lead him to his untimely demise. Also known as the Israeli Yellow Scorpion, it is commonly found in North Africa and the Middle East. A Death Stalker Scorpion sting is painful, and those with allergies or heart problems can easily die from it. Immediate medical attention is needed in order to prevent respiratory failure that can ultimately lead to death.
6. StonefishThe stonefish is one of the most venomous animals living under the sea. Commonly found in the waters above the Tropic of Capricorn, this greenish-brown fish is infamous for the poisonous spines on its back. The sting it delivers causes pain, rapid swelling, and necrosis or tissue death. Muscle weakness, temporary paralysis, and shock can also take place if medical intervention is not provided right away.
If stung, immerse the affected area in hot water and go to the nearby hospital immediately in order to get a shot of stonefish anti-venom.
7. Brazilian Wandering SpiderAlso known as the banana spider, it has been recognized as the most venomous animal by the Guinness Book of World Records in 2007. Commonly found in banana bunches in South America, the Brazilian wandering spider has an active venom that contains high concentration of serotonin, which makes the stinging sensation very painful. It also contains neurotoxins, which result in paralysis, loss of muscle control, breathing problems, and eventual death.
The upside: Brazilian wandering spider venom is considered as nature’s “Viagra” as it results in priapism or an hour-long erection. Experts are currently working on this poison, hoping that it can be used in patients with erectile dysfunction.
8. Inland TaipanThe inland taipan is considered one of the most poisonous serpents in the world. Found in the arid regions of Australia, inland taipan features venom ridden with protease enzymes and taipoxin. Its neurotoxin is said to be 400 times more potent than that of other snakes’ venom. While its poison can kill a human in as quickly as 45 minutes, no fatalities have been documented because of the availability of inland taipan anti-venom.
9. Poison Dart FrogAlso known as the poison arrow frog, it is usually found in the rainforests of Hawaii, South America and Central America. The poison dart frog delivers a poison known as batrachotoxin, which is released through the glands behind its ears and on its back. This neurotoxin can lead to death as it blocks the nerve transmission signals to the muscles.
10. Puffer FishFound in the waters of Mexico, Philippines, Japan, and China, the puffer fish is considered as an exotic delicacy. While servings of puffer fish can sell like hotcakes for up to $200 each, wrongly-prepared dishes can lead to poisoning and death.
The skin, liver, muscle and gonads of the Puffer Fish contain tetrodoxin, a deadly poison. When ingested, the individual will experience the following symptoms: tingling, burning of the tongue and the mouth, nausea, slurred speech, headache and impaired coordination. In severe cases, the tetrodoxin from the puffer fish can lead to hypotension, increasing paralysis, convulsions, cardiac arrhythmia, and death.
Now that you know the most poisonous animals in the world, make it a point to avoid them and their habitats. In case you get bit or stung by any of these animals, make sure to go seek medical attention right away.