You wouldn’t think this tiny critter is a particularly deadly animal, but the mosquito is responsible for the deaths of more than two million people each year.
In most places the worst a mosquito will do to you is leave you with an itchy bite for a couple of days. However, in some regions mosquitoes act as a vector agent carrying disease-causing viruses and parasites from person to person without being affected themselves.
The most common mosquito-borne diseases include yellow fever, dengue fever and malaria.
There are more than 3500 different species of mosquitoes throughout the world, but it is believed the animal carries and transmits diseases to 700 million people annually in Africa, Latin America, Russia and much of Asia.
From poisonous frogs to cobras, take a look at the world’s top 10 killers and find out where to avoid them.
2. ASIAN COBRA
The Asian cobra will leave you paralysed with fear… literally.
The snake’s venom contains a powerful post-synaptic neurotoxic and when bitten, it acts on the nerves and paralyses muscles. Severe bites can lead to respiratory failure and heart attacks.
Of the 50,000 deaths from snakes bites across the world each year, this species is responsible for a large number of them.
Usually found in grasslands, open forests and savanna, the Asian cobra is a widespread and common species from central and eastern Asia, Vietnam and Thailand.
3. AUSTRALIAN BOX JELLYFISH
This jellyfish has a venom that attacks a human’s cardiac and nervous systems and if it stings you, you have virtually no chance of surviving unless treated straight away.
Its tentacles have the ability to sting even when separated from the jellyfish, making it a very dangerous creature.
Box jellyfish are more numerous after rain and move towards the shore in calm waters when the tide is rising. They are commonly found across the northern top of the country as well as Queensland and the northern Western Australia coast.
4. GREAT WHITE SHARK
The fact this beast has some three thousand teeth should give you a clue as to his fearsomeness. While they usually feed on fish, seals and other sea animals, should a surfer find him/herself in the wrong place at the wrong time they might be mistaken for dinner.
Humans aren’t prey of choice though. With a high ratio of bone to muscle and fat, the shark’s digestion is too slow to cope.
Great Whites can be found in almost all coastal waters with a temperature between 12 and 24 degrees. There are greater concentrations of the species in the United States, Japan, Africa and Oceania.
5. AFRICAN LIONS
Between razor-sharp claws, equally sharp teeth, and the ability to chase their prey at great speeds, this great beast is one of the world’s best hunters.
Hunting in packs, lions usually stalk their chosen prey and carefully select a location in which to pounce.
African lions can be found in savanna grasslands under the shade of an Acacia tree.
Be wary of where you sunbathe! This scaled creature could be lurking close by…
You won’t have much time to react if one snaps at you. A croc’s most deadly weapon is its super-fast reflexes. Once it has you between its jaws, it will usually drown you before gobble time.
These aquatic reptiles live in the tropics throughout Asia, the Americas, Africa and Australia. Crocs gather in freshwater habitats like rivers, lakes and wetlands.
Their immense size and super-sharp tusks puts elephants in at number seven on the list of the world’s most deadly animals – they stomp and kill about 500 people each year.
Weighing a hefty seven tonnes, how Dumbo managed to flaps his ears fast enough to lift off the ground is beyond us.
There are three species of elephants remaining today; the African bush elephant, the African forest elephant and the Asian elephant. Not surprisingly, you can find them in Africa and Asia.
8. POLAR BEAR
These white balls of fluff might look cute and cuddly, but they can rip off your head with a single swipe of the paw if they want to!
Twice the size of a Siberian tiger, with 42 teeth and a hunger for meat, we wouldn’t suggest messing with them around dinner time.
Polar bears are generally found within the Arctic Circle and their favourite habitat is the annual sea ice covering the continental shelf and the Arctic archipelagos. Although they are born on land, the bears spend most of their time out at sea.
9. CAPE BUFFALO
You don’t want to look a Cape Buffalo in the eye… these creatures charge head-on! And with two big, sharp horns and the weight of a small car, that’s quite a dangerous position to be in.
Known as the “widow maker” in Africa, this buffalo gores and kills more than 200 people every year.
Cape Buffaloes are found throughout Africa from Egypt down to South Africa. As one of the continents most successful grazers, they are often found close to water and tall, coarse grassland.
10. POISON DART FROG
If a prince is what you’re after, steer clear of these pint-sized frogs!
While their brightly coloured bodies might look attractive, their backs ooze a slimy neurotoxin that is meant to keep predators away. Each frog produces enough of the stuff to kill 10 humans.
Poison dart frogs like the humid, tropical environments of Central and Latin America. They tend to be found in tropical rainforests and sometimes freshwater marshes, lakes and swamps.