15 animals that kill more humans per year

LatinAmerican Post tells you the number of documented deaths caused by dangerous animals.

Hippo in the water and wolf hiding behind the grass.

Hippo in the water and wolf hiding behind the grass. / Photos: Pexels

LatinAmerican Post | Alberto Castaño Camacho

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Leer en español: Los 15 animales que más humanos matan al año

Many people have some kind of phobia, fear or simply prevention towards some specific animal species. From spiders, poisonous snakes, sharks, to even dogs, yes, it is amazing, some people fear dogs. However, in LatinAmerican Post we tell you the reality of the amount of documented deaths caused by animals that become nightmares for some of us.

At number 15 we find a group of fish that has been stigmatized by Hollywood as the worst killers of the seas, but in reality, paying attention to everything the seventh art says, it lacks sustenance, at least this list tells us how innocent we are about it, because sharks around the world are credited with six deadly attacks across the planet. On average, there were years, like 2014, in which only three deaths were recorded.

According to the Institute of Natural Studies of Norway, second place in the list of the "worst murderers" of the animal kingdom is the enigmatic wolf, also demonized by children's stories such as 'Three Little Pig's or 'Little Red Riding Hood'. However, the figure is not that scary either, because a year only 10 deaths are reported on average.

But the situation seems to change in Africa, because the king of the jungle, who does not really live in the jungle but in the savannas, has a bad reputation despite the fact that films like 'The Lion King' have saved him and have shown him as a noble and fierce but serene animal. Well, the deaths associated with the second largest feline in the world are just over 20 deaths a year. In fact, it is not as high a figure as one might think if you take into account that in the territory lives indigenous tribes who travel great distances walking in the middle of the savannah.

Also in Africa is number 12 on the list of the worst killers of the animal kingdom, as the largest of the land mammals, actually, the largest land animal on our planet; kills just over 500 humans at year. A figure that was not expected either, because behind the image of slowness and parsimony, in fact, an animal of very bad character is hidden.

And a cousin of his, but who used to live more in water, vegetarian but with a character much more complicated than the elephant is the hippo. These chubbies are so cute but are really highly dangerous animals because they cause the same number of deaths as their cousins the elephants, 500 deaths per year and have a special fixation against the human being. There must be a reason.

But not all animals on this list are predators or huge mortal moles. They're also tiny, and not because they are small, less dangerous, because although the animal located in the tenth position is very long, three to four meters, It is very thin and usually lives in our digestive system. We are talking about tapeworms (Taenia solium) that produce a disease called cysticercosis that takes about 700 people annually to the other world.

But one of the groups of animals that most cause immediate rejection in some people are reptiles, the first to appear on the list is the crocodile. According to FAO, these huge modern dinosaurs are responsible for the highest number of deaths per year in Africa totaling more than 1,000.

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In tropical and subtropical areas, mainly in which the sanitary conditions are not adequate, the spread of a parasite known as the round Ascaris worms that produce the known ascariasis disease is generated, which, due to vomiting, malnutrition and even bleeding in the feces, kills around 4,500 people worldwide annually according to the World Health Organization, WHO.

A little larger, is the killer number seven on our list, the Tsetse fly. This tiny insect produces a disease known as "sleeping sickness" that starts with headaches, itchy whole body, and joint pain, but when it is taxing, serious neurological symptoms begin sending to the other world to about 10,000 people a year.

Number six on our list, the Kissing Insect, (Triatoma sanguisuga), is a bug 1.5 to 2 centimeters long that transmits Chagas disease, one that kills more than 12,000 people.

But the list of people killed by potentially deadly animals in nature becomes scandalous when we touch the figure of 20,000 human deaths annually, as the freshwater snail is one of the largest carriers of parasitic worms that can invade us and cause disease known as schistosomiasis in which the parasite does not lodge in the intestines as is common in other types of hosts, this time we load it in the blood vessels causing the collapse of different organs.

In fourth place are dogs, which are the transmitters of 99% of cases of human rabies disease-causing 35,000 deaths per year. For this disease favorably for us, there are vaccines, however, we must not lose sight of the fact that the disease is fatal.

Crocodiles are not the only reptiles to appear on the list, as venomous snakes cause more than 100,000 deaths a year. Its bite, in some cases, is deeply painful and causes almost instantaneous necrosis, paralysis, and death.

Perhaps of all the deadly animals the most annoying and hated of all is the mosquito. These small, annoying and deadly bugs cause three-quarters of a million deaths per year, mainly from malaria transmission in children and adults in Asia and Latin America. 750,000 deaths is a figure that can only be exceeded by the most dangerous animal on the planet for humans and that forces the mosquito to settle for second place in this top 15.

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The most dangerous animal in the world for humans, the one that causes the most deaths year after year, increasing the figure with no apparent way to stop this growth curve is the human. Yes, as ugly as it sounds, no doubt we are not the only plague and in reality, there is no more dangerous animal on the planet, more harmful and much less, some more self-destructive with its own species than Homo sapiens.

According to the most recent study of the United Nations Organization, UN, through the WHO, only in traffic accidents we kill ourselves at an astonishing pace, 1.3 million human beings are estimated to lose their lives every year as a result of road accidents , but if we add to that figure the result of the study carried out by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) on homicides during 2017, known just a year ago a couple of months, to that million 300 thousand dead we can add 464,000 more and if we count the corpses that leave the wars around the world in the same period, in 2017, we increase the figure to 89,000 additional, for a grand total of 1 ' 853,000 deaths approximately for just one year.

We are definitely our worst enemy.