Want to know which is the deadliest animal in the world? Here’s a list of the most dangerous animals in the world, ranked by deaths per year.

The title as the most dangerous animal in the world can, of course, be ranked in different ways, but for the sake of facts and logic, I’ve chosen to count the estimated annual deaths per animal, instead of what destruction they can cause.

Can you guess which are the most dangerous animals in the world? I can safely say that it’s probably not the animals that first comes to mind when talking about deadly animals around the world.

The exact numbers are tricky to get by since many of the non-developed countries don’t hold any official records. Only cases where the person gets to a hospital or when the cause of death has been determined gets recorded.

There are several non-developed countries where some of the most dangerous animals in the world are living, so there is surely a gap due to hidden statistics where wild animals have killed people. 

What is the deadliest animal in the world? 

The Mosquito is the deadliest animal in the world and accounts for an estimated 500 000 deaths per year. The main cause of death is due to diseases spread when female mosquitoes suck blood from humans.

Some of the most common diseases spread by mosquitoes are Dengue fever, Malaria, and the Yellow fever.

Most dangerous animal in the world

19. Sharks

Movies and media are often spreading the picture of sharks being ferocious killers that eat and destroy everything that comes in their way, but it’s quite exaggerated and many shark species are harmless to humans. 

Each year, there are around 75 shark attacks, whereas most arise from a misunderstanding that a surfer looks similar to seals. However, only 10 out of these attacks result in the death of the victim. 

With that said, of course, sharks, especially the Great White and Bull sharks are incredibly powerful predators that should always be respected, but they don’t really see humans as food. So, if you’re scared of sharks, don’t think of them as the monsters killing thousands of people each year because that is not true. 

Deaths per year: 10.

Great White Shark

Photo: Shutterstock

18. Ants

That ants are deadlier than sharks is probably not something you were aware of, but the fact is that ants kill on average 30 people per year. The Bulldog ants are especially dangerous and aggressive, so stay away from them.

Deaths per year: 30.

17. Bees and wasps

Due to lack of statistics, the number of deaths by bees and wasps is probably largely underestimated since the number of 50 only include deaths in the U.S. 500 deaths per year worldwide is more likely, and most people die from an anaphylactic shock from the sting.

Deaths per year: circa 50 per year in the U.S.

16. Lion

Though humans are not normally part of the lion’s diet (they prefer animals with more meat), some lions have been known to actively hunt us down, even though it’s quite rare. 

It does happen though that a lion kills a human, and each year about 70 people die from lion attacks. 

Deaths per year: 70.

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15. Box jellyfish

Most people know that Jellyfish stings itch like crazy. However, not many people know that the stings from Box Jellyfish kill circa 100 people a year.

Deaths per year: 100.

Box Jellyfish

Photo: Shutterstock

14. Tiger

The tiger is the deadliest cat on the planet, and also the biggest cat in the world. Each year, about 100 people die from wild tiger attacks.

Normally, the tiger doesn’t see humans as prey, especially not adults, but in some cases in India, there have been a few man-eating tigers that got the taste of human flesh and continued to kill humans when they got the chance.

Deaths per year: 100.

tiger

12. African Buffalo

The African Buffalo is one of the big five animals in Africa, and it’s a massive creature that you shouldn’t mess with. It’s not common with buffalo attacks, but they do happen, and experts estimate that about 200 people die from African Buffalo attacks each year.

Deaths per year: 200.

afrikansk buffel - ett av savannens farligaste djur

13. Deer

Deer got horns that could easily kill humans, but the majority of deaths caused by deer is not because of its horns, but instead when they try to cross the highways or roads during dusk and dawn.

Only in the U.S, there are about 120 people that die each year from deer-related cases, and worldwide there are at least 300 deaths because of deer. 

Deaths per year: at least 300.

radjur

11. Elephants

Normally, you think of Elephants as majestic and friendly animals, and that is true in most cases. However, considering their size, they can also be very dangerous if they choose to attack, or if they feel threatened. Most incidents happen with raging Elephant bulls or mothers who protect their elephant babies.

Unless they feel intimated by you, they won’t care and they are not killers or predators. They are just protective of their own and their territory.

Deaths per year: up to 500.

elefant

10. Hippos

The hippo is considered by many as one of the most dangerous animals in the world, and the locals in Africa claim that hippos kill more people than crocodiles, lions, elephants, and cheetas combined.

There are no reliable sources that can confirm the rumor, but there are lots of evidence that suggest that there are at least 500 deaths related to hippos each year, and that number could potentially be a lot higher.

Their massive jaws could easily crush a human if they wanted to, and just like the elephants, hippos are even more protective of their territory and hippo calves. 

Deaths per year: up to 500 (perhaps more)

flodhast

9. Crocodile

A prehistoric animal that has survived tens of thousands of years with ancestors pre-dating the dinosaurs. The crocodile is certainly one of the world’s most dangerous animals. It’s a real killer machine with powerful jaws, speed, and a tough body that can endure most. 

Unfortunately, the larger species of crocodiles don’t have a problem seeing humans as their prey, and the reason for crocodiles not killing more people is likely because we know of the dangers and try to stay away as much as possible. 

The number of deaths could also be higher considering that most crocodiles live in non-developed countries with poor population and lack of official records. 

Deaths per year: 1000.

Crocodile

Photo: Shutterstock

8. Scorpion

To be stung by a scorpion will hurt badly, but you won’t necessarily die from it. However, 3000 unlucky people die from scorpions each year, and most of the cases are due to anaphylactic shocks or infected wounds. 

Children and elderly people could die directly from the venom though, so it’s best to stay away from these small venomous creatures.

Deaths per year: 3250.

världens giftigaste skorpion

7. Worms

Don’t worry, it’s not your neighborhood earthworms that are some of the most dangerous animals in the world. The worms causing deaths are known as tapeworms and roundworms. They use our bodies for food and reproduction until a full infestation occurs.

Deaths per year: at least 5000.

Tapeworm

Photo: Shutterstock

6. Freshwater snails

Snails are quite harmless animals, but the freshwater snails carry a parasite called schistosomes, which causes snail fever. Symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloody stool, or blood in the urine, and it’s not something pleasant to get, especially not considering that it kills about 10 000 people per year. 

Deaths per year: 10 000.

5. Assassin Bugs

When talking about the most dangerous animals in the world, most people probably don’t think of a small bug, but the kissing bug, also known as the assassin bug is a deadly critter that carries the Chagas disease. 

That disease causes more than 10 000 deaths per year, which makes the Assassin Bug one of the deadliest animals on the planet. 

Deaths per year: 10 000.

rovskinnsbaggar

4.Tse-Tse fly

The most dangerous fly (and perhaps the only) is infamous for spreading the sleeping sickness. Each year, more than 10 000 people die from the disease after being bitten by the Tse-Tse Fly.

Deaths per year: at least 10 000.

tsetse flugan

3. Dogs

It’s quite ironic that we call the dogs our best friends considering that dogs are causing more deaths than sharks, crocodiles, hippos, and scorpions combined. Of course, this is another case of the animal itself being relatively harmless, but dogs with Rabies are deadly, and every year about 24 000 people die from it after being bitten by Rabies infected dogs.

third most dangerous animal in the world

Photo: Shutterstock

2. Snakes

Venomous snakes and anacondas are definitely some of the most dangerous animals in the world, which is easily noted by the number of deaths per year related to snake bites. Current estimations are around 50 000 deaths per year, but that number could very well be higher considering that many of the most dangerous snakes live in non-developed countries with poor population and lack of healthcare and official records. 

With that said, the number of deaths by snakes is not specific to one species but rather spread out among all snake species. And there are countless of snakes that could kill humans, just as there are countless of snakes that are harmless. 

Deaths per year: at least 50 000, but likely the double.

världens farligaste djur - orm

1. Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are the most dangerous animals in the world and are responsible for more than 500 000 deaths per year. It’s primarily the Female Anopheles mosquitoes (carrying malaria) and Female Aedes mosquito (dengue fever) that causes deaths after sucking blood. 

The parasites is spread via the blood of the mosquito, which is transmitted when it sucks blood from humans to feed their larvae. Malaria is the biggest cause of death related to mosquitoes, and more than 200 million people are infected by it every year.

Approximately 430 000 people die from Malaria each year. Other diseases include Dengue fever, Yellow Fever, and Japanese Encephalitis.

Deaths per year: at least 500 000.

myggor är det farligaste djuret i världen

More about the most dangerous animals in the world

If you think about it, humans are animals though, even though we like to think that we stand above other animals since we can speak, innovate and do many other things that animals can’t. So, with that said, humans could easily be named as the most dangerous animal in the world considering the fact that more than 500 000 murders happen across the world each year. 

Not only that, in some countries there are full-scale wars, civil wars and other incidents where people get hurt on a daily basis.

Most dangerous animal in the world

Photo: punghi / Shutterstock.com

To put things in even more perspective when it comes to the most dangerous animals in the world, circa 24 000 people die from lightning strikes each year, and about the same number die from being bitten by dogs carrying Rabies. 

On top of that, about 1.3 million people die from traffic accidents, and 500 000 people die from lung cancer caused by smoking. As you probably realize, wild animals are seldom as dangerous as our own society, and in most cases, we shouldn’t be afraid, but instead be aware and respect their boundaries and territory.

deadliest animals in the world

Photo: Shutterstock

Most animals don’t see humans as a source of food, and if we don’t attack animals, they are not likely to see us as a threat either. 

You might also be surprised that spiders didn’t even make the list because the actual number of deaths caused by spiders per year worldwide is very low. But of course, some spiders could be named as some of the most dangerous animals in the world, but a better fit for spiders would be on the list of the most venomous animals in the world.

The Brazilian Wandering Spider is regarded as the most dangerous spider in the world, but there are only 10 known deaths in total. 

Brazilian wandering spider

Photo: Shutterstock

List of the deadliest animals by continent

When taking a closer look at the most dangerous animals in the world by each continent, ranked by deaths per year, the list looks a bit different. For example, in Europe, mosquito bites seldom lead to death, but traffic accidents with deer are not uncommon, on the European continent, there is also a lack of venomous animals. 

In the Continental U.S, the number one animal that causes the most deaths are farm animals, primarily horses, and cows. That’s quite interesting because there are several dangerous animals in the U.S. 

Africa and Asia are most prone to mosquito-related diseases such as Malaria and Dengue fever. So, the mosquito is without a doubt the single deadliest animal in Asia.

In South America, there is a type of bug, known as the Kissing bug or Assassin bug that spreads the Chagas disease, which accounts for more than 7000 deaths on the continent. 

Continent Animal
Africa: Mosquito
Asia: Mosquito
Europe: Deer
North America: Horse and cow
South America: Assassin bug

Did you know about the most dangerous animals in the world? Leave a comment below!