15 Cute But Deadly Animals That Can Actually Kill You
Who doesn’t love animals? Whether it’s your adorable dog or your friend’s pet parrot, animals help make everything better. There’s something about these lovable creatures that warms the heart. But be warned, not every endearing animal is keen on you giving it a hug. The world is full of cute but deadly animals that you should stay away from. It turns out looks can be deceiving, especially when it comes to cute animals.
There are so many cute and furry creatures that are actually super dangerous. While many of these animals appear docile, they are in fact aggressive killers. Some only attack when approached or threatened, while others will hunt humans like prey. To make sure you are safe when encountering an adorable looking animal you might not have seen before, here are 15 cute but deadly animals to avoid.
1. Slow Loris
This cute fella looks absolutely harmless, but the slow loris is one deadly creature. The primate lives in Southeast Asia and has adorable large eyes and a furry coat. It looks like it wants to be picked up and cuddled. That would be a bad idea. The slow loris not only has super sharp teeth that can leave a nasty bite mark, but many of them carry diseases that can kill humans. Their bite can also lead to an anaphylactic shock, which is a severe allergic reaction that can cause chest pains, fever, swelling of the throat, abdominal pain, and even death. So if you ever see a slow loris in the wild or are thinking of getting one as a pet, you might want to think twice.
2. Giant Anteater
South America is home to the giant anteater. The main difference between this animal and a normal anteater is the size. Fancy that? The giant anteater lives in a variety of landscapes and is generally a shy creature that keeps to itself. They avoid humans when possible, and if you do get close, you are in for a nasty surprise. The giant anteater has long sharp claws that can cause big-time damage. There have been several reports over the years of anteaters killing humans, with two hunters in Brazil losing their lives after provoking a giant anteater.
3. Puffer Fish
Most fish look harmless, which is usually part of their defense mechanism. The puffer fish is one such sea creature that can kill humans. Even though the member of the Tetraodontidae family makes an appearance in Finding Nemo, don’t let that fool you. These bloated looking fish have four large teeth that can pierce the skin and are chock full of poison. The puffer secretes the poison and can cause you illness just from touching it.
Most people who get really sick or die are those who actually eat the puffer fish. Despite the majority of its internal organs being poisoned, there are parts of the fish that can be devoured and are served as a delicacy in certain countries. We recommend you stay well clear if you see puffer fish on the menu.
4. Cone Snail
Snails are pretty disgusting, but did you know they can also kill? The cone snail is a type of deadly sea snail capable of stinging humans. They are often very cool to look at and possess interesting patterns and colors that make people want to pick them up and examine them. Wrong move. The worst are the larger ones that have one giant tooth that resembles a needle. They stab this into their prey to paralyze them before chowing down. While most cone snails will only give you a slight sting, the larger variations can be fatal, with Goldfrank’s Toxicologic Emergencies recording 27 deaths from the cone snail.
5. Golden Poison Dart Frog
Don’t be fooled by the bright yellow color. While this may give the impression the golden poison dart frog is a friend, it is actually the most poisonous animal on the planet. The small froggie produces a poison that emits from its skin glands as a way to ward off predators. While eating the frog will cause an excruciating death, just touching the skin of the golden poison dart frog can end your life. These small frogs are now on the endangered species list due to their habitat being destroyed.
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6. Mute Swan
You might laugh at this one but swans can be lethal. While they look dignified while floating on a lake, they have a mistrust of humans and will quickly attack when approached. While they might not have a deadly venom that can kill, Mute swans are known for their strength and bite. There have been accounts of mute swans attacking humans and causing broken bones and cuts. While they probably won’t peck you to death, they could cause you to fall into a lake or onto something sharp and cause a fatality.
7. Polar Bear
Polar bears look like big, cuddly teddy bears that want nothing more than to have their bellies scratched. If only this were true. These predators can smell you from miles away and will slowly stalk you through the snow before making their attack. As they are very territorial and hardly come in contact with humans, they see us as their next meal. Unlike the brown bear that will maul a human and then leave, the polar bear will rip you apart and then eat you. Nice.
8. Box Jellyfish
The jellyfish is an enchanting sea creature unlike anything else living underwater. They are often vibrant colors and the translucent nature of the jellyfish makes them quite remarkable to look at. But looking is all you should do. Many types of jellyfish can cause pain and even death. The box jellyfish is certainly one you want to stay away from. The potent venom from its tentacles has been linked to dozens of deaths over the decades. They are particularly prevalent in Australia, which is no surprise considering the number of deadly creatures that reside there.
9. Hooded Pitohui
This orange and black songbird is also one of the most venomous birds alive. The hooded pitohui secrets the same poison as the golden poison dart frog. The small bird’s skin and feathers possess the toxin batrachotoxin. They acquire this from the mylerid beetles they eat. While it normally only causes a burning type sensation when touched, the hooded pitohui can be deadly and cause paralysis, cardiac arrest, and death.
10. Blue-Ringed Octopus
Another aquatic creature found in Australia that is responsible for the death of many humans is the blue-ringed octopus. They are easily identified by their yellowish skin with blue and black rings. The blue-ringed octopus is one of the world’s most dangerous marine creatures and is very harmful to touch. They carry enough venom to kill 26 humans at once, so if you happen to get bit by one of these buggers you are pretty much done and dusted. There is no anti-venom for the poison the blue-ringed octopus produces, so if you happen to see one of these while swimming, avoid at all costs.
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Yes, dolphins can kill. While these aquatic mammals are often viewed as playful and human friendly, they are still very dangerous. Especially those in the wild. They might swim alongside you and appear friendly, but dolphins can quickly change and become aggressive. They have sharp teeth and a bite that can sever an arm. Worse, if they grab hold and take you underwater your chances of escaping are next to none. You will most likely drown before the dolphin gets bored and leaves your corpse for the sharks.
12. Komodo Dragon
Cute might not be the right word, but the Komodo dragon is a very deadly creature. These enormous lizards can grow up to ten feet in length and weigh as heavy as 150 pounds. They are apex predators that rule the areas of the Indonesian islands they inhabit. While they rarely interact with humans, when they do it usually ends in injury or death. Not only do they possess large claws and a dangerous bite, but the Komodo dragon is poisonous. This venom is used to paralyze its prey and can cause death in humans.
13. Flamboyant Cuttlefish
While not really cute, the flamboyant cuttlefish is certainly eye-catching. Officially known as a metasepia pfefferi, this is another marine creature found Down Under and in and around the islands of the Pacific Ocean. It has several different fins and tentacles that add to its unique look. The flamboyant cuttlefish is also highly toxic and is believed to be as poisonous as the blue-ringed octopus.
14. Leopard Seal
When you think of seals, you generally picture fat marine creatures sunning themselves on rocks. This isn’t the case when it comes to the leopard seal. With its only natural predator being the killer whale, these animals are not afraid of humans, which is bad for us. The good news is they don’t like interacting with humans so keep their distance, but if you happen to agitate one you are in for a world of hurt. There has only been one official record of a leopard seal killing a human. As reported in National Geographic, the biologist Kirsty Brown was drowned by a leopard seal in 2003. The findings found the seal most likely mistook Brown for a fur seal or was threatened and was protecting itself.
We end this list with one of the cutest animals on the planet. The panda looks just like a big, furry, toy bear. Not only do they look adorable, but they are also playful and funny to watch interact with each other. They have a love of bamboo which takes up most of their time. Like many animals, they stay well clear of humans unless threatened. If that happens they can turn into scary monsters capable of ripping you limb from limb. They are extremely strong and have sharp claws and should not be approached in the wild. Stick to observing them at your local zoo.
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